Frameworks for Feedback (Long version) - 2016 May Self Conference

Frameworks for Feedback (Long version) - 2016 May Self Conference

Code reviews, stand up, retros, and performance reviews — all acknowledge the importance of communication and feedback and they are good starts. But they don’t tell you how to give negative feedback or ensure that you, as a teammate or manager, hear the small things before they become big things.

Long version includes discussion of written feedback and managing up.

Let’s talk about feedback and examine frameworks for how to ask for and frame feedback effectively. Not all situations call for the same type of feedback and some are more sensitive than others. We will look at Non-violent communication, techniques from family and marriage therapy, as well as more traditional frameworks for feedback.

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Rebecca Miller-Webster

May 21, 2016
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  1. Frameworks for Feedback @rmillerwebster #feedbackworks

  2. Rebecca Miller-Webster CTO @teampolymathic teampolymathic.com @rmillerwebster | github.com/rmw | rebecca

    miller-webster.com Founder & President @writespeakcode writespeakcode.com
  3. Communication is what we do

  4. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Feedback: type of communication

    • How am I doing? • How do people see me? How do people respond to me? • Can I get my ideas across? Can I create consensus and buy-in? • Am I successful at what I want to be successful at?
  5. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Agile, Lean, etc •

    Retros • Standups • Code Review • Continuous Integration • Continuous Delivery • User testing
  6. Feedback works! Rigorous inspections can remove up to 90% of

    errors from a software product before the first test case is run. Defect detection rates: unit testing: 25% integration testing: 45% design review: 55% code review: 60% Steve McConnell Code Complete Robert Glass Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering
  7. We need to think more about ALL kinds of feedback.

  8. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Everything is feedback •

    what is NOT said • who is interrupted • who speaks up • who stays quiet • who is invited • body language
  9. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Let’s talk about feedback

    1. How to (and why) create structure for feedback 2. Frameworks for feedback 3. How to give good feedback 4. Sensitive and difficult conversations
  10. Create structures around feedback

  11. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf More meetings?!? • Giving

    negative feedback is difficult for everyone • Positive feedback is also important feedback • People are motivated by progress • Ad-hoc feedback burdens the person with an issue • Regular feedback builds trust & safety
  12. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Feedback Structures • 1

    on 1: Manger/Employee, Teammate, Pairing • Group: Retros, Stand up, Post Mortem • Indirect: Surveys, Written Reviews, Observation
  13. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Feedback Timing 1. Pre:

    How to work together & collaborate best, understanding each other’s communication & leadership style, what working on 2. During: Progress. How are things going? Are things going how we expected? 3. Post: How did it go? What can we do better next time? 4. Cumulative: Review from other feedback + identify patterns or changes
  14. Frameworks to use for feedback

  15. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Give Feedback • Goal:

    Better relationship. No defensiveness • Talk about actions and not the person • Don’t forget the niceties
  16. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Situation, Behavior, Impact 1.

    Situation: Set the situation 2. Behavior: Describe the person's behavior 3. Impact: State the impact of this behavior 4. Recommendation: Provide a recommendation
  17. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Don’t forget positive feedback

    • Genuine • 3:1 (up to 10:1) • When combined with negative, should have the same context “You’re really good at this but I’m concerned about Y”
  18. Feedback Sandwich • Praise: Identify strengths • Issue: What needs

    to be developed • Opportunity: Where and how to improve
  19. Note on Written Feedback • Acknowledge what others have said

    • Choose words carefully - avoid sarcasm, humor, & colloquialisms • Tone down - everything is harsher in writing • Written words are perceived as “official”
  20. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Types of feedback 1.

    Regulatory instructions: “follow this code styleguide” 2. Advisory comments: “you could rename this variable for clarity” 3. Descriptive observation: “you used this same conditional twice” 4. Rhetorical questions: “how does this relate to the classes purpose?” 5. Direct criticism: “you needed to use the strategy patten here” 6. Praise: “this refactoring makes the code much easier to read!” 7. Correctness: “this line of code will never execute”
  21. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Types of feedback 1.

    Regulatory instructions: “follow this code styleguide” 2. Advisory comments: “you could rename this variable for clarity” 3. Descriptive observation: “you used this same conditional twice” 4. Rhetorical questions: “how does this relate to the classes purpose?” 5. Direct criticism: “you needed to use the strategy patten here” 6. Praise: “this refactoring makes the code much easier to read!” 7. Correctness: “this line of code will never execute”
  22. Managing Up • Observe and determine management and communication values

    • Acknowledge and praise what is important to them • Share your perspective (impact) • Do NOT tell them what you would do
  23. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Managing Up • Describe

    problem with Situation, Behavior, Impact • Recommend solution or approach • Include alternatives • Explain the implications • Discuss benefits • Develop an action plan
  24. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Receive feedback • Goal:

    better relationship & self-improvement • Listen • Ask questions to understand • Thank you & Follow up
  25. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Mirror, Empathy, Validation 1.

    Mirror: Repeat what was said; Confirm your understanding is correct 2. Empathy: Show you understand why and what feel 3. Validation: Ask follow up question that shows you are listening
  26. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf MEV: Mirror • “I

    hear you say …. Is that correct?” • “When you said … would it be fair to say you meant … and felt …?” • “Am I correct in understanding that when I did … you felt …?”
  27. People want to feel heard.

  28. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf MEV: Empathy • Curiosity

    about people • Seeking to understand a person’s reasoning and emotions without judgement • Make connections between your experience and another person’s, even in different contexts
  29. A person’s reasoning and emotions are V ALID even if

    you don’t agree with them.
  30. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Empathy is a skill

    • Listen and summarize • Recognize and name your own emotions • Shut off your inner narrator
  31. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Request Feedback • Goal:

    Get honest, actionable feedback • Regular requests are more likely to illicit honest & comprehensive feedback
  32. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Start, Stop, Continue 1.

    Start: What should I start doing? 2. Stop: What should I stop doing? 3. Continue: What should I continue doing?
  33. Listen. Ask questions.

  34. How to give good feedback

  35. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Good Feedback • Actionable,

    Specific, & Kind • Contextual • Encourages team • Within recipients scope of skills • Speak from your own experience
  36. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Accountability • Review previous

    action items • Explain why • Acknowledge all ideas, opinions • Review results
  37. Without a response, people will stop speaking.

  38. The Hard Stuff

  39. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Power dynamics • Power

    is influence • Power is access to resources • Formal or informal • Words from a person with power have exponential impact
  40. Power dynamics exist whether we acknowledge them or not.

  41. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Microaggressions • Unintentional daily

    acts • Reinforce stereotypes and oppression
  42. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Microaggressions • Tone policing:

    “You’re so aggressive” • Othering: Fantasy football for team bonding
  43. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Call out • “That

    makes me uncomfortable” • “Please stop talking about/doing that”
  44. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf How to respond to

    being called out • “Thank you for letting me know.” • “Can I follow up with you about this? I’d like to better understand what I did wrong.”
  45. Impact before intention

  46. @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf Non-violent communication • Facts:

    What happened without commentary • Feelings: Emotion it made you feel • Needs: Human need that wasn’t met • Requests: What you would like the person to do in the future
  47. Diversity is a learning opportunity

  48. Go forth & give feedback • Situation, Behavior, Impact, Recommendation

    • Mirror, Empathy, Validation • Stop, Start, Continue • Facts, Feelings, Needs, Request (Non-violent communication) @rmillerwebster | @teampolymathic | @selfconference #selfconf