The Risks of Anonymous Feedback

In one of the online forums I participate in, someone declared that feedback between peers must be anonymous. His rationale was that people won’t be honest without anonymity. I have found that it is possible to be honest and not anonymous.  I’ve also found that anonymous feedback backfires in number of ways: People veer into…

Continue Reading →

Peer-to-Peer Feedback

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…

Continue Reading →

Public humiliation is not feedback

@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…

Continue Reading →

No More Middleman: Avoid triangulated feedback

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…

Continue Reading →

A Manager’s Guide to Getting Feedback

© 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,…

Continue Reading →

Real-time Feedback

(c) 2003-2010 Esther Derby This column originally appeared on Computerworld.com 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…

Continue Reading →

Performance without Appraisal: Build Feedback into the System

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…

Continue Reading →

When there’s disagreement on feedback data

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:…

Continue Reading →

The Benefits of Peer Feedback

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…

Continue Reading →

Feedback Doesn’t Just Roll Down Hill

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…

Continue Reading →

Page 1 of 11