An Alternative to the Annual Review

Well, it’s that time again — time for the yearly performance review. The ritual starts with gathering feedback, proceeds to assigning rating/ranking, and drags on through doling out a raise. Do you enjoy annual review ritual? Thought not. This year I think...

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...

Gird Your Loins

….. It’s Time for the Annual Performance Review Vague statements and labels, one-sided evaluations, surprises, and secondhand complaints are just the sorts of things that can make a person want to run away screaming from an annual performance...

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...

Managing a Struggling Employee

Sooner or later every manager faces the same dilemma: what do I do when I inherit or hire an employee who turns out to be a poor fit for the job? And how much time and effort should I invest in a performance improvement plan? Let’s start by taking a look at an...

Cupid’s Arrow at the Office

I was recently interviewed for an article on how managers should handle office romances: Office romance 101: Relationship advice for managers:46% of employees have been involved in an office romance. If you haven’t dealt with this issue yet, you surely will....

Held Hostage by a Prima Donna

What to do when your (so-called) MVP is destroying team productivity. Luke, the manager of the Rev 2.0 team, was walking on eggshells. He’d had another blow up with Shelly, the team architect. He tried to talk to her about the way she had treated the newest...

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,...

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...

Praise Sandwich Tastes Icky, II

Art Petty posted Why I Hate the Praise Sandwich.Praise sandwich, as you recall, involves buttering someone up with a compliment or praise, stating a criticism, and then fluffing them back up with another bit of praise.Sounds icky, too, doesn’t it?Art offers:5...

What to do with a struggling employee

Esther Schindler recently put forward a scenario about a struggling employee named Frank, and solicited advice from her network.Briefly, the scenario is this: Frank was a great maintenance programmer, but the company is retiring the system he worked on. Frank has...

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...

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