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How to give feedback

How to give feedback

Charles-Axel Dein

July 07, 2017

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  1. Here's an example situation Your colleague said the software you

    just shipped on the connected toaster was "a piece of shitty spaghetti code".
  2. Simplified example: Non- Violent Communication 1. Observation: yesterday you said

    that my code was "a piece of shitty spaghetti code". 2. Feelings: this made me feel disrespected because I had put a lot of energy in this new feature. 3. Needs: for our team to function well, we need feedback to be shared in a respectful manner. 4. Request: moving forward, can you try to find better words and more actionable feedback?
  3. Framework 2: Crucial Conversations' STATE 1. State your facts 2.

    Tell your story 3. Ask for others' paths 4. Talk tentatively 5. Encourage testing
  4. Simplified example: Crucial Conversation 1. State: yesterday you said that

    my code was "a piece of shitty spaghetti code". 2. Tell: I can't help but think you want to hurt my feelings with such strong words. 3. Ask: what was your intention with sharing those strong words? "Hold to your belief; merely soften your approach"
  5. Simplified example: behavioral STAR model 1. Situation: yesterday in the

    chat room you said that my code was "a piece of shitty spaghetti code". 2. Task: N/A here. 3. Action: I felt disrespected as a result. We need everyone to share feedback respectfully. 4. Outcome: when feedback is shared respectfully, people are more keen acting upon it.
  6. Feedback antipatterns 1. The Generalization Attack 2. I'm not talking

    to you 3. The CIA Antipattern 4. The Sloth Sandbagging 5. The Feedback Sandwich
  7. If only you could be less aggressive when giving feedback

    on code reviews, it would make discussions easier! — Inexperienced Feedback Giver
  8. Avoid generalizations! 1. Use examples (facts). 2. Be specific (situation:

    where & when?). 3. Talk tentatively, avoid attacks. It's your story.
  9. Talk to the person 1. Use "you" when sharing feedback.

    2. Talk about concrete action your interlocutor did or didn't take. 3. Make it concrete and actionable!
  10. Don't give feedback about things the individual can't impact E.g.

    leading a project is mostly dependent on staffing and business priorities
  11. We can always do more! 1. Everyone's pretty busy. Focus

    your feedback on prioritization. 2. Clarify what impact was missed.
  12. You're such a knowledgeable person! You could mentor me more.

    But I love working with you! — Inexperienced Feedback Giver
  13. Go straight to the feedback! The feedback sandwich introduces cognitive

    dissonance and make it more difficult for your interlocutor to understand it.
  14. How to train? 1. Focus on positive feedback delivery (5:1

    ratio). 2. It's fine to generalize if you can find examples. 3. Do not nitpick!