How you get to like feedback!

ValueMiner GmbH, Robert J. Schiermeier

There is a thing called „Feedback Friday“ at a friend’s company. He is running a IT-Services company, that he did build up from scratch and this occasion is part of his management process and designed to get a grip on what is going on with his teammates in a one-on-one situation with enough time to truly talk. He is a great and truly likable guy. Outgoing, good communicator, very good boss as his employees keep telling him – still he did not like „Feedback Friday“.

Those meetings always tended to get awkward. Being great in daily interaction, he tried to put on even more praise or give even better feedback, resulting in both parties feeling strangely out of context. Asking around how other are doing their appraisals, we ended up talking about it as he knew I had kind of the same procedure.

After agreeing that, if you have a great team and culture you do not have to do this „teambuilding stuff“ I entered into my own cycle of 360° feedback. And not with the right mindset, I might add. So instead of focusing on „personal“ coaching, I focused on objectives and corresponding challenges. Funny enough my employee and I both felt better about the talk. Spontaneously I got told, that for the first time this „entire thing“ made sense. So again I focused on work „basically“ and same thing happened.

Talking to my friend again and reflecting with my own coach I figured where I completely had misinterpreted my role in former sessions. I was simply not specific enough in my feedback. In earlier sessions, I have given feedback in a greater context. But that feedback was already given by the way I interacted with my employees on a daily basis. So, my friend and I where right, if you have a great team spirit, culture and vibe in the office you do not need teambuilding or personal coaching on special feedback occasions, you need the time for specific and extensive feedback to objectives and challenges. Therefore, those occasions are useless, but I did not prepare myself well enough. So, since then feedback regarding objectives and challenges, voicing my input on solutions and commenting on deliverables.

Funny enough, my friend and I after that agreed that it was especially important for teams with good culture and vibe to do those 360°. Because you could really help each other becoming an even better team by cherishing and preparing for those occasions when boss and employee really could talk about work for once extensively.