- What is my plan?
In planning a feedback process, the program designer must make some important decisions. Including:
What tool should I use?
We can evaluate tools according to various criteria – reliability and validity, for example, but we ought also to think about what tool to use with reference to what we are trying to achieve and the culture of the organisation. Choosing a tool that has high norms and privileges strong performance management may not be the best tool to use if people in your organisation are not used to receiving feedback and you are attempting to encourage higher levels of collaboration.
There are also some general design aspects to look out for. Traditional coaches may dissuade participants from thinking about who provided what feedback. The tool is positioned as an objective device, best regarded as a reflection of our essential self. Systemic coaches know that feedback is never objective.
Raters are often influenced by the extent to which they like or dislike a person, for example (halo-effects). They tend to stereotype – beware if you’re over 50. Raters are not always able to recall the past accurately, unless they’ve just had an argument with the person they are rating! You may get a lower rating if yours is the fifth feedback request the rater received this week.
Feedback is also contextual. For example, I may find my propensity for plain speaking is much appreciated by one group of raters, who trust my intentions and value my capacity to give them clear direction. Those same behaviours are decried by another group of raters, who value harmony and accord. We therefore like tools that provide:
– Sub-ratings, separating out different rater populations. Often line managers rate differently to peers, who rate differently to direct reports, for example. Sub-ratings help coachees to understand that not everyone experiences them in the same way, that different people in different contexts will make different demands on them.
– Verbatims. Some coaches warn participants to just focus on the numbers and to focus on developing that generic skill. We encourage participants to make full use of the verbatim comments, to come up with detailed hypotheses as to what meaning is represented, and to go test those hypotheses by talking to people (respectfully of course).Download Article 1K Club