One of the most underrated, most useful habits I've built: When completing some work, leaving a job, etc. ask for testimonials on LinkedIn. I learned this from Sebastian multiple times.
First, when he wrote me my first LinkedIn testimonial, after which I felt compelled to write him one. Not that I was forced to, but it nudged me to do something I've always wanted to do anyway – show my gratitude by telling the world how great he is.
Second, during the GiveGetWin speaking tour we did in the U.S. in 2015, when went around asking and filming audience members for video testimonials.
Finally, as he writes in his book Gateless,
A key skill to learn — and it’s simple and quick, but does need practice — is asking to get testimonials and feedback after work.
This is possibly the single-most critically underused tool among people that have intangible work like management or back-end programming. It’s critically underused because it’s not hard to learn, and the dividends from it are enormous.
Why don’t people do it? For many people, the idea of asking someone for a reference feels awkward. “Can you, umm, write me a testimonial?”
– Marshall, Sebastian; Zau, Kai. Gateless
So this morning, I wrote down a few todos for myself. Ask Oli for a testimonial. Ask Yasser for a testimonial. etc.
As always, it felt uncomfortable. Did I really do a great job? Won't I put them in an awkward place? Ugh, maybe I don't have to?
One source of this discomfort is feeling like a 'taker' rather than a 'giver.' So what I like to do is write someone a recommendation first. Then say something like, "I'd also appreciate a simple recommendation if you think it's worth writing one for me ;) no pressure though :)"
I hope the result is that only the people who'd love to give me a recommendation gives me one.
So I asked. As they say, ask and you will receive.
This is what a few minutes of discomfort can result to. It does way more for my credibility than if I wrote thousands of words detailing what I could do and what it's like to work with me.
Upon completing some work or leaving a job... Ask for testimonials, always.