At Intuit I was leading an entirely distributed team with daily
group video chats. My manager gave me the feedback that my facial
expressions were making them feel as if I thought they were stupid. I was
totally unaware of non-verbal communication being a “thing” and I felt
awful. After correcting the behavior, those team members are now some of
my closest friends and colleagues.
There have been many times in my career when candid, actionable
feedback would have made a bad situation better, or a good situation more
awesome. When I started as a manager, I received feedback that my
enthusiasm during conversation steamrolls over other people. Receiving
ongoing feedback on this has made me a much better listener, and in turn
more effective in my work.
While engaging in the art of communication, I find myself committing
a million micro-failures every single day. I am finally aware of both my
strengths and weaknesses thanks to the brutally honest feedback I have
received. Realizing where I could improve was the first step in becoming a
better version of myself. Feedback is just the right tool for that.
Some of the best feedback I received was “you don’t have to do your
work alone.” I was an individual contributor working on a large cross-team
initiative. I failed, and we decided to stop working on it. I later
learned that when someone asks you to do something, it doesn’t mean they
are looking for you to be the sole contributor. Ask for their help.
As a volunteer and organizer for a mentorship nonprofit, I know
first-hand the lasting impact that a growth mindset can have on the lives
of our scholars — many of whom are first-generation college students.
Helping our students embrace a growth mindset and proactively seek amazing
feedback to grow as individuals (and future leaders) has been incredibly
Collaboration and real-time feedback have played an instrumental
role in my career. I thought I wanted to specialize in backend engineering
out of college. However, my team quickly took note of my passion for
frontend development and design. Through their feedback, I switched over
to a role that aligned with my superpowers. I’ve been fortunate to be on
the receiving end of amazing feedback and hope I can do the same for
others through Matter.
Early in my career, I was confused by feedback I received during a formal review. After debriefing with a close mentor, I realized my confusion didn’t stem from the feedback itself, but rather in its delivery. The feedback caught me by surprise. Since then, I’ve sought feedback proactively. This proactiveness has led me to grow in all aspects of my life, from personal development to career ownership.
As a designer, my process relies heavily on honest, constructive criticism. When I started my career, I tended to stay within my comfort zone. As a result, I struggled with how I received feedback. This made me plateau as a problem solver and critical thinker. Today, I’ve gotten past those fears and appreciate the learning opportunities that come from feedback.