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The "Giving Feedback" Lesson is part of the full, Enterprise Engineering Management 102 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Ryan examines the challenges and importance of giving feedback. He emphasizes the need for both positive reinforcement and constructive criticism and differentiating between general growth feedback and critical feedback. He also shares their approach to receiving feedback from team members and the importance of giving feedback in a private setting rather than in a group or through Slack.

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Transcript from the "Giving Feedback" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> Let's also recognize I've said it before, I'm gonna say it again, giving feedback isn't easy. It's not something that we practice on a daily basis. I feel as a manager, I'm getting more and more, that's just regular thing for me. But I recognize that I still need to be better at it.

[00:00:16] I wanna get better at something that I'm always trying to do better at. But also the people on my team aren't gonna have as much practice as I may have on that. I have the easy way is just not do it, right? Give me feedback it's easy to like man like that person's not doing so good, or yeah I wouldn't take that approach, it's hard to have those conversations, you have to set aside time to have the conversation with someone.

[00:00:42] You have to maybe get pretty uncomfortable, especially as a leader where you're like you're not meeting expectations, or we need to really adjust and then those are not fun. It's easier to just avoid, but you shouldn't. Let's also think about the types of feedback. I know we came up even on the positive reinforcement and positive feedback that even on the pull requests that came up earlier, it's like It's good to give positive feedback.

[00:01:10] It's helpful to know that you're doing the right thing. Sometimes I've heard the saying, like, no news is good news, right? So not getting feedback means you're doing okay. That doesn't really resonate with me I wanna know what's going well. And where I stand with my manager or my team stands with my leadership or partners it's good to get positive reinforcement so just wanna call that one out but general growth feedback too I like to separate not meeting expectations, feedback to grow feedback and I'll even talk about that with my team.

[00:01:43] When you hear me say, I think you could have done better at this or that those are growth areas. I'm not looking at it as in what, I'd like you to try to get better at it, but I'm not like you aren't meeting expectations type feedback and that's more what I would call the critical feedback.

[00:01:59] And that one's the hardest. There's so many reasons that can go wrong, but it is important for your team to know the difference between general growth feedback and critical feedback. Critical feedback is something drastically needs to change or it's not working out. So, another thing is, yep.
>> Do you have experience or have seen peers giving feedback on prompted within your team, or do you feel like it goes kind of to you and then down through other team members and like since you're their manager.

[00:02:39]
>> So I'll reframe it a bit is like does the feedback come to me like mark on my team is frustrated with Sally and I hear the feedback and then I deliver it to Sally?
>> Yeah.
>> That's a good question, yes, it will often come to me in that form.

[00:02:57] My first reaction is, hey Mark, did you give Sally that feedback? A lot of times is, no, I haven't. I'm like, I think you should give that feedback. The reason why I do that too. Is it's helping build that muscle first for Mark to be able to give that feedback.

[00:03:14] But, also, it feels escalated now if I go to Sally. It could also erode some trust between the team members, right? They're like, man, now Ryan's coming at me on this. It's cool that I know about that. I might bring it up with Sally, I know Mark had feedback for you, how did that go, did that land, did it resonate with you, how do you feel about it.

[00:03:34] Like there might still be, it's not hidden that I know, I don't try and, be secretive about it, but I'm absolutely gonna push the person to give them that feedback first. It's also an opportunity for me to maybe help coach on like, well, here's maybe how I would approach giving that feedback and make Mark feel more comfortable to do that.

[00:03:51] And oftentimes, what I like about it too, is those peers giving each other feedback. I know when I've given feedback, even when it's a tough conversation, it ends up building more trust. If it's done well, I mean, it can erode trust to but oftentimes, you're building that trust with one another.

[00:04:08] So that does happen but that's how I typically approach it. If it's really getting bad and like I need it needs to be escalated yeah, then I might have to go speak with that other person. But that's usually my first approach. So I have a question to you to think about is like, should you give feedback in a group setting?

[00:04:29] Personally no on like any of the critical side, no, I'm not going to do that in front of others. Even some of the growth feedback, I'm probably not going to give that in a group setting. But the positive reinforcement, absolutely, that's a good one. Sometimes people don't feel comfortable though.

[00:04:48] So it is good to know to understand how people on your team like to receive feedback. If you overpraise someone they may not like that. And so it is something to be aware of. But right away, I'm not gonna give people constructive feedback in front of the team.

[00:05:03] And another thing is since we're in such a remote world, what about giving feedback in Slack? For me same thing applies giving maybe some growth feedback through a direct message. I'm comfortable enough to do that but also recognize that if there's a lot of back and forth going I might say hey let's actually have a conversation.

[00:05:25] Positive feedback, team channels, great, surface that like that might be a good one or I'm honestly a lot of times sending direct messages to my team where they've presented on something. I wanna give them in the moment feedback and I'll just send them a nice message, saying like, wow, this really great, I love to see more of that, keep doing that, I see how this has showing up, and then being impactful for the team.

[00:05:47] But there again, the constructive where, hey, you're not meeting expectation thing, it doesn't end working well in Slack, the tone, everything, it's really hard to get that message across