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Notes from Why Feedback Doesn’t Work

Source Webinar 📖 Love + Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life (Blinkist Source)

Marcus Buckingham

  • people grave frequent attention, they don’t grave feedback

3 Fallacies with Feedback

Fallacy Nr.1 - You own the truth about others

  • assumption - she is blind, I’m not blind
  • the feedback receiver rejects feedback
  • especially true, when providing even ratings e.g. on behaviors
    • my scores are moving with me
    • idiosyncratic rater effect
    • it’s more bouncing me back on me
  • there is a fundamental flaw in my source of data. And adding more of data makes it even worse

Fallacy Nr. 2 - Learning is information transfer

  • I just tell someone what is missing and they will pick it up. Like an empty vessel
  • Scholl is often about that approach on learning

Fallacy Nr. 3 - Excellence can be defined in advance

  • skills and competency matrix are a problem
  • you can define average in advance and a minimum

What should we do instead.

You own your reaction - share it

  • I am a reliable reporter on what I feel and on what I intent to do
  • we are really good at reporting on our feelings
  • “I was lost when you said that”
  • This is really good data for a feedback receiver
  • Stay on your side of the river

Learning is insight - help others discover it

  • Feeling on knowingness that happens inside our brain
  • Help discover those insights … create occasions where a learner can discover insights
  • link to Montessouri

Excellence is connected to the person - replay their moments of excellence

  • get a person back into a moment that worked (coaching)
  • source of greatness is their goodness
  • essay - underline couple of sentences that really work and expression your emotions with it
  • replay on what you already did super well
  • leads to replication and repetition of what works super well

Way forward - Q&A notes

  • What are the performance outcomes?
  • What is my way of contributing to that?
  • How to best collect data on feedback?
    • you can count things – e.g. lost work days
    • what can you rate?
      • you can’t solve the idiosyncratic rater effect
      • people can rate their own experience and feelings on the team
        • Do I feel respects in the team?
        • Do I know what is expected of me?
        • Do feel that your manager is caring about you?
        • Does someone encourage you to grow?
        • bundle that and bring that back to the manager
    • So the questions in performance reviews need to change!
  • As a manager share your reactions as raw material for the other to discover themselves
    • they learn to know when they are their best selves
    • give people self advocacy
    • they can discover when they are at their best
    • get increasingly specific in describing for yourself when and at what you are your best
  • feedback in remote environments
    • most engaging state is hybrid
    • remote and onsite are about 10 points lower
    • people are grown ups! and they want to manage their times and at the same time people (often) love meeting with other people
    • frequent check-ins - every week, that matters
      • How did you feel about last week?
      • What are your plans for next week
      • leads to higher level of engagement and resilience and lower levels of turnover
      • in the frequency lies detail
  • frequency of interaction is what really matters. (Don’t become a people lead if you don’t like doing that)
  • change the vocabulary
    • no one is rated by someone else
  • Cisco as an example that changes their feedback culture
  • Mindset of broadening and building


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