Got Feedback? Part II

feedback2Back to our question in “Got Feedback? Part I;” posted on this blog site September 2, 2013.  Are you getting enough positive, encouraging or clarifying feedback about your efforts in the workplace?  For more on the impact of valuable feedback on career development and how to get it at virtually any professional level or stage read “Got Feedback? Part I.”

Part II addresses the benefits of meaningful, positive, professional and personal feedback for several individuals recently laid-off and in some incidents after multiple lay-offs or firings.  Take notes and create a list of next steps for receiving positive feedback yourself, if you’re interested.

What’s the catch?  None really, these were all qualified employees.  All had other prior, good work experience, and were respected and supported by co-workers and supervisors in their place of employment before the lay-off.

But you know what they say, “People don’t leave bad jobs or bad companies, they leave bad bosses.”  Situations at work can get very political, with all that company/departmental history, empire building, and a few ol’ smoldering conflicts only partially buried.  Add a few missteps with higher-ups (been there.)

We don’t always share the views of our superiors, (better communication next time.) It’s easy to be blindsided by the manipulations of a boss who is a deranged, crazy mismanager and easily threatened. How to dodge that bullet waiting to happen?

The point is you can be a good employee who falls into a gray area and makes a perceived mistake.  Not to say that you shouldn’t reflect on your record, there’s always room for improvement.  Beyond that, my very brave clients, who were able to see the value in contacting old co-workers and supervisors were able to put things into better perspective in short order.

They selected people who they thought would be helpful and supportive in further sorting out what happened and why they were let go.  Over lunch or tea, they heard about how things were going, how they were missed by some.  Given a little prompting for specific feedback on strengths, contributions or something to work on, these former co-workers had much to say.

When a lay-off has the effect of lowering confidence in your abilities, (and when doesn’t it?), put your bad dreams away.  Talk with people who knew you well and respected what you offered.  Remember what they say.  And ideally you’ll take notes at some point and capture great additions for your next resume.  (P.S.  Don’t forget to send them a thank you note or email.)

Today many of the folks I mentioned are happily transitioned.  The most dramatic affect seems to have come from having these particular conversations and scheduling them once or twice a week after the layoff. The former still employed ex-co-workers were most desirous of the opportunity to give my clients supportive feedback and had been hoping they would be contacted.


Gail Nicholson Gail Nicholson, MA, LPC
Gail is passionate about working with individuals who want to explore and connect with a more authentic sense of self as a basis for defining their lives, work lives and roles in the larger community. She offers a blend of personal and career counseling, as she has found that attending to personal issues or mental health concerns can reduce barriers to moving forward. Gail works with clients on defining purpose and direction, handling stress and tackling career exploration, job search and small business start-up.

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