Almost without fail, every school open house I ever attended and almost every classroom visit I made found the teacher offering … no, encouraging … my child to come see them for help and feedback. It went something like this …
“I hold an office hour at this time every day of the week. PLEASE encourage your son or daughter to come see me when they need help … or want feedback on what they can do to learn and improve.” And then they would add … “I am always genuinely surprised as to how few of my students take me up on my offer and desire. Please encourage your child to do so. It can make a huge difference.”
This always made so much sense to me. First, it tended to demonstrate to the teacher that you really cared and wanted to do well. Creating this impression only made the teacher want to help you accomplish that goal. Second, to pass up on this opportunity was to wait until you received your course grade and then you had no ability to change anything. Sounds reasonable … right?
As I work as a coach within a business environment I meet many who wait for their annual review and the resulting ‘grade equivalent’. That they receive or don’t receive a raise is based on how the ‘boss’ evaluates their work since their last review. Perhaps it’s good and perhaps it’s disappointing. In either case it’s history.
I recently listened to a YouTube video presented by Brandon Smith on “Three Critical Conversations” to have with the boss. It encourages one to address these things outside of the yearly review in that the responses will help you to channel your efforts in directions that will improve your performance and along the way, the impressions you create with that boss. The questions are:
- What do you expect from me?
~ takes the guess work out of where you put your focus and efforts
- How am I doing in my work?
~ may or may not love the answer however it helps you remain on track
- What are your priorities and objectives?
~ to understand these help to bring your focus and efforts in-line
Just imagine what you might be creating in addition to getting important feedback.
- The awareness of yourself as being one determined to succeed
- Making certain that your focus and efforts are aligned with those of your boss and the company
- Making all aware that you are, above all, determined to be a team player.
Get curious. Ask yourself … “By doing this …
- How would I enhance the perception of me as an employee and team player?
- How might this differentiate me from the general employee base?
- How would this help me to achieve a better annual review and how might that translate to my greater success?
Come on. I challenge you to ask the person to whom you report … “So when are your office hours?” Do it … ultimately you might just like it!