How Can I Ask How I Am Doing?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about performance.

How do I ask my supervisor how I am doing? Also, how do I ask if there are ways that I can do things better?

Signed, Wanting Feedback

Dear Wanting Feedback:

Many people ask their supervisor, “How am I doing?” when what they want to say is, “Reassure me again.” Asking repeatedly about how you’re doing can come across as needy and problematic, so it should be a limited request. It’s true that sometimes that is a good way to open a dialogue about work. However, usually when such a question is asked, it’s because the person asking senses they are in trouble or not doing well. Another problem is that asking, “How am I doing?” may be too general a question. Someone may be doing well with the technical parts of work but not so well in dealing with coworkers. Or, they are doing well with communications but not so well with punctuality.Consider this approach to getting feedback:1. Ask for feedback about work that is unusual for you or that is presenting a challenge. Or, ask about work when you have been counseled for improvement and you want to see if your improvement efforts have helped.Usually you will be viewed more positively if you self-evaluate based on what you know to be job standards and the priorities of your manager. If you are frequently engaged in conversations about work you will probably have a good idea about how your manager feels about you and your productivity and performance and you won’t need to ask him about it often, if at all.Best wishes.

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