Giving and receiving feedback is not easy but it is necessary. Feedback is the way individuals and teams learn and improve. But how should feedback be done.

I was looking around for some inspiration and I found this article written on giving feedback to your colleagues.

How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Colleagues

Some thoughts they have is:

  1. Get a Buy-In – get the person to agree before providing feedback
  2. be specific on where you want to offer feedback. For example, you could say, “Can I share some thoughts about the sales presentation you’re working on?”
  3. Offer a specific amount of time
  4. Don’t ask to talk immediately
  5. come prepared to your meeting by preparing specific examples and actively planning to refrain from making assumptions
  6. After you produce data or a tangible example, give your impact statement. Why does this fact matter, and who on the team is affected by it?
  7. ask a question and open the floor to the person who is receiving feedback.

This list has some very good suggestions. However, this approach and examples given seem to create a very awkward social experience.

Taking something I learned from ToastMasters training and sessions.

  1. Feedback has to be part of the every day process – it is a habit that can be embedded after every meeting, presentation, demo, etc.
  2. Feedback should be given in the sandwich method… The person delivering the feedback starts with something positive… Then they provide the constructive actionable criticism… Then they end with another positive piece of feedback

This removes the awkward social aspect of giving feedback. In addition, by forcing the person providing feedback to think of two things that are positive, it makes him consider the critique in a more holistic perspective. It also helps the receiver consume the feedback and walk away feeling considered, not attacked.