Feedback is an important tool for working together. As tech lead, I organize on a fairly regular basis feedback rounds with the people I work under and with people that work under me. With this experience, I distilled some tips on how to to set up the feedback rounds with impact.
Feedback is an important tool as it gives invaluable information about you, the other person and the team. The goal is to improve his/her work as your own work as team lead.
- Plan feedback rounds well in advance. Not only is it important to let the other party prepare, but also communicating the upcoming feedback rounds weeks in advance makes the team aware of the upcoming feedback rounds. It’s easier to create an impact with feedback where an example can be given of the behavior.
- Take enough time. I always plan 1h for each, although it’s not the plan to fill the entire hour. Typical feedback rounds take about 20min, but giving yourself the freedom to go into detail if necessary, makes the conversation open and not overhasty.
- Plan personal conversations. Sincere feedback is feedback done in small groups. For developers, I bring the project lead with me, since the project lead can give another perspective.
- Prepare yourself
- Ask the other to explicitly prepare themselves. Point the other party that a good preparation is necessary.
- It’s important to give both positive as negative feedback.
How to give efficient feedback
- Describe behavior that can change
- Use concrete examples that you have seen for yourself (preferred) or heard from.
- Use the I-form. I noticed that…
- Describe the effect the behavior had on yourself
- Let the other respond
- If relevant: ask for the desired behavior
- Explore the background and/or solutions
An important aspect of feedback is the follow up. Plan something a couple of weeks after the feedback and see how the feedback changed you or the one you gave feedback to.