In another post i told you about the manager with the poop sandwiches but here i want to try to make up for that mess and tell you how i want my feedback.

Giving feedback must be directly on your own account. As a coach, you must live as you learn and actively seek feedback. Deriving from the world of sports, I’m used to tough feedback. During the time I played football, I loved the half-time break and the praise or scolding I could get. With this rough and immediate feedback from the coach, I often played a better second half.

To support a one-to-one mutual feedback session I often use a cheat sheet, which both parties can use as the agenda, like a feedback agreement:

  • We come prepared to the meeting with the feedback we want to give each other, ideally as written bullets. Ex:
    • Start: Give feedback, inspiration talks.
    • Stop: Talking fast, interrupting people, being late.
    • Continue: Peptalk, invite for lunch, coaching member X.
  • The feedback we give is constructive and aims at exploring how we both can grow.
  • Our intentions are positive, though they might not be expressed successfully at times.
  • We are aware that giving and receiving feedback are acts of vulnerability: feelings will arise during the conversation.
  • We allow these feelings, and we share them with each other to the best of our ability and with the intention of moving forward together.
  • We are aware that what we say and hear might not be interpreted and understood in the way we intended.
  • We seek clarity to ensure that both parties mutually understand.
  • Assuming positive intentions, we stay curious and – especially when irritated – we speak up, ask and contribute to clarification.
  • Last on our one-on-one list we shake hands and promise to commit to minimum one action.

As a leader, invite your team to a feedback session on yourself. Ideally one-on-one and focus especially on your gaps and weaknesses. Next time you can do it also with mutual feedback with the feedback agreement as playbook. The best feedback sessions come when the other person requests it, a pull approach is better than push.

Ove Holmberg

Doubter, gaffer, author