Seeking feedback

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By: Mandy Mitchell

It is a common complaint in a newsroom: “I never get any feedback.”

First of all, if you aren’t hearing anything, that’s probably good news. Your news director has A LOT on her plate and you are likely doing just fine so you aren’t at the top of the list of things to address.

But, I know you want some feedback. Anyone who wants to get better wants feedback.

So what’s the right way to go about getting that? I have talked to several news directors and have asked this question. They have all told me it’s very simple. ASK!

Don’t just “pop in” your news director’s office and ask for a meeting. You should send a note asking if you can “get on her calendar” some time in the next few weeks. Explain that you want to go over a few stories or newscasts so you can improve.

Most news directors have told me they really enjoying the coaching aspect of the job, but it’s never top of mind because of the 1,000 other things they are doing daily.

Be prepared when you go to that meeting with work samples you want to look at. This could be specific dates or even a flash drive with the stories or newscasts ready to go. Be prepared with some things you know you should be improving and ask specific questions.

Also be prepared to hear some negative things. I’ve seen many a colleague over the years who complains they “never get any feedback” when what they really mean is “I never get a pat on the back for all of the good work I do.”

Don’t go into that office expecting a load of praise. This is a chance to get better, not a chance to have someone tell you they appreciate the work you are doing. In the words of Don Draper, “That’s what the money is for!” (even if you make very little money, that’s what it’s for)

Go get that meeting set up. Make it a habit. It will make you better and give you a better relationship with your ND.

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