How will I fix it if I don't know it's broken?
In my professional life, I often track data for various clients, assessing whether their program meets specific metrics, what impact they’re making in the community, and who benefits from their services to name a few. We’ve heard the spiel that data are important to track, from our fitness and health goals, to tracking personal achievements; but what about data in our own professional careers?
Listening to a recent presentation from Carla Harris (a motivational speaker, leader at Morgan Stanley, author, and singer to name a few of her many talents), one portion of her talk stood out to me. Although this wasn’t the focus of her discussion, she mentioned how important data about yourself is; and one way to gather these data lie in the relationships you build around you. The “straight, no chaser data,” as she calls it, often come from your relationships with mentors, colleagues, and various other connections. These individuals know you, understand how you work, and can help you determine where improvements can be made within yourself.
Sometimes the feedback you receive from others can also help you find the missing link that’s needed to accomplish whatever feat you’re reaching for. Whether it’s improving your talents to attract new audiences or enhancing your existing knowledge to strengthen your current relationships, feedback can be powerful.
In my current organization, we utilize a peer review process where each member of our team provides feedback for each member of the organization. Although the process can seem intimidating, and providing honest answers isn’t always easy, the feedback from these reviews allow us to hone in on our strengths, identify areas where improvements can be made, and develop strategies on how we can improve moving forward.
After all, to quote the words of Carla, “How will I fix it if I don’t know it’s broken?”