Newsletter – April 10, 2019

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5 tips for giving better feedback

Hi friends,

So far in our feedback series, we’ve talked about CSAW, our framework for giving feedback and how to give quality praise. This time, we’re sharing our most important tips for giving feedback.

  1. Don’t try to hide it. This isn’t like sneaking spinach into a mango smoothie to get someone to eat more vegetables. First of all, they’ll know because the smoothie will be brown. Second of all, you can’t trick someone into receiving feedback. Instead, be clear when you’re about to give feedback, even if that means adopting a go-to phrase to initiate it (whether in-person, on the phone, or by email) every time. Examples:
    • “I have some feedback on X! Can I share it?”
    • “I’m concerned X isn’t on track. Can we schedule a time today to talk about it?”
  2. Do systematize it. If you’re someone who feels very stressed or awkward about giving feedback, systematizing is a must. If you wait until feedback is urgent, you’ll miss several opportunities to give it. More importantly, systematizing feedback helps you mitigate bias. We tend to feel more comfortable sharing feedback with people who are like us or to whom we feel close. This means that—unless you intentionally choose otherwise—your staff who have marginalized identities that are different from yours probably receive less feedback overall. Less feedback = fewer opportunities to grow! Here are ways to systematize:
    • Put a “feedback” or “lessons” bullet in your check-in agenda so it’s just part of what you discuss each week.
    • For projects, get in the habit of scheduling debriefs.
    • If you’re onboarding a new staff member or starting a new manager/staff relationship, build in giving (and soliciting) feedback from the start, so it becomes normal.

For our last three tips, check out the full article!

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