Home - Archives for Mathurah Ravigulan

Author: Mathurah Ravigulan

How to Give and Receive Feedback

Feedback is necessary to grow, improve and reach your potential. Whether it be a second opinion on your English essay or a perspective on your company’s outreach event, being open to receiving feedback, listening to perspectives, building self-awareness and acting upon suggestions is essential for your personal development.

Here are some recommendations from the talented professionals at PwC on how to give and receive feedback to set yourself up for success:

  1. Ask for feedback. Asking someone like your employer for feedback demonstrates that you have a commitment to your growth.
  1. Watch emotions. When giving feedback to others, it’s always best to sandwich and interchange your positive and negative responses. Watch how you feel, listen carefully and make an action plan to set yourself up for success.
  1. Ask questions to clarify. Be curious, open-minded, and ask questions to clarify. Turn this year’s weaknesses into next year’s strengths. Asking questions to clarify can provide you more insight on what you can improve and further information on the person’s perspectives.
  1. Expand the conversation. Expanding the conversation can turn critiques into constructive feedback. A good way to give constructive feedback is to suggest ideas that can help opposed to stating their setbacks.
  1. Reach out to networks. Hearing different perspectives can help you establish common themes in your performance.
  1. Say thank you! Show appreciation to the person who has given you feedback.
  1. Engage. If you’re giving feedback to someone else, ask to follow up with them on their progress to show that you really care!

How to communicate effectively and build networks

Communication plays a key role in everyday interactions. Imagine you find yourself in a situation where you meet an executive of a company you want to learn more about, a job recruiter, or someone who has a career in the field you are wishing to pursue.

In all these scenarios, building an effective connection and networking with these individuals could greatly impact your life, open a door to new opportunities, and even get you a step closer to your professional goals.

Creating a personal pitch is the first step to build an effective connection. A personal pitch is a short speech that sums up who you are, what you do, what are your strengths and skills, and why you would be a perfect candidate. Your pitch should radiate your personal brand, have a distinctive style, and be unique.

How to develop a personal pitch?

  • What is the scenario? + What is your ask? Before talking to the person right away, take a moment to think about who you are talking to, and what information you are hoping to gain.
  • Explain what you do. This helps you introduce yourself and allow others to get to know you better. This information includes: what school you go to, the extracurricular activities you are involved with and any hobbies. Don’t forget to ask your conversation partners about themselves, as that shows you are engaged in the conversation and it will give you clues as to how they might be able to help you.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your Unique Selling Proposition incorporates your skills, the things that make unique, and relates to your personal brand. Think what words your friends and teachers would use to describe you. Make sure to relate this to the scenario you’re in; for example, if you’re looking for a social media internship at a company, stating that you play the ukulele wouldn’t really relate to it unless you elaborate on how that experience will help you with the job. Remember to keep your pitches concise and straight to the point so it can help you gain more information on how to take the next step to what you want.
  • Motivation: Think about why you are reaching out to that individual and what you want to obtain. Keeping your goals in mind will help you stay on topic and help you gain what you want in the end of the conversation.

 Now that you have your personal pitch, how can you communicate it effectively? Be consistent in the way you write, look and feel, interact, and speak. You don’t want to confuse the person you are talking to, so the easiest way to be consistent is to be yourself and have fun!

Gail Gramham, a member of Girls E-Mentorship (GEM), mentioned that “remembering names are great for networking.” Remembering someone’s name shows that you have interest in the person, have respect for them, and it can also make a difference on how someone feels about you and your brand.

When you are speaking, remember to embrace simplicity. Reinforcing common themes and showing that you are passionate about things you are saying will eliminate the need for technical jargon.

Finally, be mindful of the impact you make on the person rather than what you say, as people will remember how you made them feel. Starting the conversation with a handshake, a smile and introduction, and ending it by thanking them for their time would help you build a good connection.

A girl and her mentor talking about personal branding strategy

Tips to develop a successful personal branding strategy

Everyone has goals, ambitions and unique things about their personalities that make us who we are. Sometimes people forget how important personal branding is, and this GEMinar helped us realize that. The first step to developing a successful personal branding strategy is to know yourself, your strengths, your values, and your mission.

Superpowers: Knowing your strengths, skills, and special abilities are essential to developing your personal brand. To determine what they are, just think about what your friends, teachers, and people around you would say are your greatest strengths. This is a great way to market yourself to potential employers. Interviewers always ask what skills you have that would contribute to the job, and now you have an answer!

Values: Establishing your values is important because they help you grow and develop. What are the things that you live by? Values are important because they help you prioritize what matters the most. If something goes against your values, why do it?

Personal Mission Statement: Your mission statement gives you a sense of purpose, and it defines who you are. It combines your superpowers, your values, and your goals. It may be hard to fit all this in one sentence, but it forces you to think deeper and identify what is important to you.

After doing these three steps, you can now create a plan for what you want to accomplish this year. Think about how to apply your personal brand in your everyday life, for example, if one of your values is kindness, how would you show kindness today? Be true to your personal brand to stay on your path to success!