- On October 13, 2019
Careers take long and winding roads. To figure out what to do and how to improve yourself means getting the input of others. How do you best do that? This Harvard Business Review article says to use the word “advice” rather than “feedback” when you ask for help!
Multiple studies have found asking for “feedback” results in vague responses, but asking for “advice” brings on specific, actionable input. For example, employees asked to give feedback on the work of colleagues said general things like “they gave a very good performance”, but when asked to give colleagues advice, responses were more actionable, e.g., “In the future, I suggest checking in with our executive officers more frequently. During the event, please walk around, and be present to make sure people see you.” Apparently, asking for feedback makes the person focus on how someone did in the past, which makes it harder for the person to imagine future/better performance.
If asking for “advice” gets you better input, I would use that word over “feedback.” Also, I have found people enjoy giving advice, especially lawyers! (See this article, for example.) So if you need to learn more about a company, interview process, your presentation, etc., make the request in the form of getting advice!