Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of building strong relationships and high performing teams. Feedback aligns to GitLab values in the following ways:
Feedback can come in the form of "praise" for things team members do well, and "tips" pertaining to improvement areas. We encourage sharing and documenting both types of feedback on a regular basis via:
Why it's important to document:
Feedback conversations are core to personal and professional growth. According to research conducted by TruQu:
Sid (GitLab CEO and Co-founder) and the Learning & Development team discussed guidance on giving and reciving feedback during a CEO Handbook Learning Session. The covered topics like:
Give constructive feedback in the smallest group as possible, be specific by discussing an example. Make the discussion improvement orientated and make sure you deliver feeback when your not upset. (Sid Sijbrandij, GitLab CEO and co-founder)
“In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.“ ~Mark Sanborn
The habit of seeking feedback may not be easy to develop, but failing to seek honest input from your team can have a significant impact on GitLab's culture. Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2002), cites these consequences of ignoring feedback:
Watch as Dr. Jeb Hurley, Co-founder of Xmetryx, analyzes why leaders choose to avoid feedback, even when they have ample evidence that shows its benefits.
Difficult and constructive feedback is valuable when delivered with compassion. It's important to consider the individual recieving the feedback and anticipate how they might react. As explained in Crucial Conversations, if the person feels threatened, they might shift into Silence or Verbal Violence.
To optimize for a open, honest, and effective conversation, reflection on the following before sharing difficult feedback:
GitLab has 2000+ team members from diverse cultures and backgrounds. We should get to know our team members well enough to understand how best to share feedback. It's important to adapt tone and style according to each individual and relationship. Consider:
It's safer to give and receive feedback from those with whom you have already established trust. Trust makes it easier to assume good intent and to be boldly honest with each other.
|Strategy for Building Trust||Description|
|Start with task based trust||Giving feedback can build trust. Start with task based feedback, like sharing a typo in something they have written. Starting with the task based feedback can lead to more transformational behavior feedback.|
|Build relational trust||Trust enables safety and productive conversations about feedback. Review the [building trust handbook page]/handbook/leadership/building-trust/) for guidance.|
|Be candid||Being candid builds trust. Willingness to give feedback shows honesty.|
The Situation-Behavior-Impact (S-B-I) Model focuses feedback based on:
Situation - Define the when and where by anchoring in time and place.
Behavior - Describe the observable behavior and how it was applied.
Impact - Describe how the other person’s action affected you or others experiences and thinking.
For a more in-depth look at how to apply this model see The Situation-Behavior-Impact-Feedback Framework, an external blog post that has a bit more detail and some examples.
Originally hosted on 2020-06-08.
Receiving all types of feedback can be difficult. Our brains want to protect us from any potential dangers, and receiving feedback can be perceived as a physical threat. We have outlined some guidelines and tips to help with this:
Originally hosted on 2020-02-25
While not always immediately thought of as a form of feedback, recognition is one of the most essential forms of providing feedback in the workplace.
It's important to be precise about both team member's accomplishment and the impact of their accomplishment.
General Feedback: "Thank you for helping troubleshoot sessions on XYZ tickets so we could resolve them inside the SLA."
Precise Feedback That Includes impact:
"Thank you for helping troubleshoot sessions on XYZ tickets so we could resolve them inside the SLA. This helps keep customers happy with our solutions and shows our team how to resolve similar issues faster in the future."
Managers should consider their team member's preference for how to receive recognition when choosing what forum seems the most appropriate.
Take a moment to identify situations in which you or your team are saying "Thank You" to the same person or team too often. Recognition is essential, but if it becomes very frequent, it can start to be perceived as less sincere. If the same team member or team is going above and beyond their job responsibility on a regular basis, the best way to say thank you is to recognize this pattern of overachievement.
In an all-remote organization, people managers model a culture of feedback that promotes ongoing feedback that happens throughout the year. Feedback should not wait until performance evaluations, it should happen throughout the year - anytime and in real-time. People managers can develop their team members through positive and constructive forms of feedback.
Skills and behavior of the modeling a culture of feedback manager competency: