One of the differences between school and work is that you can think that you are doing fine at work if no one is yelling at you. That should not give you peace of mind.
You and your work are being monitored and measured all the time. Your challenges are to find out what your employer has observed, to a accept the critique with good grace, and to take the advice to heart.
1. “Do not ask for feedback.”
Why? Because “feedback” is a non-specific word that covers a multitude of issues. It scares people.
Ask for what you want.
Make a meaningfully specific request for what you want. Do you want:
- a comprehensive line-by-line review of the text and the analysis,
- an evaluation of the research strategies,
- a diagnoses of the quality and caliber of the sources used,
- a discussion of the grammar and spelling,
- a conversation about the grace of the language,
- a critique of the power of the argument, and/or
- a candid review of the relevance of the discussion?
Presenting a specific agenda is a professional approach to setting up a meeting. Asking for specific critique about a facet of your work helps your supervisor focus.
2. Find the time.
Check with your supervisors’ assistant to find a spot in her schedule, then ask for 15 minutes during what you know to be an open time block. Bring coffee. It’s a nice gesture.
3. Keep these conversations private.
Do not ask about your documents in public (including in the elevator.) Your supervisor may (a) not remember the specific critique that she wanted to give; and/or (b) not want to discuss your work (and the confidential client matter) in public.