Like many of our daily interactions, feedback has also shifted from a face to face conversation to a digital exchange. I feel I have lost a lot of the valuable data that body language provides in a face to face conversation.
To be better prepared for the current context, here are three actions I have implemented:
- Written feedback: Taking notes about positive or negative situations helps you keep track of the events. I do this not only for my team but also with the people I work with closely. Every six months or so, their manager will ask me for feedback. That's when I can refer to my notes. When you have noted down certain situations, it also forces you to reflect objectively on the cases.
- DESC + SSC + Radical Candor: When writing feedback, I keep in mind three practical frameworks: DESC framework (Describe Facts, Express Feelings, Specify Solutions, Conclude / Consequence), SSC (Start, Stop, Continue) and Radical Candor (Truly care about the person and be direct with them). DESC helps you to structure the feedback; it's like the recipe in the kitchen. SSC enables you to identify things that are going well (Continue), something that people can improve (Start) and things that need to change (Stop); it's like the starter, main course and dessert. Last but not least, Radical Candor is what you need to apply to every feedback; it would be like the wine pairing with your meal.
- Track and optimize for the long term: Change might not be immediate. After giving feedback, people need to digest it (pun intended). More importantly, people need to see the benefits or consequences. And they need to have a way to know they are making progress. I have implemented a way to keep track of the evolution of my team in different dimensions. I know it will have a long term positive impact on their career. I'll share it in a future article.