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Quick Feedback Made Easy Today

Have you ever worked with somebody, and you only found out after 6 months that they had feedback for you that would have greatly improved the way you collaborate. However, somehow that feedback was never given? We have certainly seen this happening in our Engineering teams, and hence we started to experiment with new feedback formats.

In this post, Agile Coach Jamie Green shares what he has learned about the Speedback Feedback format, and how you can use it in your teams.

The Challenge

There is no way to sugar-coat it - giving feedback is hard. You are giving an honest opinion directly to another person, and that leaves us feeling uncomfortable. We need to practice becoming comfortable with our discomfort, so that we can give honest and timely feedback.

This feedback is a key component in improving the way we work throughout our careers, and if that feedback is missing, we can neglect self-improvement in areas where we do not realise we have problems. If we do not see they are there and others do not tell us, how can we ever improve ourselves?

And if we hesitate to give it, then we are not giving the person the information they need quickly, and so they can make an improvement close to when the problem occurred which leads to frustration for everybody.

Trying out Speedback Feedback

That is where the session format “Speedback Feedback” comes in. It is an easy to run session that can be run either in person or remotely with a group of people who know each other, have no negative conflict issues, and are willing to be open and kind to each other. The goal of this session is to keep on giving feedback to others in quick succession to overcome the initial hesitancy we might have.

To run this session at Meltwater, we used a session format originally described by Josh Richardson as Speedback: De-stigmatise feedback via speed-dating principles. We made a slight modification due to everyone working from home, and replaced ‘spaces’ in a room with breakout rooms in Google Meet.

In Speedback Feedback - each team member spends ten minutes writing 3 pieces of feedback for each of their team members. Team members then pair up for 6 minutes, where they share their feedback to one another, spending 2 minutes for each side, plus 2 minutes for room switching, hellos and thanks at the end. This continues until every team member has been paired once.

One participant commented after attending this feedback format:

We tried Speedback Feedback in our team, and it was a refresher since it was quick, less dreadful and could help the team improve their timely feedback culture.

By the end of the session, everyone should be able to see feedback from their colleagues and feel stronger about sharing feedback in the future. We have prepared a Speedback Feedback Slide Template that you can use with your team.

Are you an Agile Coach good at helping teams improve on how to deliver feedback? Meltwater is hiring an Agile Coach based in the UK, find out more and apply here.

Image credits: Miguel Luis on unsplash.com