Following the conclusion of my first project as a consultant, I felt a bit uneasy about the whole thing. We were at the client site for eight weeks, and just like that, it was over.
The client was appreciative and happy with our work, but I had my doubts. Would our work be beneficial in the long-term? Did we actually meet or exceed what was expected of us? What did I do well during the project? What could I have done better?
As these thoughts swirled in my head back at the office, I realized I shouldn’t have to wonder about this. I could and should be able to openly communicate with my managers, colleagues, and clients about these concerns on an ongoing basis. I came to the frustrating realization that I had dropped the ball on communicating throughout the project.
Realizing that a lack of communication was the problem, I decided to initiate a conversation with my project director and officer-in-charge (OIC) to discuss my performance on the project: a “project post-mortem,” if you will.
In retrospect, calling this meeting was one of the best decisions I have made in my career so far.
My OIC, Andrew Warden, was excited to see me asking for feedback and found time on his busy schedule for me.
I did my best to make sure that Andrew felt invited in. This means he didn’t have to wonder if I was ready to receive his feedback, I was asking for it. Opening yourself up for honest feedback can be scary, but these are the moments that promote personal and professional growth.
I still remember the care that Andrew took with his words in this conversation. At no point did I feel attacked or insulted, but I also began to clearly understand areas where I could improve.
The best part about our conversation is that I was left with a greater understanding of what is expected of me as a Credera employee. Without knowing what’s expected of you, performance is not possible. Going forward, I was able to use actionable advice from this conversation to make a noticeable difference in my day-to-day job performance.
Without question, I am grateful to work for a company where communication with leadership is available and encouraged. But even more so, I am grateful for leaders who understand the power of their words and are able to use them to motivate their employees and boost performance.