The perils of asking for critical feedback from colleagues.

It’s review season at work.   This means getting feedback on your performance.  It’s easy to hear how great you are.   It’s much more difficult to face the things you are doing wrong.  Odds are you know your deficiencies well, it’s hard to take when others realize them as well.  If you only hear what you’re doing right, there really isn’t much to improve on.

I had my review and there was some feedback that was a bit hard to swallow.   I’m extremely self critical as it is.

Tonight, I was out with a colleague/friend for beers.   We got on the subject of reviews.   At some point, I asked him what he felt was the number one thing holding me back in my career.   This is a terrible question to ask a friend.   It puts them in a bad spot, and I realize that.

More or less, he told me that it’s easy to complain and that odds are your lead already knows the problems.   What your lead needs is solutions to the problems.   To continually hear about the problems only fatigues your lead more.

I think the take away is that if you’re not proposing a way to fix an issue, you should just keep quiet.   Otherwise you become another unneeded burden to your lead.