Effective feedback

Effective feedback
Photo by Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

I’ve always believed effective leadership is around your ability to give effective feedback.

And how you show up to your team can influence their lives and career trajectory.

There are two sides to feedback:

1️⃣ Giving feedback means we care about the person and are willing to tell the truth, even if we think it may leave them disappointed.

2️⃣ Receiving feedback means we have to not let our emotions filter the actual intention, and see it as an opportunity for growth.

And sometimes feedback feels personal and uncomfortable. Out of our many daily tasks and juggles, people tend to remember how they feel upon these encounters. So how could you give effective feedback without the pressure?

The good news is effective feedback is a language you can learn how to speak and be fluent in over time. Here are some ways I’ve used to deliver feedback:

✅ Practice radical candor by being direct and being caring. My former boss recommended I read “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott, and I learned how to deal with difficult situations that I encountered in the workplace. They say before delivering tough feedback, start with sharing what’s working before sharing what’s critical. This helped build trust with my coworkers and ensure a safe and collaborative environment.

✅ Ensure safety and remove judgment. If it’s a personal type of feedback, “my experience of you is”. If it’s a productive type of feedback, “What I believe stands in the way to get to [desired place] is”. The key is to express that it's your viewpoint of the matter, and may not reflect the experience others have of them. It's also important to remind the person that feedback is not right or wrong, good or bad -- it's simply a piece of information, an observance, and what they choose to do with that feedback is ultimately up to them (and as someone who gives feedback, never expect that feedback to always land for the other person.)

✅ Be human. Learn what the person is trying to accomplish in their career. Some of the most influential leaders weren’t born influential — they had to start somewhere and made mistakes. Practicing empathy is important to practice sympathy, and it's important to come from a growth mindset to become better versions of ourselves.

Product and people are one and the same. Even the most disruptive feedback can be supportive. In all, the way you show up may determine someone’s attitude toward you. The way a product shows up may have someone criticizing your work. The values you carry as a person can be seen and applied to any product you’re working on.

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