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Feedback Best Practices

Why

True personal and professional growth comes from receiving feedback. When feedback isn’t surfaced teams become resentful, distrustful, and unproductive.

What

We embrace Radical Candor when providing feedback. Radical Candor is achieved when you care personally and challenge directly.

Some of the principles we follow at Flexpa are:

Praise in public, criticize in private.
  • When people receive critical feedback in front of their peers they naturally feel defensive and are less likely to internalize feedback.
  • Ask if the person is open to receiving feedback before sharing your feedback.
Beware of Ruinous Empathy.
  • This is often the default quadrant for caring people
  • When you withhold feedback for the sake of avoiding an uncomfortable conversation you deprive your peer of long term growth and hinder the rest of the team’s productivity
Positive feedback is important.
  • An HBR study found that a ratio of ~5 incidences of positive feedback to 1 incidence of negative is optimal if you want to ensure that your negative feedback is fully trusted, listened to and internalized
Avoid broad statements and be specific (for positive feedback too)
  • e.g. avoid statements like “Your communication needs improving”, instead provide feedback like “During your presentation, your slides had typos on slides 3 and 5. When typos slip through I fear it makes our team appear sloppy.”
  • e.g, avoid statements like “That was a great presentation”, instead provide feedback like “I really liked the animation you added on slide 3. I think it perfectly highlights our product’s value and showed that our team pays attention to detail”
    • Broad positive feedback can feel insincere, “they’re just saying that to be nice”
When giving feedback offer to help or propose a solution.
  • See the example above, where the feedback suggested adding the Grammarly extension as an extra pair of eyes
Prefer to provide feedback immediately.
  • Often there is lost context if feedback isn’t shared immediately