Feedback Wrap, positive and motivating action

The purpose of feedback is to help people improve their work” by Jurgen Appelo – Managing for Happiness.

This practice of Management 3.0 addresses a challenge that many leaders and managers encounter when trying to carry it out within their teams: “providing feedback that moves to positive and motivating action, without discontent and frustrations”.

We use feedback to help people focus on work and their personal life. Based on this concept, Management 3.0 presents us with the Feedback Wrap, something tasty and desirable, which contain five substantial ingredients:

  • Your context: Provide a context to increase other people’s understanding and perspective of your situation;
  • List your observations: Offer observations of specific examples and occasions;
  • Clarify your feelings: Without blaming anyone, create an understanding about the how the fact impacts on you;
  • Clarify the value: score your needs;
  • Offer suggestions: Allow the person to find out what needs to be done to close the gap between needs and facts, so you can offer one or two suggestions to move things forward

By preparing and, consequently, offering it to the team, the feedback wrap aims to achieve respect for minimizing the felling of uncertainties and anxiety, when received by someone else. When more experienced, they will look for new ways to improve themselves, while the new ones will try to confirm if that what they are doing, they are doing well. Let them receive that feedback and they will decide how to absorb it.

For more information about this practice, you can consult this link: https://management30.com/practice/feedback-wraps/

Why did I decide to put it into practice?

The feedback I personally use today are: One-One, Self-Assessment (Objective, Behavioral, Skills), 360 degrees, and verbal feedbacks triggered directly inside the room.

When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, and almost everything became remote, I was not able to carry out my live feedback, the one that I constantly did in the office for my team. Missing this exercise, I searched for other ways to fill that void. But, they should still be fast and continuous.

Reading Jurgen Appelo’s book, Managing for Happiness, I found this fast way of performing different kinds of feedback, and be able to obtain a constant result, with a plus of improving the way I provide my feedback to my team and individuals.

I discovered a sublime universe of feedback, leaving a different context with annual and quarterly performance evaluations, sometimes causing a little distrust on both sides.

Another condition, which motivated me to do this practice, were: the problems, the conflicts, and the daily pressure that corrupts us … what a tragedy this is !!! 😂

But, seriously, there are periods when we find ourselves in a “Production Line” cycle, what becomes more important is the delivery of the work package at every sacrifice. “Processes and tools over Individuals and interactions”….. Oops, there is something wrong there!!! 😣

However, do not be alarmed by my statements, because after this perception I quickly started to use the concept “Stop the line”, created by Taiichi Ohno, within the Toyota Production System. A very efficient technique when it comes to a problem in your “mental” production line.

How did I perform this practice?

My initial idea was to pass the feedback without the team knowing it, and, in this way, observe the movements, spontaneous reactions, and conversations among them.

From the ingredients, mentioned above, I used electronic mail (email) to carry out the communication asynchronously. The email helped me to write, read, understand, erase, write again and practice, and practice, and practice that kind of feedback a lot.

Next, I will describe a situation when I used the feedback wrap. Certain parts of the text will be changed to maintain confidentiality, the professional will be called “Chaves”.

On a Tuesday at 5:50 pm, Chaves called me asking for help so I could clarify his doubts, his mission was to send an email to a customer clarifying a problem and directing to the possible solution.

At 18:10, I received the email from Chaves with all the justifications and circumstances regarding the case, addressed to the client.

If I were to answer the email from Chaves, in my high-pressure phase, it would look like this:

Hi Chaves, good afternoon!

We need to solve these impediments urgently so that the project can flow. I need you to contact the area manager to submit the Firewall request and, with that, we conclude this pending issue by Friday.

I count on your support as always and any situation that may occur, that takes you out of this path, let me know so that together we can solve it.

Thanks, Carlos Giani

On my point of view was an objective and clear message. Note that I did not comment about the email he sent to the customer and only reinforced the obligation to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Certainly, this email would generate unnecessary anxiety or unease, by imposing a deadline for solving the problem, which, on this occasion, was out of reach for a definitive solution.

So, following the ingredients of the feedback wrap, follow the email I actually sent:

# 1 Describe your context:

“I’m just finishing some activities to go to a workshop right afterward 😊. Study my friend, to try to be someone in life … lol.”

Note: Realize that here I paid a lot of attention to his problem and brought him to a more informal and light conversation.

# 2 List your observations:

“Informing the real reason for the situation we are in, makes our commitment clear to the customer. “

Note: Here I include a note related to the context, I highlighted what is important in general, in addition to what the client expects from us.

# 3 Express your emotions:

“I got confused in your Firewall request, whether it was directed to Pedro or not. “So, I ask who I can intervene to speed up the release via VPN. ”, being left without an owner who could help us with this. “

Note: I emphasized how I felt when I read this part of the email: “So, I ask who I can intervene to speed up the release via VPN”. I didn’t say he was wrong or right. But, I exposed a feeling in which I would awake in him the reason that caused my reaction and highlight.

# 4 Sort by value:

“It is very important to make it clear to the customer each situation that creates the obstacles, that you do well and, with that, we give the visibility to the customer. ”

Note: Here is the amount the customer expects to receive

# 5 End with suggestions:

“Contacting the area manager to request access is the way to go. We hope that the Firewall team can give the right attention to the releases. Getting in touch with the focal point of this area can also be effective.”

Note: In this last ingredient, suggest two options so that it can reflect or even have other insights to solve the impediment.

Well, that’s how I do with my feedback wrap whenever I want to fertilize the development of my team’s skills. 😎

My learnings as a facilitator

As a facilitator of this practice, I learned that this feedback wrap provides us with a view of where we are and where we want to go. In situations where I look for positive stimuli from the team or individual, the wrap help me to find the way to go.

I realized that this kind of feedback keeps memories. They can offer us a great learning file.

A good feedback wrap is served hot, avoiding oblivion, cooling, and taste loss.

My next step is to study NVC, Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall Bertram Rosenberg, to lean on establishment of partnership and cooperation relationships within the feedback.

Before sending a feedback wrap, I tried doing it couple times before, to understand the structure of the ingredients. This helped me a lot on improving the technique. You must practice a lot!

I had found difficulties with the CONTEXT ingredient, because depending on the situation I could not leave the informal kind of communication. The same happened with the use of emojis, where I had to avoid including it in certain situations, as it required something more formal. Analyze your situation. And, remember, you can always delete and add new ingredients to your wrap.

Something different that we can try is to combine it with other techniques, like Kudo cards. It is in my Backlog, when I write about it, I’ll make sure to post it here!

I think that too much praise, as some people do when using the feedback sandwich, can cause to the receiver the perception as if it was fake. So, If you explain observations, the woth, and suggest directions, it’ll not create a misunderstanding and insecurity feeling, on the contrary, it will arouse the interest on taking things forward.

The way someone writes and addresses the email, allows the recipient to interpret according to his interest and how much he thinks is important to him. However, this technique provided me with a better understanding of the message, on the part of the recipient, of what I was really trying to say.

Lastly, I was not able to include 05 ingredients to all my feedback wrap, due to the circumstances of each case. However, even using parts of the ingredients, I could observe good transformations and positive results by part of the team.

Guys, that’s it, I end my experience with this gratifying dynamic. Enjoy, and now, how about going me ane back? 😉

Try it!!!

If you want to become more familiar with this subject, I suggest some sites:

credits: the images were taken from the site: https://management30.com/

Also read the Portugueses version

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