A feedback based personal review: why? (part1)

photo: Choice, past, by Ilias Bartolini

At the turn of this last new year I spent few days in my hometown with my family and closest friends in Italy.
During those days while reading some of my daily blog updates I stumbled upon Aimee Daniells’ 2011 retrospective so I also started writing some random personal notes on a mind map to start a personal review.
Some people call this just a set of “new year resolutions”. But I found many other positive factors that made its result very effective!

After one month the result and positive effects of this self-review are so great and caused me a sense of epiphany on many aspects of my last year. Despite is just a personal experience I hope that sharing it you can find similar benefits running your own review!

Why should I run a personal self-review?

I discovered two main benefits.

The first one comes from reflecting on yourself in retrospect. Many of us are busy in their daily life and we forget to use a wide-angle perspective and our long term personal path. Starting from external feedbacks you can start noticing new facts and learn completely new lessons from your own life, reflect on your values, set your new expectations and take action! Create an inner-feedback cycle and strengthen your own self-confidence and improve effectiveness.

The second is about strengthening your confidence in relation with your peers. You can decide to share you review (and I encourage you to do it!) with some of the people that are closer to you. For me moving to a new city and working as a consultant caused to meet lot of new people, change often colleagues and clients. But is important to remember that we are people not curriculums. World and society is changing faster every day, but we should continue caring about the path and steps of people around us, not the size of their shoes.
While early and quick feedback is important, sharing this wider perspective with the people around me created a second external feedback cycle. Share your ideas and be open to receive new long term suggestions and insights!

But is this a review about your work or your life?

Well, it started as a work and career review, than I started thinking in term of work-life balance and suddenly reminded myself that work is just a part of our life :)
You should use a bird-eye-view both in time and space!
Many of the best answers I found came from creating a correlations between changes in my work and the life context.

What has been the most important thing you learned last year?

Is about “learning from feedback” both in work and in life: ask for it, share it with your peers, take actions and say “thank you”!
And feedback has been one of the most important values and principles of my review!

For this lesson I must say a very big THANK YOU to my teammates and fellow colleagues at ThoughtWorks.
I recommend reading Pat Kua’s posts on Feedback where you can find a guide on “Receiving Feedback” 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Soon I’ll write more about the process and some details that made my review very effective and until now very successful.