Feedback about Feedback

I attended TODO this month and shared my experience with giving and receiving feedback in my new job. The slides include speaker notes which pretty much matches what I said on the night.

I requested feedback at the end, and Filipe Mendes shared some questions he had, so I’m sharing the answers publicly.

You mentioned two tools that the company uses and we have seen the logos but I couldn’t understand their name. Having it written on the slides would be useful at that time so that I could look for them online

Peakon and Lattice.

I agree with the fact that the talk was a bit shorter than what it could be. You work in a context that I think it’s very uncommon in the IT industry, with tools and systems (related to feedback) that very few companies have, and therefore, your input is highly valuable.

👍I think there’s been a few threads about feedback recently. I’m not sure what other people are used to in terms of formal processes for feedback; could be worth some surveys!

Any conclusions/results you can take in a short/medium/long period from using them?

It’s tiring 😀 It’s not something I can do very often in depth, so it’s really important that I just write two-three sentences as soon as I think “oh that thing/behaviour that X did was really helpful, they should get credit for that”.

For the in-depth feedback, I usually write notes for myself so that when I have time, I can bring up the relevant, specific examples.

How did people embrace it? Does it seems too much for people? I got the impression in the beginning that all these systems were “too much” for you.

I think a lot of people start out with the best intentions—when they have the feedback onboarding session, they might think that they’ll be giving and receiving written feedback all the time, but we know that’s not the case.

Getting critical feedback in general is hard, especially if you’re not used to it; getting it as part of a formal review or unsolicited can feel especially overwhelming.

That’s why it’s important to give recipients the best opportunity to understand your perspective, whether that’s chatting to them beforehand or soon after, or using examples so that everyone has the same point of reference.

Did the way in which these system are being used, changed in the past year(s)? Since the company has been having a tremendous growth in such a short time or maybe because some forms of feedback simply didn’t work as expected?

I don’t know this one, I’ve only been here a year. I know that there has always been a culture of feedback from the beginning, but the tools may have changed over time.

Is there any possibility, and are you even allowed, to publish some of the content you spoke about in form of a blog post? I am highly interested in how teams communicate and scale and how companies adapt in those situations, so that would be very interesting to me!

Does this count? 😬I’d probably defer to existing resources; the talk was specific to my experiences and had anecdotal examples of success.

I’m reading “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?” by Alan Alda, and I recently got “Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well” which I’m looking forward to reading.

Thanks for the feedback!