The minimum requirements for giving effective feedback

In How to Give and Receive Feedback at Work, Buffer suggests that these are requirements for giving effective feedback:

  1. The feedback provider is credible in the eyes of the feedback recipient.
  2. The feedback provider is trusted by the feedback recipient.
  3. The feedback is conveyed with good intentions.
  4. The timing and the circumstances of giving the feedback are appropriate.
  5. The feedback is given in an interactive manner.
  6. The feedback message is clear.
  7. The feedback is helpful to the recipient.

(1) Note the stark contrast between this and the McKinsey feedback model.
(2) The McKinsey feedback model is far more powerful because it’s a fact-based framework rather than a relationship-based framework. Feedback is about “This is what I need from you to get my job done”, rather than “I’m in a trusted relationship with you, my intentions are good, I’m doing you a favor”.
(3) Bottom line: if the feedback is irrefutable, actionable and helps you get your job done, nothing else matters.
(4) Note that giving your team effective feedback is not the same as coaching them, one of Laszlo Bock’s requirements for being a good manager.

One thought on “The minimum requirements for giving effective feedback

  1. I really found fascinating Ed Catmul in his book Creativity Inc. where he introduces Pixar’s unique method of feedback via the Braintrust* He writes:
    “You may be thinking, How is the Braintrust different from any other feedback mechanism?
    There are two key differences, as I see it. The first is that the Braintrust is made up of people with a deep understanding of storytelling, who usually have been through the process themselves. While the directors welcome critiques from many sources, they particularly prize feedback from fellow storytellers. The second difference is that the Braintrust has no authority. The director does not have to follow any of the specific suggestions. After a Braintrust meeting, it is up to him or her to figure out how to address the feedback. Giving the Braintrust no power to mandate solutions affects the dynamics of the group in ways I believe are essential.”

    1) it is given by people that have deep experience and understand the complexities in that specific area 2) It is suggestive and not solution based. It is empowering in that it assumes that the person that created it in the first place is the best person to weigh up the feedback and find the solutions.


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