Training your team’s feedback muscle makes your team stronger.
You will perform better together.

If you agree with our conclusion listen to our last episode of our series Facilitators Unplugged – How to train your feedback practice. Ewen and I share some ideas about how you can involve your team (or group, or network) in collective feedback.

Performing better together.
And being better together. 
That is the fruit of collective feedback.

Giving and receiving feedback boosts not only a team’s, group’s or network’s collaboration, it also turns working relationships to the positive.

Sometimes, we see people worrying about giving feedback, thinking it will hurt their relationships. 

The opposite is true. 

We practice it ourselves, in our collaboration with network partners and clients.

Receiving and giving feedback together works well. 
Relationships become stronger.
Trust is growing. 
We have fun.
Collaboration is rewarding. 

What about your team’s (or group’s or network’s) feedback practice?

From 10 “we proactively cultivate a lively feedback practice” to 1 “we only do the yearly appraisal talks”, where are you? 
Honestly.

The culture around providing feedback in the workplace has changed considerably over the past few years. Many organisations have moved to a system of regular check-ins, in addition to formal, annual performance discussions.

Johanna Leggatt 

Why feedback boosts collaboration.

There are many reasons why feedback will benefit your team’s collaboration. Intertwined and supporting each other, these three are crucial:

Because the listening and noticing capacity will increase

By opening a team’s radar for feedback, the capacity to listen and notice what is going on will grow.As a result, the process mindfulness within the team or group will become stronger. Team members will pay more attention to how they work together and how they are together.

Providing feedback shouldn’t be solely the leader’s responsibility. Every team member plays a role in helping the team learn and grow. When practiced as a team – and frequently – feedback can become a gift that everyone wants to receive and give.

Gustavo Razzetti 

Because the mutual support will grow

Providing peer-to-peer feedback allows a team to become more aware of each other’s challenges, making it easier to ask for and provide help to each other. It can be uncomfortable to ask for help since it implies that one is struggling with something or has a lack of knowledge.

A culture of open, transparent feedback creates ownership. It shifts the conversation from “How can I play better?” to “How can we improve as a team?”

Gustavo Razzetti 

Because trust will grow

By offering feedback more openly to each other and to the whole team, the communication and mutual understanding among the team will be strengthened. By being open, honest, authentic and vulnerable, the trust between team members will grow. 

How to create a feedback culture in steps

Get started by finishing for feedback

As leader, start with becoming a feedback spotter. Go fishing for feedback. As a leader you can walk the talk and request feedback from others. Notice what is happening. How it feels, what it does with you and your team. Show your interest in feedback.

Feedback should answer three important questions: “Where am I going?”, “How am I going?” and “Where to next?”

Johanna Leggatt

Shift to shared feedback, from peer-to-peer, in meetings

Good change instructions are in ‘cans’. Tell people what they can do, not what they shouldn’t do. 

Pamela Lupton-Bowers

Involve your team and move into feedback practice by asking for feedback more frequently, make it a habit, casual. Start positive and focus on what the team can do. Our brains are wired for positive messages. Turn the feedback so that it is helpful and actionable. Focus on the system, not the individual, on how the team performs.

What’s going well? Where do we have room for improvement?

Below are some ideas on how you could get started. Liberating Structures offers plenty of opportunities to practice feedback. 

Talk about feedback

Collective feedback can help you uncover the mindsets, rules, or practices getting in the way. Sometimes, minor tweaks can go a long way.

Gustavo Razzetti 

Invest some time in your next meeting and reflect with your team your feedback practice and learning habits.

Share the link to the book Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, it will change your perception of feedback completely.

It did for us. 

The greatest leverage is helping the people inside the system communicate more effectively, and as between giver and receiver, it’s the receiver’s skills that have the most impact. We need to equip receivers to create pull  – to drive their own learning, to seek honest mirrors as well as supportive mirrors, to speak up when they need additional appreciation or coaching or are confused about where they stand. As each receiver becomes more skilled at receiving – at creating pull – the organization gets better at it, too. We pull together. 

Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Get started with Liberating Structures

Play with Liberating Structures in tiny steps

*Liberating Structures in development

Try one or two structures of the list and let us know if you are interested in improving the way you (and your team) deal with feedback? Feel free to contact us

More on feedback

Read also Ewen’s blog post on collective feedback: Messaging and massaging feedback into our culture: A video chat with Nadia (3/3)  

We already published two previous episodes on How to train your feedback practice:

Receiving feedback

Giving feedback