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...

Peer-to-Peer Feedback

One of the traps people fall into on teams is withholding information –feedback– 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...

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...

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...

A Manager’s Guide to Getting Feedback

Managers–like everyone else–need feedback to know how and where to adjust their actions. Managers may receive feedback from their managers. That’s necessary, but not sufficient. In addition to hearing how things look from above, managers need feedback from...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Tapdancing around feedback

Johanna has a post about feedback on her blog…based on a feedback practice from our recent Managing One-on-One workshop.In her post, a feedback giver hints and talks all around the situation, rather than respectfully but directly describing the situation and the...

Feedback is information, not evaluation

I define feedback as information – not evaluation. Managers do need to assess results; but providing information about results (or behavior) is more effective than making a statement that evaluates the person.That means no blaming statements like, “You’re lazy” or...

Feedback Traps

Last week I did a feedback workshop at the AYE conference. I do this workshop from time to time, and while each workshop is unique, and there are consistent patterns. As I walk around the room and listen to people practice giving feedback, there’s always at least one...

Pseudo-feedback

I have a lot of energy for effective feedback. Unfortunately, I haven’t reached all the managers (and just plain folks) in the world yet, so there are still folks out there giving feedback that is veiled, garbled, unactionable, and downright hurtful.Take for...

a peer feedback example

Last week I wrote about peer-to-peer feedback. In response, Liz Keogh offers her story here.It almost always works better when peers resolve their own issues, even when the issues are socially awkward. Had Liz taken this issue to the MD, I suspect the outcome...

Peer-to-Peer Feedback

I talk to a manager who had attended one of my feedback workshops.One of his staff members had come to him complaining about another team member who had a habit of eating cookies when they worked together, and was getting crumbs all over his desk and keyboard.Prior to...

The Promise of Feedback

One of the promises of all the agile methods is frequent feedback about the state of the project and the product. With frequent feedback, we can adjust our actions and goals based on the current reality and manage empirically. Sounds good, but the practice isn’t...

Reasons managers avoid feedback

From Fast Company, Elizabeth Pagano offers a handful of reasons that managers avoid having conversations with employees about performance:”Eleven Things We Tell Ourselves to Avoid Giving Bad News.”I don’t think she can handle it. I’ll hurt his...

Feedback that gets through

I’ve been thinking about something Charlie Seashore said when he was in town in December: People are more likely to hear feedback that isn’t about an area where they’ve already done a lot of thinking and formed an opinion.This seems true to me, and...

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