Path: Capabilities: Team: Management: Feedback
Saturday, 09 September 2017
13 Processes For Organizing Your Team’s Feedback
Feedback is emotionally fraught and labor-intensive, so we don’t do it. But what if all the work was done for you? What if feedback just became — data? Data you didn’t need to think about collecting. Data points that you didn’t need to agonize about in isolation, but that you could evaluate in the aggregate, and decide for yourself what they mean.
The freedom of the individual is that you are entitled to your own opinion. Feedback is just data. So why not collect it — without fear of over-correcting? Why not collecting it in the way that seems most intelligent to you? If feedback is a technology, an Invisible Technology, make it yours. A tool that works for you, a process you control.
Before you begin receiving feedback, it is good to begin by giving feedback. By giving feedback, you’ll develop a set of perspectives unique to you, on every person and thing in your life and business.
Your S.I. can ask you to evaluate your team members, and on a regular basis; so that, over time, the trajectory of your opinion is revealed to you. Evaluating does not necessarily mean sharing. It is up to you whether you’d like to share these opinions. The evaluation exercise is intrinsically valuable for your own clarity.
Your S.I. can ask you to evaluate your team as a whole, your company, your products, your market, the apps and vendors you use, the clothes you wear — anything! Evaluating things is just as important as evaluating people, and emotionally simpler. Criticism comes more freely when it is just an object.
Your S.I. will advise you to be brutally honest — because the purpose of these evaluations, first and foremost, is to become clear on what you think. And if you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with?
Sharing your evaluations is trickier, because it enters into political space. Your S.I. will ask you if you’d like to share your unfiltered evaluations, or if you’d like to write a summary that’s safe to share. (For what it is worth, we are cultivating an unfiltered feedback culture — honesty is powerful, but difficult).
Request feedback from everyone you interact with. Your S.I. can do the legwork. It will suggest a set of questions like “What’s the most impressive thing you’ve seen me do lately?” and “How do you think I can do to be more awesome?” Your S.I. will encourage you to personalize these, or add some of your own.
By framing the questions, you are framing the feedback. Framing sets you up for coherent analysis.
Feedback does not necessarily need to be about you. You can ask people about what they think about any number of topics.
For example, if you’ve just launched a new website, you can ask for feedback about that.
Systematic feedback is never collected just once. Your S.I. will go back to these people again and again over time — because the data that emerges over time is what is truly valuable for pattern analysis.
These requests need to be made graciously and conveniently. Your S.I. handles your relationships with a personal touch, but provides an intermediary layer that takes emotion out of it, and lets feedback collection be frank and efficient.
It is important to not exhaust your closest relationships with too many questions, so your S.I. can segment your network — and ask certain types of questions to certain sets of Contacts.
Once feedback is collected, it needs to be categorized. There may be a pattern of feedback about a certain character trait, or around a certain project.
Categorization is done in advance to make your lookup experience magical. If you want to see the 53 pieces of feedback on the website before you walk into a design meeting, you don’t want to have to sift through other piles of feedback. When your S.I. presents you with the 53 pieces of feedback, you want to be able to filter it by date, by type of person giving the feedback, by length, etc.
The more filters your S.I. applies to your data, the more powerfully you can use it. Request new filters as they occur to you!
7. Take Aways
Once you’ve got a set of feedback on a topic, your S.I. will ask you if you’d like to set aside a block of time to review and analyze it. Your S.I. will ask you what you think about each piece of feedback, and save your Take Aways.
Once you’ve reviewed each piece of feedback and written Take Aways, your S.I. will ask you if you see any Patterns. These Patterns are more relevant than any individual piece of feedback — and they can be as subjective as you want. Feedback is a rorschach, so it is up to you to interpret its meaning — and to seek the most empowering narrative.
Over time, your feedback will show delta — and you can use these Patterns to determine how you are improving. Your S.I. will save your Performance analysis, so you have a record of this evolution.
Performance is subjective. You may decide that you are not receiving enough negative feedback, for example — and therefore not taking enough risks.
Some business feedback is so positive, you’re going to want to share it with the world — for example, as a Testimonial on your website. Once your S.I. gets permission from the person who gave the feedback, your S.I. will upload and manage your testimonials for you.
Glowing personal feedback feels great, doesn’t it? When you receive it, your S.I. can request a recommendation on your behalf — on LinkedIn, AngelList or on a website of your choice.
Want to be really radical? Ask your S.I. to get permission to post 100% of your feedback publicly — even the most negative feedback— and live in the light of public transparency.
Want to run public surveys or polls? That too. Want to get feedback on a Decision? Easy.
The only limits are curiosity and the willingness of your relationships to answer your questions. We’ll do all the work for you — so you can do the real work of translating this feedback into power.
Feedback has become perverted into a control mechanism: “I have some feedback for you,” has come to mean “you better do what I tell you, otherwise you’ll be judged as incorrigible.” But when feedback becomes about process, the process reveals insights and patterns to the individual — to decide what to do with. This advertisement is the perfect example of hermeneutic genius. Data empowers the individual, sets her free to decide how to be her true self — and never imprisons her in the limits of a single perspective.
But freedom through feedback takes work — let us do the work for you. Only you can decide what it means.