#65 - May 2021
Three feedback models; Replacing a bad predecessor
I hope you’re enjoying the change of seasons. The end of April here brings an onslaught of deadlines, meetings, and events, but things are settling back down now.
Details of the basecamp fiasco continue to come out. As the raw signal folks point out, discomfort as a leader isn’t inherently bad or a signal of a problem. It’s not our lot as leaders to be comfortable about everything. Listen to your team, even - especially! - when you don’t love what you’re hearing.
As always, let me know if you have questions, suggestions, or any other feedback - I always like to hear from you.
On to the roundup!
Three Feedback Models - Jacob Kaplan-Moss
A quick overview and comparison of three feedback models, similar to what we covered when we were talking about performance communications in , but includes one I had forgotten, Lara Hogan’s Feedback Equation:
Lara Hogan, an author, public speaker, and coach for managers, has a Feedback Equation that is quite simple:
Observation of behavior, e.g. “In your review of Jane’s pull request, you gave her clear advice on test coverage…” Impact of the behavior, e.g. “… this helped her improve her code, which helps with our team’s goal of better-tested code.” Question or Request, e.g. “thank you; more like that!” (for positive feedback) or “in the future, can you … instead?” (for negative feedback).
This one is a lot like Centre for Creative Leadership’s Situation-Behaviour-Impact, but with the question at the end.
There’s a lot of data to support the Manager-Tools model, but if Hogan’s or the SBI model are easier for you to start with, they are perfectly decent approaches, and much better than not giving feedback. The most important thing is to give lots of feedback, mostly positive, promptly while focusing on behaviour and impact. Everything else can be tweaked over time.
Managing Your Own Career
What Good Leaders Do When Replacing Bad Leaders - Andrew Blum
At some point in your career, you’re going to step into a role as a leader where the previous leader made a hash of it. They weren’t necessarily a bad person or incompetent, but for whatever reason what they were doing wasn’t working. Blum talks about how to manage that transition.
A key point for me is an early sentence:
Good leaders create a separation between the past and the future.
Creating that rupture between “that was then” and “now we’re moving forward” is key. People want things to work well but it’s pretty easy to stay caught up in the dysfunction of what was happening before. Blum outlines three steps:
Acknowledge the contributions of the previous leader
Enable a vision for the future
What about how we have worked and operated do we want to maintain?
What do we want to leave behind?
What do we want to create anew? and
Seek to understand your employees’ experiences [LJD: one-on-ones are great forums for that!]
HATETRIS - tetris that always gives you the worst possible piece. In case management isn’t enough frustration for you.