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José Thomaz
José Thomaz

Posted on

Please, give me a feedback

When you are doing something, you probably want to know if you are doing it correctly, and if not, how you could improve. Humans are social and smart animals, so we tend to seek validation of our actions, but be careful! Validation ≠ Feedback

Feedback is a form of obtaining validation, but not only it, it is also about revalidating old ideas, exchange knowledge, expose strengthnesses and weaknesses and summarizing all of these things to be a better person/professional. How frequently you receive feedbacks? How frequently you give feedbacks? It is very important to give feedbacks, as is to receive them.


Why are feebacks important?

  • Is it safe to drive a car that hasn't been serviced by a mechanic in years? No
  • But, is it possible? Yes
  • How high are the risks? Very high, the car may end up breaking down in a critical moment

The same thing applies to people, you can maintain an employee for years without giving him a single feedback. However, for not giving regular feedbacks, you certainly have no idea of what's going on in his head. Maybe, your employee is thinking about quitting the job, maybe he is wanting a promotion, maybe he is overwhelmed, maybe he is tired. You will never know, until you start doing regular feedback sessions with your team.


Feedback sessions

Feedbacks must be bilateral, it means that everyone involved in the feedback session, should have the right to speak, but also the duty to listen.

The most common type of feedback session is the famous "1:1 alignment". As a manager/mentor you must be prepared to speak whatever is necessary, but also, to hear, you may have to answer some questions.


How it feels to be ignored?

Someone already ignored you? I guess so, and you probably didn't feel good when that happened. Some people feel ignored at work, when they do not receive feedbacks from their superiors. These people, will start to think that nobody cares about their work, so they will be demotivated and will start start commiting more and more mistakes.

Broken feedback cycle


How to solve this?

Start giving feedbacks, obviously! As soon as possible. But remember: feedbacks build trust and are also based on trust, so if you spent many months without giving a single feedback to the people who work with you, ONE feedback won't solve your problemas. You are gonna have to be constant, regular feedbacks to recover the lost time and to build trust.

Fixing feedback cycle


Don't let the cycle begin again

Once your team members are motivated again, don't stop giving them feedbacks, break the cycle. Continue with the regular feedback sessions, keep iterating!

Regular feedbacks



Micromanagement is bad, you have to give feedbacks at the same time that you release your team to be more independent. Let you coworkers do more tasks, is a clear and good sign of trust, you are delegating the tasks because you believe they are capable to make it.


People are different

Some people need more feedback than others, some people can "survive" more time without receiving feedback, others will require feedback every time. As a manager, you have to know and accept this.

People that require more feedback, may be insecure or anxious, and people who avoid feedbacks, may be shy and are trying to avoid potential awkward situations.


Don't skip the corrective feedbacks

Giving and receiving positive feedbacks is way easier than "corrective feedbacks". Corrective feedbacks are meant to modify a behavior that isn't good, so they usually happen when something is going wrong. As a manager, you need to tell your employees when something isn't good, and as a employe you have to calmly listen to what your manager is saying, and then try to absorve everything that you think that's useful to improve your performance.

Corrective feedbacks should not be offensive

When giving a corrective feedback, be careful to don't disrespect your coworker with too harsh words, shouting and other offensive communication behaviors.

Top comments (1)

adamwdennis profile image
Adam Dennis

Great points here. I like the diagrams. From my own experiences, both as a manager and as a dev, it’s a good idea to have a weekly cadence of a ~15minute 1on1 with your direct manager for alignment and morale, but also equally important to provide positive-minded feedback to your peers (other managers and/or developers… and not just in your PR/code reviews!) Communication, whether up, down, or laterally, typically builds trust and helps software teams build better software.