Many organizations are immersed in their Digital Transformation processes. Within this transformation we can find many elements that need to be addressed: business, technology, agile and culture. I have been in several companies helping them in their transformation, and I have realized that in many cases there is no culture of giving and receiving feedback. Below I will tell you why feedback is important, and I will share with you a real case of how constructive feedback can be decisive.
Why is feedback important?
- Feedback keeps teams active: the culture of giving and receiving constructive feedback needs to be fostered. As a manager, it can help you to develop the competencies of your teammates.
- It gives a sense of belonging and purpose: It is a good time to talk about values and culture of the organization. So both positive and negative feedback contribute to a sense of purpose and trust.
- It fosters growth and happiness.
- Feedback is an essential element in innovation and change management. It will help you implement a culture of continuous improvement within your organization or team.
- Unlock and encourage teams using feedback.
How feedback helped a friend of mine: true story
A few weeks ago a friend of mine left a comment on a post published by another person on Linkedin, and his comment was not constructive (to say the least). His message was: «uffff, lots of room for improvement». With these words, it seems logical to think that the person who wrote the post would not know what he did right and what he did wrong, nor what could be improved. When I saw it, I wrote to my friend, reminding him of what we learned in the Management 3.0 course (module: better feedback) on how to give constructive feedback using Feedback Wrap.
I asked him about the context, because giving a context we can increase the probability of success. After that, I encouraged him to think about what he observed before he wrote his comment, it’s important to give specific observations about what you see. Then I told him that I was interested to know why he was angry with this publication, what happened when he saw for the first time this comment on LinkedIn? His answer was, that he was tired to read fake news about agile, Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, etc. And i told him, so, if you want this to change, you have to do or say something, but in constructive way, helping people, leading by example.
Finally, we discussed about the fact that if we want people to take action quickly, we need to help them by giving some suggestions. For example, telling them what’s your opinion about this topic.
So my friend decided to rewrite his comment by turning it into constructive feedback, more oriented towards continuous improvement. The result of this approach was that the director of the company contacted him and offered him a collaboration between both parties.
My friend never thought that building a feedback to give in a constructive way, helping a person, would allow the person to know how to continue, how to improve, what action he could take after this feedback. Now this manager has introduced a feedback culture in her organization that allows people to give and receive feedback in a way that everyone is looking for continuous and collective improvement.
Today, my friend uses the feedback wrap whenever he feels it is appropriate. According to him, using the Feedback Wrap (which we will see below) allows him to generate trust when trying to find a ways to help other people become better people and better professionals. On the other hand, he told me that he is currently working with teams remotely, and he also uses it, and that it generates very positive results in people’s behavior and their mood.
I actually used this case in several Feedback Wrap sessions. And in many of them, the attendees told me that they find it difficult to put into practice. And it is true, it is not easy to give and receive feedback. You have to generate trust and a healthy environment beforehand. And to do this, I think you have to lead by example and ask for feedback and make others see how important it is for you and the organization.
What is the Feedback Wrap?
The feedback wrap consists of the following steps:
- Describe the context: The context helps a lot to know why we are giving this feedback. This allows person empathizes with us and generates a good communication.
- List your observations: Offer specific observations of moments with examples. This will make it easier for the person to understand what we are talking about.
- Express your emotions: Talk to them about your emotions and the impact has on you. Do not look for guilt.
- Sort by value: What are your needs? Explain to the person in front of you your needs. Not everyone has the same needs.
- Offer suggestions: Help them look for actions to improve by offering some suggestions.
Before giving feedback, look inside yourself for the motivations that push you to do it: ego, selfishness, anger, something personal, professionalism, etc. And try to get your feedback to help people instead of harming them. We must not destroy people but we must make them better. The more you surround yourself with great people, the more you grow personally and professionally. This is how a system can grow exponentially.