Giving feedback, receiving feedback well, asking for feedback, and “feedback playing cards”
Giving Good Feedback – use COIN
Utilizing COIN helps ensure that feedback is receivable, actionable, and balanced
Context: Give context about the conversation you’re about to have. Also share context by describing the specific situation you observed the action you’re going to give feedback on.
- Get buy-in/get a “micro-yes” (Do you have 10 minutes to talk about x?)
Observation: Describe the action you saw in an objective manner.
- Focus on the action and behavior, not person
- Focus on data, not interpretation. Get down the ladder of inference and avoid blur words.
- Give specifics, so behavior can be repeated or diminished (I noticed that…)
Impact: Explain the impact the action had and focus on sharing impact you can support / explain.
- Why does this matter? Who is affected by it? E.g. the impact it had on you, the impact on OKRs, or other observable examples. (I mention this because…)
Next Steps: Work together to identify actionable next steps.
- Check if they see it the same – use authentic questions to create a two-way conversation. (What are your thoughts? How do you see it?)
- Joint problem solve
- Agree to an action plan
Receiving Feedback Well
Play it back: Ensure you understand the feedback and heard it correctly. This is also an opportunity to take a step back and explore what they’re saying. (Let me make sure I understood. You said ___. Did I get that right?)
Ask for an example: Ask for specific examples to ensure you understood the feedback clearly. (Just so I fully understand, what’s an example?)
Explore solutions: Think about the next steps and future actions to address the feedback. (Sounds like a solution might be…)
Asking For Feedback
Ask for feedback often! Make it known you want feedback and are open to it.
- Ask specific questions (So that I can keep learning what’s the one thin g you liked? What’s the one thing that could have been 10% better?)
- Give people time to prepare
- Schedule regular check-ins and debriefs (When we are a quarter-way through the project, should we do a feedback check in to see how we are working together and what can we improve?)
Feedback Playing Cards
♣️ Club: Critical feedback without specificity
♠️ Spade: Critical feedback with specificity
♡ Heart: Positive feedback without specificity
♢ Diamond: Positive feedback with specificity