As a corporate badass, I know you’re already aware of how important soliciting feedback is.
But chances are, you’re receiving some lousy, career-killing advice right now – and you don’t even know it.
Here’s the thing:
You’re going to get a lot of feedback over the course of your career, about all kinds of things, and from all kinds of people.
And the ability to solicit golden nuggets of feedback – while avoiding the types of feedback that are simply distractions or, worse, career landmines – is going to become increasingly important as you make your way to the top of your organization.
So in this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, I’m going to give you some super practical shifts you need to make in order to receive BETTER feedback.
And by better, I’m not talking about sunshine and roses feedback, right?
I’m talking about real, honest feedback that you can use to transform your career and get you the promotion you want.
Plus, I’m going to show you how to spot and shut-out bad feedback so you never get stuck in your career again.
Let’s get started.
Want to receive the recognition you deserve, step into a higher leadership position, get paid for your ideas instead of the hours you put in at work, and enjoy more time, freedom, energy, and joy? Then you need to get your hands on a copy of Promotions Made Easy. Get your copy here.
What You'll Learn:
- The three types of people you need to stop taking career feedback from
- Why you’re not getting the feedback you want from your boss
- How to solicit feedback that will actually help you get promoted
- The difference between low-level and high-level feedback questions
- How compare and despair is holding you back from your next promotion
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Ep #119: 3 Promotion Strategies Your Boss Will NEVER Tell You
- Join my group coaching intensive, Executive Ahead of Time (and access my 36-day Executive Reboot!)
- Get your copy of my brand new book, Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite
- Go to StacyMayer.com/Strategies to join my email list and receive my email series, Seven Promotion Strategies that Your Boss Won’t Tell You
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
Hello and welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacie Mayer, and super excited, as always, to be here with you again this week.
So we are in week one of the executive reboot that I am hosting exclusively inside of my Executive Ahead of Time program. And this week we are working on trusting in our ability not just to our ability to be an expert in our field or our subject matter expertise, but in our ability to lead at that higher executive level. And so I've been giving additional trainings to support and go deeper into the process that I teach inside of executive ahead of time. We've been building connections, closer connections with the other corporate badasses in the group, and we've been building closer connections with ourselves through journaling exercises. And I have to tell you, the thing I'm having the most fun with is the journaling exercises. I have been journaling right along with them, and it's been so amazing to just set my timer for 10 minutes, start writing on a specific question like what is look ahead three years and look at your success, what has led to that success? And then just write about it and imagine, believe, see what comes out of your subconscious. And it's been some of the most incredible things that I actually didn't expect. And if you're a journal or you know how this works, where your first couple of sentences are always your logical brain, and then you start to kind of tap into something a little bit deeper.
One is like more of your deeper desires, but also your subconscious that's holding you back, right? So there are just all kinds of layers that you can unfold in journaling. And I, I think it's such a simple yet profound way to really look at our leadership and, and what we can do better and how we can, you know, work within ourselves to bring more of ourselves to the leadership table. So that's been super fun. All of the women inside the group are loving this program, and we've had some new corporate badasses join us as well throughout this 36 day executive reboot. And speaking of people joining, I encourage you, if you're listening to this and you've been on the fence thinking about joining an executive ahead of time to reasons that you absolutely need to join now, it's the perfect time. One is because this 36 day executive reboot goes all the way through the end of May. So you're getting additional live trainings for me, additional ways to connect in weekly roundtable discussions with the other corporate badasses, and then also additional live trainings from guest teachers that I'm bringing in to speak on different subjects. So it's absolutely a fantastic time to join and you get lifetime access to all of the training materials.
So if you feel like this is a busy time of year for you, jump right in anyway so that you can get started in the executive reboot. And then after the training is over and maybe you have a little more space in your calendar throughout the summer, you're still going to have access to the weekly coaching calls with me, to all of the training materials for life, to the other corporate badasses and the amazing community that we're creating inside of executive ahead of time. So run, don't walk. Sign up an executive ahead of Time.com. Join us. If you are listening to this podcast episode after the reboot is over, good news. All of the training materials will be uploaded to the membership site. You will still have access to those training materials for life will still be here with you doing the weekly coaching calls and the amazing training inside of executive ahead of time. So either way you can't lose, but definitely join us if you feel inspired and you're listening to this in the month of May. All right. Thanks so much.
Let's get started with today's episode. So I want to talk about feedback. You know, you've probably heard from either your mentor or other coaching guides or even just read in a book somewhere that it's important as an executive leader to understand how to solicit feedback. And and I definitely talk about that process inside of executive ahead of time and teach extensively on how to better solicit feedback at your organization.
And I use the word better because what happens for most of the women who join our program is they'll say something like, I've asked before, I've asked for feedback and they're not giving it to me. And what happens for those people a lot of times is they're just asking bad questions. So they're just asking something like, you know, what do you think? Can you give me feedback on my. Leadership. Right. And first of all, the other person's put on the spot. They're like, you know, you're doing fine. Keep doing what you're doing. Right. Of course they're going to answer that way. It's a bad question. It's not a useful question if you want to actually get the feedback that you want to get. And so inside of executive ahead of time, of course, I teach you how to ask better questions, how to solicit feedback in a way that actually gives you the response that you not just want to hear, but that you need to hear so that you can actually improve your leadership. So that is part of getting better at soliciting feedback. And then as you continue to grow in your career, it's just, you know, it's it's such an important skill that you need to bring with you. But today's episode, I'm not going to talk about any of that.
I am going to talk about closing down to feedback. Shutting feedback out. I'm going to tell you all of the feedback that you're taking right now that is terrible. And you need to stop, stop, stop it. Stop getting feedback from the wrong people, the wrong situations, literally. You're absorbing feedback in so many different ways and it's killing your career.
And so today's episode is all about how to stop taking in bad feedback and, you know, regain control over your own career and get into the driver's seat so that you can solicit the feedback that you actually and I'm not talking about getting Sunshine and roses feedback, right? Like tough feedback. I want people to tell me what I'm doing that's not working, you know, but you can solicit that feedback in a way that's actually useful for you. But the first thing we got to do is we got to cut out the noise and we have to stop taking feedback from the wrong people. So I'm going to start with an easy one here. One person that you're probably taking feedback from right now that's not necessarily useful is your friends and family. And the reason why I say this is, you know, with lots and lots of love, right? Our friends and family love us. And I think you should totally talk to your friends and family. Like, I'm not saying you don't like go out and get their advice, but be very careful about what they're telling you because your friends and family have a very specific lens on you.
They see you in a very specific way. And here is the number. Number one problem with getting feedback from our friends and family is they care about us. So our friends and family, their number one job is to protect us, to keep us from harm. And to them, that means no failure, right? Don't put yourself out there. Stay small. I have a great example of this, where a woman inside of executive ahead of time was soliciting feedback from her very dear friend and was so upset. And she came to me just completely distraught because she had asked her boss for a raise and she shared this information with her friend, who is a dear, close friend. And her friend just was like, you know, these things take time. Like, don't set your expectations so high, you should just wait and see. And she was like, Excuse me. Like, I just put myself out there. And now my very best friend in the whole world is telling me to lower my ambition. Right. And that was devastating to her because she felt like, you know, maybe actually she's second guessed herself because she took that feedback at face value and she's second guessed herself and she's like, you know, maybe she's right. Maybe I should shouldn't have asked.
Maybe I should have just waited and seen. And I told her, look, your friend is protecting you. Your friend is telling you to be happy with what you have, right? That's it. That is all she is telling you. And we have to realize that our spouses and our friends are are there to protect our feelings, to keep us safe. Right. And it doesn't it doesn't feel good, especially when you're being ambitious and you're putting yourself out there and you're very closest friend is telling you to to slow down. Right. Moral of the story is this woman got promoted, right? She got a raise, a huge raise. Because she asked. Right. Because she spoke up about her desire to lead more at the current organization that she's at. Right. If you play small, you're going to get small rewards. Right? But it's not I'm not saying that our friends and family are wrong. I just want you to start seeing this feedback and these ideas that they're planting in you for what they are. Right? They are there to protect you, to keep you playing small. I get I hear all the time from people saying that their spouses will tell them, you know, to be happy with the job that they have, be happy with the salary that they have, those types of things. Right. That's really, really common. And I love those spouses.
Right? They're totally fine. But don't take career guidance from those people. Again, they're trying to protect you. And so here's what you're going to do. Instead, you're going to listen to their feedback. You're going to love their feedback. You're going to say, Thank you for trying to protect me. I totally get it right, but I'm going to do it anyway. And here's the deal. I'll be okay. So for the woman that I mentioned earlier, it's like she basically was like, No, I'll be okay if they tell me. No, I'm fine. But of course I would rather have asked, right? Of course I would rather have spoken up. And so really all of the people who are there to protect you are just there to keep you safe. And you just have to show them that you will be safe, that you are safe, that you are in control, right or not. You just listen to their advice, nod and say, Thank you so much, you're the best friend ever and then go do it anyway. Right? Because that is you taking ownership of your career. That is you in the driver's seat. So you see where I'm headed with this. We take in all of this information and we take it at face value, which says, you know, maybe I should just be happy. Maybe I shouldn't, you know, rock the boat. And the truth is, we can be happy and rock the boat.
That is my life. This is the life that I'm living now. This is the life that the corporate bad ass is inside of executive ahead of time are living right is that we're happy and we're challenging ourselves. That is amazing. The next piece of advice that you are getting at random times and I've talked about this in previous podcast episodes, is advice from your boss, right. And you know, I am I have an episode that I'll link to in the show notes about three, you know, things that your boss will never tell you. Right. And what's happening is, on the flip side, the feedback that your boss is giving you right now is usually limited to basically, number one, you're asking weird questions, right? Which is just sort of like, let me know about my leadership, you know, that kind of thing. And so they're like, Oh, you're doing fine, right? But you're never going to get promoted with that kind of feedback. So that's the one thing that's happening for them. And then sometimes they really just honestly don't know what it's going to take to get you promoted. And they're working on their own career and they have their own challenges and they have their own life that they're thinking about. And so they're trying to figure out other things. And and they don't want to make any false promises to you.
So they're not going to give you a lot of specific feedback unless you ask about a specific thing. And so this goes into more about how to solicit better feedback, but I'll just throw out one example, which would be that you could ask a specific thing about a project. So you could say, You know, my goal is to get more exposure to the executive team, right? So that's something that could lead to your next promotion. So you're just owning that. You're not asking your boss to tell you how to get more exposure. You're saying, I'd like to get more exposure to executive leadership. And I think this project could really do that for me. And then you can ask for feedback on how you can actually get in front of executive leadership with this project, right? So again, that is asking a better question. That is getting better feedback. You can certainly ask for feedback about your performance for sure. And I'm not saying that you shouldn't, but I'm saying that we can't rely on those things, what people are telling us in order to give us feedback. Here's another example of a low level question that we're asking. So I had a beautiful conversation with a woman who is a senior vice president, absolutely amazing leader, really great at her job, who did a presentation in front of the board. And because of her old way of asking for feedback, right, like the traditional model of asking for feedback, she asked her boss literally, like, how did I do on that presentation? Right.
And when I say this is a low level question, I mean, you know, at the senior vice president level, I don't care about your presentation skills and, you know, your communication. And if the PowerPoint was good, right? It doesn't it's that is not a senior vice president. Question That is a very low level question because at that point, your presentation skills are not the problem. Right? You figure it out how to present to the board. There's a better question in there. And so what's going to happen for her is she's going to get really low level feedback and she's going to listen to it. So her boss is going to say something like, Oh, you did good, but I think these couple of slides could have been better. Right? And now she's going to focus on those two frickin slides and be totally sidetracked. So this is a great example of not listening to feedback. So even if she hadn't solicited that feedback, you might receive that feedback from somebody unsolicited, right? Somebody might give you feedback literally on your presentation skills. Take it for what it's worth. You'll make those two PowerPoints better, make those two slides better, and move the frick on because you have better things to do. Don't start analyzing your presentation skills, right? If you are at the senior vice president level and you are presenting to the executive team, it's worth being there, right? So then now though, what she wants to talk to her boss about is how she can better influence the board.
Right. She wants to actually have a richer conversation, a high level feedback conversation about the ability to influence them. Right. Not about her presentation skills, but about her influencing and what he read in the room. And was she able to get her point across to the board and what was his feedback there? Right. That's a much richer conversation. And then whatever feedback he gives her, now, she can actually do something with it. But that basic level of feedback that we're getting when we're asking these sort of low level questions is we're just getting keep doing what you're doing and just know you're doing great and oh, good for you and great presentation and stuff like that, right? That's not great feedback. It doesn't matter. Or on the flip side, they're telling you over and over again, like your presentation sucked. It's like. But you also need to figure out how to influence at that executive level. Yes, work on your presentation skills, but you can take a class to do that. The richer part and the part that's going to really affect your career and momentum moving forward is if you can realize how to influence executive level behavior.
That is huge, right? That's what we're doing in executive ahead of time. We're not working on presentation skills. We're working on how to build those relationships and build that trust so that we can start to be seen as that executive leader so that we can have that voice at the table. Now, the third person that I want you to stop listening to when it comes to getting feedback is yourself. You have got to stop listening to the feedback that you're giving yourself now inside of the executive reboot that we're doing in executive ahead of time. I am going to spend almost two weeks talking about how to trust yourself and trust in your ability to lead at that higher executive level and to begin to really look inside for the answers and stop looking outside. But the lens that I am giving you in in this in this piece of advice today about stop looking to yourself for feedback is in compare and despair. When we look at other people around us, we start to give ourselves negative feedback. Feedback that's not useful. So let's say, for instance, your coworker gets promoted and you don't get promoted and you're more qualified. Work harder, even get better performance reviews than your coworker. Now you're comparing yourself to your coworker and you're giving yourself the feedback that you suck, basically, that you're doing something wrong, that you can't figure this out, that this is really hard and what's wrong with me and clearly, you know, maybe I'm not cut out to be an executive leader.
Maybe I am lying to myself when I say that I'm doing a better job than she is. Right, whatever that might be. You're in this negative feedback loop on yourself, right? And it's strictly through comparison and nothing else. And so what I work with my clients on is how do we take ourselves out of that? So we're not comparing ourselves to that other person, but we're looking at what they did and we're realizing, Oh, I didn't do any of those things right. So like a great example would be you're annoyed because your coworker got promoted and you didn't. And I would say something like, Well, the reason they got promoted is because the executive team sees them as an executive leader. Right. And they don't see you as an executive leader. It's much more factual feedback. And then we can look at it and we can target and figure out why they don't see you as the executive leader versus your coworker. They did, right. And just because your coworker is not as great at their job, they still got promoted and they're getting paid more money. Right. And so what we want to do is actually tackle the right problem, which is how can you be seen more as an executive leader? But when you're giving yourself that compare and despair feedback on yourself, you're feeling very frustrated.
Another example of this would be something like you want to step more into the spotlight. You want to do more with thought leadership. You really want to have that voice at the table. Maybe you want to speak at panels, at conferences, or you want to join a board. You want to do something more. You want to give back. You want to be more than even just the current role that you have, which is awesome. That is amazing. And again, I can help you do that. But what the problem is, is we start to compare ourselves with other people. And this this happens even inside of executive ahead of time. Like we have some corporate badasses who have been working on the executive ahead of time process for two or three years. Right. They've been applying the executive ahead of time process in action and getting promotions, getting higher pay, becoming thought leaders in their industry, being asked to speak on panels, all of those amazing things. And then we'll have somebody new come in to executive ahead of time and they'll look at them and they'll be like, Oh, well, that's just not the way my industry is, or I don't know if I'll ever get there. But what you have to realize is that they took certain steps.
They were exactly where you were in the beginning, and they took steps that created a forward momentum for themselves. But as long as you're in compare and despair and you're looking at what they're doing and you're saying, Oh, I could never do that because of this reason or that reason, then you're not going to be able to do it. So the feedback you're giving yourself is that you're not ready or that your industry isn't the right industry, or it's not going to work for you. So stop listening to that feedback. Instead, get some perspective, realize what was the steps that they took to get where they are. They weren't born that way. They did certain things to be able to have the level of influence that they're doing. And the great thing is, is that I give you all of those certain things. So up until this point, before listening to this podcast, you're like, I don't even know where to begin, right? So all I can do is compare and despair. And I don't even know where to begin. Begin here. Begin with executive ahead of time. Begin with my book. Promotion's made easy, right? It lays everything out for you. And then we start to put it into action and we see for ourselves. But if you just stay in that place of giving yourself feedback of, of, of feeling like it's never going to work out for you.
Or on the flip side, maybe you're giving yourself really positive feedback, but it's not working because you're not actually getting the results that you want. You're not actually getting the voice at the table, but you're trying to reinforce it with positive affirmations. Right. And that doesn't feel good either, right? You're just like, Oh, it'll be fine. I'll be fine. Maybe I don't need a bigger role. You know, it's just like the advice that you get from your spouse, right? You know, be happy with where you are, all of those things. And even that is is detrimental feedback. You have to realize that if you're giving yourself all of this feedback, it is just to protect yourself, right? So everything is about protection. And when we're given feedback that we that actually is useful, when we're able to solicit the feedback that we really need to be getting, it's going to feel a little uncomfortable. You're going to feel nervous. But the reason that you're going to feel nervous is because you're stepping outside of your comfort zone. And, you know, as human beings, we like to be safe. We like to stay the same, we don't like change. But the more that you can embrace that change is going to happen. No matter what, though, we're always going to have moments in our career, no matter what choice, even if we find the perfect job, the perfect spouse, the perfect home, whatever that might be for us, even if we find that perfect situation, it will change, right? We will change inside that situation.
So the faster that we can embrace that and then know that we always have our own back, that we're always safe no matter what choices that we do, that we are resourceful human beings, that we deserve to have that voice at the table. And just like the woman that I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, she feels like she would rather ask to be compensated accordingly than not. And that is the life that she is choosing. So if you're listening to this episode and you're ready to choose that life, that life of getting feedback that you actually want and need to receive versus the feedback that's keeping you stuck, that's keeping you right where you are, that's keeping you safe, but that safety doesn't feel good. Then join us in executive ahead of time. I will keep you safe. I will show you how to make bolder decisions that actually progress you forward. Join us inside of executive ahead of time. The executive reboot is happening right now as we speak. No better time to join and go out there and get the feedback that you actually need to be receiving and cut out all the rest. Thank you so much for listening and I'll see you next week by.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.