Asking your boss for feedback can be intimidating, but it’s a great way to learn and grow. This is an opportunity to get pointers on your performance beyond your annual review that can help you rise to the top.

Beyond that, most employees don’t take the initiative to request a critique, so taking this step will definitely impress your manager. Here’s how to get the most from it.

Choose the Right Time and Place

You can’t expect your manager to come up with meaningful commentary on a whim. If you walk into their office unannounced or otherwise catch them off guard, you won’t get much out of them. Avoid this by scheduling a meeting in advance to discuss your performance. This gets the two of you on the same page and gives them plenty of time to really think about what you’re doing well and where you could use some improvement.

Know What You Want

Speak up if you’re looking for feedback on a certain topic(s). Your boss isn’t a mind-reader, so if you don’t ask for it, they might not touch on the area(s) you’re really interested in. In your meeting request, include a note stating the specific issue(s) you’d like to discuss, so they know what to focus on. This ensures you’ll get the kind of critique you really want.

Listen Carefully and Take Notes

Both positive and negative feedback from your boss can be incredibly useful, so pay close attention to what they’re saying — not how it makes you feel. You’ll have plenty of time to reflect on their comments later. It’s only natural you might feel a little nervous or self-conscious during the meeting, so take notes to ensure your anxiety doesn’t cause you to miss any key points. If you’ve asked your boss to touch on a variety of topics, jotting their remarks down will help you remember everything later on.

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