The debate about feedback at work is a popular topic in a modern workplace. In this mental model, we review making feedback a two-way conversation.
- How to get employees to improve?
- How to give feedback?
- When to give feedback?
- Is feedback important?
Having attended emotional-intelligence training and read a many LinkedIn and HBR articles, I have arrived at the following opinion.
- Avoid negative feedback.
- Celebrate behaviours that led to success.
- Celebrate failures and lessons learned as much as success.
- Have conversations about observations, impacts, and asks.
1. Avoid giving negative feedback.
Focusing people on their shortcomings doesn’t enable learning; it impairs it.
Here are some quote’s from recent HBR articles. I’m not saying you should never do it, but there is some compelling studies as to the ineffective nature of negative feedback.
Negative feedback rarely leads to improvement.
HBR articles on Feedback
- Harvard Business Review: Negative Feedback Rarely Leads to Improvement
- Harvard Business Review: The Feedback Fallacy
2. Celebrate behaviours that led to success.
Success is repeatable through regular routines, and strong practices. It’s important to celebrate and improve the practices and routines that you’ve leveraged to attain success, or have observed others have leveraged to be successful. Examples: agile, lean-product, design-thinking. Celebrate the insights, the behaviours and the outcomes.
3. Celebrate failures and lessons learned as much as success.
Lessons learned, hypothesis, experimentation, measurement, and iteration. This is the lifeblood of a modern and thriving organization. Celebrating failures and lessons learned as much as successes establishes your organization with the right type of culture to pursue the “next”, and embrace future opportunity.
4. Have conversations about observations, impacts, and asks.
Lara Hogan has an article that I’ve seen referenced many times, called The Feedback Equation. I’m a fan and believer in this approach, given the conversational nature. In a nutshell, I make an ask with observations and impact data. The person whom I am making the ask too can determine to acknowledge, or further clarify my ask and together we can arrive at an action plan. I have never been entirely disregarded as I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing folks who have a learning mindset.
Over time, my thoughts, lessons learned, and opinions change as I get access to new data, learn something new, or am persuaded by stronger logic.
As a result, the content you are viewing may change.