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Peer-to-Peer Feedback

February 15th, 2011

One of the traps people fall into on teams is withholding information that’s critical for the team to function. Sometimes the information is about friction between team members. When team members don’t have a way to talk about small frictions, they turn in to big events, damage relationships and spill over onto the team.  So

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Public humiliation is not feedback

November 19th, 2010

@mick_maguire asked me about “Differentiation” and how it could possibly fit with an Agile team. It can’t. Not with any team. Mick also pointed me to a blog post where the writer, a fan of Differentiation, described how he implemented the process on his team. As a part of this meeting, each member of the

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No More Middleman: Avoid triangulated feedback

October 6th, 2010

Tom looked up to see Jonathan, who had just transferred onto the team, standing in the doorway to his office. Jonathan looked red and flustered. “What’s up, Jonathan? Looks like you’ve got something on your mind,” Tom said, waving Jonathan in and pulling up a chair for him. Jonathan slumped into the chair. “You know

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A Manager’s Guide to Getting Feedback

June 29th, 2010

© 2006-2010 Esther Derby Author’s Note: In general, anonymous feedback in the workplace doesn’t work. It destroys trust, and doesn’t give the opportunity for followup, clarification, or problem-solving. But there is an exception.  Sometimes the only way to get feedback up the chain–from direct reports to managers–is to use a process that anonymizes individual responses,

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Real-time Feedback

March 14th, 2010

(c) 2003-2010 Esther Derby This column originally appeared on Twice a week, I go to the gym and weight train with Brooke Darst, a Certified Personal Trainer. As I perform my exercises, Brooke provides a constant stream of feedback: Minor corrections, “Chin in! Lower your right shoulder. Stand up straight!” Encouragement, “Perfect!” and recognition

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Performance without Appraisal: Build Feedback into the System

October 26th, 2009

At the start of my series on Performance without Appraisal, I listed the goals that organizations hope to achieve with annual performance appraisals and so-called performance management systems: improve individual performance improve organizational results determine pay/promotion These are legitimate concerns. The data shows, and my experience tells me, that annual appraisals fail miserably with the

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When there’s disagreement on feedback data

May 18th, 2009

In my previous post, I described a framework for offering feedback on work results and work relationships. Step 2 is Describe behavior or results. Use neutral language and examples. If the person doesn’t recognize himself in the description or agree with the data, the conversation is over. Labels, comparatives, and absolutes raise defenses. Karen asks:

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The Benefits of Peer Feedback

April 14th, 2009

Peer feedback is a core skill for collaboration. It’s impossible to work closely with out running into some bumps: differences, disappointments, and disagreements. Peer to peer feedback can help keep working relationships on track and improve results (and it keeps the manager out of the transaction so it doesn’t be come a *big deal*). I

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Feedback Doesn’t Just Roll Down Hill

December 2nd, 2008

Many organizations have a model that feedback rolls down hill. The VPs give feedback to the Directors that report to them. Directors give feedback to the Managers. Managers give feedback to developers. It all cascades downward. A manager’s job is to create an environment where the people who report to him/her can succeed. While it’s

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What every manager should know about feedback

April 28th, 2007

Wanna know? Read it here: My article What Every Manager Needs to Know About Feedback is posted at

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