Personal insight is the integral means to gauge how you are and how you need to grow, and you need to lockdown feedback to drive your business analyst growth.
Ironically, many of the traits that earlier generations find frustrating about millennials is a result of the world that we’ve been raised in. Let’s look at that “constant need for feedback”, through tools like social media we’re accustomed to a world that works in real-time. Yet, this
desire for immediate playback is not a bid for attention, it’s us wanting to figure out if we’re on the right business analysis track – as it’s happening.
Why wait, if you can reflect, digest and adjust immediately?
In the business analysis profession it could be said that ‘you’re only as good as your last project’, and personal insight is the integral means to gauge how you are and how you need to grow your competency. Sure getting feedback can be scary, and we could meander merrily along with tunnel vision, but harnessing feedback is an essential ingredient in developing your business analyst career.
Are you moving forward somewhat blinkered, but want to see the full-picture? Do you find it difficult to get relevant feedback, but need to have meaningful insight?
Here are a few ideas that lockdown feedback to drive your business analyst growth:
You have to start by looking for the finish
It’s important to begin with the end in mind and understand what business analysis competency you are looking for feedback on. Are you seeking feedback to improve your business stakeholder relationships, strengthen your facilitation skills or better communicate risks with your project manager? To help focus the conversation and ensure you reach your desired outcome, begin by firmly identifying the competency area you want to get feedback on.
with an explicit development objective,
And not just what competency feedback you are looking for, but exactly what competency feedback you are looking for. You need to tailor your request in line with the precise area you are looking gain better perspective on. Think about asking specific questions like ‘How can I defuse a tense facilitation session’, versus the more broad ‘How can I improve my facilitation skills?’. The more targeted you are, the more relevant and valuable your feedback will be.
that’s actively sought after
Performance reviews come around every 6 months and should not be waited on as the only window in which to receive feedback on how your business analysis is progressing. Actively seek out opportunities to bounce perspectives of others, sooner rather than later. And it doesn’t need to be a formal sit-down; think about corridor chats, coffee catch-ups and lunch breaks. To satisfy your craving for speedy feedback on your progress, find those opportunities and ask for it.
from your wider connections,
Business analyst managers with their wealth of knowledge and experience act as great givers of feedback, but equally so are our customers, colleagues and connections. Let’s not forget about 360 feedback, and cast our net wide and deep. Networking can provide quick gems of feedback. Swivel your chair around, take a walk and speak to those that interact with you on a regular basis. Getting varied advice by tapping into our connections provides greater perspective.
so don’t shy away
Receiving negative feedback takes us all by surprise, but let’s not be quick to perceive this as failure. Let’s consider negative feedback for what it is: constructive criticism and the opportunity to grow. It is an honest means from which to become more self aware, by highlighting gaps in business analysis delivery. Without some balanced feedback it’s easy to form a false sense of accomplishment, which will only hinder you from reaching your career milestones.
and, remember, timing is everything.
Yes we want to master our competencies and prove our worth, but asking for feedback too frequently may not only be unrealistic, but also potentially damaging. Let’s not cement this unfair reputation for a ‘constant need for feedback’. Let’s be mindful of how often we’re asking for feedback, and be sure to internalise and improve that business analyst area, competency or technique, so that those who are giving feedback see it as worth their time and effort.
If you’re not getting the business analyst insight you need then form the questions, find the opportunities and fix the outcomes. Don’t fear feedback, now is the time to get out of your comfort zone – be open to receiving input, internalise it and move forward!