B-Side: Feedback is Non-Negotiable
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Let's talk bout feedback
Feedback is something we all like to think we're good at giving (and receiving), but often times these sentiments are unintentionally hollow. We all have good intentions. After all, we know we and our teams can only get better through feedback. Yet, in most companies we end up fearing retribution or that we're going to be too "mean."
Amongst a team this becomes a contagion, where we self-fulfill a culture where we want more feedback, but we don't seek or give feedback. The wheel turns and no one gets better. Atrophy sets in. Failure follows quickly thereafter.
At ProfitWell, we've found that we over index on the principle of feedback being non-negotiable. We've had plenty of people come to us for a feedback culture only to realize how dramatically different a feedback culture can be relative to an average corporate environment. This environment can be taxing, especially since some individuals need to be coached into a new way of thinking when it comes to feedback.
The following is our attempt at centralizing some of this feedback thinking through an internal memo. Coaching feedback is a series of many interactions and sessions, but we've worked to create a "bill of rights" for our culture, so people have a place to start in the interview, onboarding, or development process. Authorship is shared by Peter Zotto and Facundo Chamut, as we publish these as a group.
Feedback is non-negotiable
- Nothing is more crucial to success than feedback. It's the bedrock of sanding down our rough ideas and prickly traits in order to smooth us forward with momentum.
Feedback can be uncomfortable though, both to give and receive. We've put a stake in the ground that no matter that discomfort, the act of giving and receiving feedback is non-negotiable at ProfitWell.
Let's explore the why and how of feedback.
- Feedback is the means through which we build something great.
A great allegory that illustrates feedback's importance is that of a photography professor who split his students into two groups. One group was instructed to work on one photo for the entire semester, while the other was instructed to work on one photo every day. Both groups could solicit as much feedback from the professor as they wished.
At the end of the semester, the group that shot a photo per day produced noticeably better photographs. The repetitions and feedback they received from those repetitions allowed them to get incrementally better every day. The group that did only one photo improved, but they were only able to get feedback on ideas, rather than actual work.
As we all try to improve, we need to do many reps and sets of what we're trying to achieve and then reflect on those reps and sets to make sure we're moving in the right direction.
Reflection is the key here. After every attempt you can observe what went well, what didn't go well, and what you're going to do differently next time to optimize further. This introspective feedback mixed with how successful you were in your pursuit helps you get better. Of course, you can also receive feedback from others with a different perspective, thus compounding your development further.
Feedback is the only way to get better quickly, because it improves the quality and shortens the cycle to doing something great. The discomfort and time feedback takes are the price we pay for trying to be better. It's part of the journey.
- Feedback is tough because it's personal and emotional
Critical feedback hurts and can feel like a knife to the heart. Positive feedback can fuel you for days on cloud nine. It's a spectrum, but the continuum's ends can be quite extreme.
Not all feedback is hard to take though, even if it's critical. We can easily accept feedback we've come to terms with, no matter the gravity.
Facundo is a loud human. PC is a curmudgeon. Peter eats too much pizza.
These aren't positive, but we'd have no problem accepting them.
Feedback's hard to take when it grates against the stories we tell ourselves about our strengths and weaknesses. If Peter told Facundo he wasn't doing a deadlift properly and his form was off, he may have a hard time listening to the feedback, because Facu has been deadlifting for a long time and Peter hasn't done a deadlift since college.
Facu could easily ignore Peter though, because Facu clearly knows more in this instance. Yet, imagine if Peter told Facu he was a poor leader. There isn't clear expertise here and Facu respects Peter, so this would be much more difficult to hear.
As a provider of feedback we should be cognizant of the times we're giving feedback to someone that respects us about something they hold dear about their identity. As a recipient of this type of feedback we need to do our best to check our ego through cultivating a healthy self-esteem and embrace the beginner's mindset where all feedback is a gift to get better.
Feedback's going to hurt sometimes. You're going to take it personally, and that's because you want to do a good job. You're not going to want to give it, because you don't want to hurt someone's feelings. While seemingly well intentioned, the higher aim is to make everyone better, and the only way we're going to do that is through feedback.
- Feedbacks easier when you know it's from a source that cares
Putting feedback at the center of our principles and rewarding those who constantly give and receive feedback well is only the beginning. We also need to make sure those who are receiving feedback know the provider cares.
How do you show you care? Well, you build relationships.
Deeper relationships allow us to understand and respect each other's triggers. You're then able to give feedback at the level that the relationships supports. Facu and PC are going to talk to one another differently than PC giving feedback on an email to a team member he doesn't interact with much.
We all naturally build relationships, but make sure you're putting in the effort with your reports, team, and manager. We don't hire people who don't care here, but since we encourage you to bring your whole self to work, make sure you're learning more and more about those around you. The more you know, the easier conversations will be, especially when you take your relationship into account when giving and receiving feedback.
Relationships won't always save you - you may be particularly sensitive to something that's unknown or maybe you're just really bad at receiving feedback on certain topics. In these cases, make sure you lean into the most charitable interpretation (MCI), recognizing your reaction and not letting it impact the feedback.
You won't always be perfect, but that's what growing is all about.
- Foundations of giving feedback
When giving feedback your job isn't to tell someone what to do, nor is there any obligation for the recipient to listen to your feedback. Instead, our job as a feedback provider is to help someone get to an outcome and grow more effectively. As a recipient of feedback your job is to take in and understand the feedback from which you can filter to guide your decision making.
In this vein, we may end up giving feedback on things we know very little about (or know less than we think). That's ok. When in doubt make sure you say something. Yet, realize the recipient of the feedback may have much more insight or a closer proximity to the problem that makes your feedback irrelevant.
To keep the exchange effective, here are a few pillars of giving feedback.
Embed feedback in a performance culture
We already pointed out how feedback being non-negotiable is engrained in our culture, but you should realize this also is embedded into how we think about performance at ProfitWell.
Those managers who prove ineffective at giving or receiving feedback don't last long here. Infractions could include being duplicitous with feedback, "picking their battles", or creating an environment where their team is uncomfortable receiving or giving feedback. This goes for those who aren't managers, as well. We can't breathe the benefits of feedback if we're not all on the same wavelength.
Make sure feedback has the right context
Whomever you're giving feedback to, no matter their role or seniority level, should know why you're giving the feedback and how the feedback fits into the bigger picture. You're ultimately trying to help the person with answering, "What should they do more of and less of?" Give as much context as possible, because you're giving them data to filter and make decisions around how to get better.
Focuses on the future non-judgmentally
Feedback isn’t about the present, it’s about the momentum you’re gaining to be better. Dwelling on the bad or the good, doesn’t do much to reinforce or help fix anything. Focus on the outcomes. Feedback is rarely about being right or wrong; it's about effectiveness. Make sure you understand the outcome and speak in terms about how you think a certain behavior (or lack of one) is making them less effective.
Be clear and direct
Our discomfort with giving and receiving feedback sometimes makes us generalize or keep things vague. You're not doing your job or helping someone if they leave the conversation not understanding your feedback or thinking something completely different than what you meant. Our favorite example of this is in the early days when Peter would give critical feedback and the person would actually think Peter was giving them positive feedback. You need to be clear, and a good test of this is asking the person what they're taking away from the conversation to confirm.
Positive feedback is absolutely crucial
We tend to focus on feedback being critical, because that's what we tend to have the most trouble receiving. We also think being critical is the only way to get better. This is not the case. Studies have shown that critical feedback is only effective when coupled with positive feedback. This doesn't mean do the "compliment sandwich," but does mean that if you're not receiving positive feedback, the critical feedback will wear on you. Make sure you're giving your teammates positive feedback and if you're not getting the positive side from your manager, give them that feedback. Positive feedback is also important for learning, because it helps us reinforce what we're doing well. Remember, it's about doing more of what works and less of what doesn't. You can't know what's working unless you get positive feedback.
Feedback is non-negotiable, but the way you receive feedback is negotiable
We all have different personalities and backgrounds. You should know how you best receive feedback. A lot of us think we're warriors who can handle critical feedback in front of a group. Yet, you don't get brownie points for the intensity of the environment. You only get points receiving and using the criticism to get better.
It's ok to not want to receive critical feedback in a public setting.
It's ok to want to get on a zoom to talk through things versus doing so via slack.
It's ok to tell your team that you're sensitive about certain topics.
You'll know your emotions better than anyone else, and you'll know how to receive feedback in a manner that's best for you. Just make sure to tell those who give you feedback your preferences. If someone who normally gives you feedback is sending some your way, it's ok to ask them to change the venue or give them a call. How you receive feedback is very negotiable.
- Feedback is non-negotiable
If we're all trying to improve, the most effective way to do so quickly is through feedback. It's at the heart of your job at ProfitWell. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to give and receive. Yet, like most things worth striving for, achievement has some discomfort.
Work to improve your resilience to feedback and don't forget to lean on MCI. If you do both of these, ProfitWell will easily become the part of your career where your learning curve was the steepest.
You'll not only do better and achieve more, but you'll become a better person. You'll harness your emotions better. You'll learn to respond not react. You'll gain deeper relationships with those around you.
You'll just be better.
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What I don't think we realize is that feedback is hard to take when it grates against the stories that we tell ourselves about our strengths and weaknesses. And as a provider of feedback, we need to be cognizant of the times that we're giving feedback to someone that respects us about something that they hold dear about their identity.
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From proper well recur. Its Protect the hustle where we explore the truth behind the strategy and tactics of B2B SaaS growth to make you an outstanding operator. On today's episode, we're diving deep on feedback how we use it to build greatness, the personal and emotional side, the foundations of feedback and why feedback is non-negotiable. Patrick Take it away.
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Welcome back to another episode of Protect the Hustle. The B-sides of what you're hearing is Patrick Campbell, co-founder of Profit. Well, and these B-sides, for those of you don't know, those of you are joining me and a lot of people join up last week basically in order for us and myself to kind of learn in public so that we all can become, you know, better B2B SaaS operators.
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And so we go through some different topics each week. Some of the topics are a lot more tactical data that I've kind of worked on, and some of those are a little bit more, we'll call it executive development, things about feedback that we're going to talk about today or ways to think or ways to kind of align your principles and these types of things.
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And so if you're not on the email, if you're only listening to this on a podcast form, would encourage you to go to the hustle dot com, sign up for the email list, you get all the materials, everything in written form, you can still listen and we're still going to do the audio version, but it's more of like sometimes you reference, you know, a bunch of different things that you can kind of forward your team or to yourself.
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For. A reminder, before we get into the main topic, we're going to be talking about feedback today. But before we get into that, let's go through a couple of housekeeping items. Praful is now SOC to certifying all of our products, which Wu Spring break is exciting. I don't know if it's an exciting. It was a really fun experience.
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I'll sarcasm intended and basically what this means if you don't know what that means is we got audited and accredited you know security expert oversimplifying this sounds really reputable, but we got accredited we got audited by an accredited kind of security expert, and then they certified us as SOC two, which is, you know, the highest security standard in the market right now or one of the highest.
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I'm sure there's a security researcher who might quibble with that, depending on what you ask. But it's kind of the most widespread one that software companies typically get. But it just means that, you know, we aren't kind of putting security on the back burner, but it's actually a high priority for us. And as a data company, you know, of course that needs to be the case.
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But I'm bringing this up not only to just be like, Hey, this thing that we went through says we're, you know, not idiots and we actually know what we're doing. But also because it was an interesting process, like none of our competitors have done this. So it's a little bit of a tougher decision because there were some market reasons we did it, but it wasn't because of, you know, kind of a, Oh, everyone has this.
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We have to have it too. So if you want like a breakdown of the process, you're curious about anything involved with that, Let me know. It was a really good experience and I'm really glad we did it for a whole host of reasons. But I don't know if it's interesting to share that from kind of a business perspective rather than from, you know, kind of a technological perspective which has been shared all over the place by many different companies.
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So let me know just by replying to the email. Also, we're looking for someone to lead our middle of the funnel, like our business development team. So kind of our VTR specialist team, as we call them here at Profile. Well, if you know someone who's kind of gone from not 0 to 1 because now we have an established team, we didn't have that basically 6 to 9 months ago.
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But if you're looking for someone who wants to go from kind of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 in terms of like steps, so not step zero one, step one through ten, that would be awesome. We're looking to scale that team pretty rapidly, so it'd be awesome to have an introduction. We're hiring in our Salt Lake Boston or even our ROZARIO office, depending on where someone is.
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And also I was thinking of doing an AMA episode for Protect the Hustle, if that would be interesting to you, just reply here with questions. I would love to kind of dig into some things and also just appreciate all the social shares on last week's post. It was a good signal from us. We're kind of measuring our success or failure by replies and shares.
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So if you're enjoying this, share it. Please get more folks into the fold and of course reply with, you know, any feedback at all. So I want to make sure that this is useful for everybody. But with that, let's talk about feedback. And feedback is one of those things that we all think we're good at giving and receiving.
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But oftentimes, you know that that kind of sentiment ends up being, you know, unintentionally hollow. You know, we have good intentions, don't get me wrong, but we know that the only way to get better is through feedback. The only way our teams get better is through feedback. But in most companies, we end up fearing kind of retribution of giving feedback, or that we're going to end up sounding too mean.
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And so basically politics ends up taking over feedback, essentially, and this becomes this contagion amongst a team. We kind of self-fulfilling culture where everyone kind of wants feedback and craves feedback, but we don't really seek it or give it. And the wheel kind of turns and no one gets better. Atrophy ends up setting in and then failure follows quickly thereafter.
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And what's really interesting is when we look at profile, well, we have found that we overindex on this kind of axiom or plank within our principle platform because we say, and we believe your feedback is non-negotiable. And we've had plenty of people come to us from different places because of the feedback culture, only to realize just how dramatically a feedback culture can be.
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You know, in terms of how dramatically different it is compared to kind of a corporate environment. And so it's been a learning experience over the years because we essentially respond to, you know, this by doing a lot of coaching or trying to do a lot of coaching. But even then it can be really taxing for folks. And I've been thinking about this past couple of weeks because we're in the middle of this kind of step level change a profile well, where, you know, if we take a step back, it probably started, you know, three or four months ago and it's probably going to go for another three or four months, if not longer, depending on
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what looks like. And that's just part of growth. But it also doesn't mean it's all sunshine and rainbows. And so instead, you know, there's a lot of feedback flowing in all directions, which is really, really good, but it can also be taxing. And so I find myself coming back and forth to this, you know, kind of internal memo that we're going to talk about today, you know, where we talk about feedback being non-negotiable.
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And this is basically a centralization of our thoughts around feedback and so we do these internal memos that basically act as kind of a bill of rights for our culture. So if you think about it kind of like the US Constitution, US Bill of Rights, it's like we have these central documents that don't necessarily like account for every situation or 1% chance situations, but basically ensures that, you know, you have a starting place for if you're being recruited, you're in, you're onboarding, you're developing as a leader, as a team member, all of these different things.
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And so we have these like, you know, internal memos. You know, the goal is to have one for every single one of our axioms. We're not there yet and then probably have like a podcast or something like that. And then, you know, I've gotten some feedback of also talking about these kind of in the context of decisions and things like that.
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And so it's been kind of interesting. And this one was not our most controversial one, but it's not the easiest to accept by a lot of folks and so want to share it with all with you. Authorship on this is shared by both Peters, Otto and Facundo here at Provo. Well, as well as myself, we publish these as a group.
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So some of us, you know, we end up doing more of the writing than others, but we publish everything as a group just because we want to be kind of that unified front as a team. But, you know, with that, let's talk about feedback being non-negotiable. So if we kind of start from first principles here, you know, nothing is more crucial to success than feedback, right?
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That's the bedrock of sanding down kind of our rough ideas and prickly traits in order to kind of smooth us forward with momentum. Feedback can be uncomfortable, though, right? It can be uncomfortable to give. It can be comfortable to receive. And that probably put the stake in the ground that no matter the discomfort, the act of giving and receiving feedback is non-negotiable.
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And so we're exploring that basically in this memo. And so whenever we're writing these memos, we want to really, really start with the why as much as humanly possible. And so we did that here, where feedback is the means through which we build something great. That's the next section here. And we talk about this like allegory, and there's been a lot of versions of this allegory, but a really good one is basically of, you know, the photography professor who splits his students into two groups.
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One group was instructed to work on one photo for the entire semester or like one actual photo, while the other was basically instructed to work on a new photo every single day. And both groups were allowed to solicit as much feedback from the professor as they wished. And so at the end of the semester, what's really interesting is the group that shot a photo every single day, they produced noticeably better photos.
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And it's because the repetition and feedback they received from those repetitions allowed them to get incrementally better every single day. Now, the group that only had one photo, they did improve over the semester, but they were only able to get feedback on ideas rather than actual work. And that's the important point there. The distinction of not only ideas but also the actual work happening.
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And as we all try to improve, we need to do as many reps and sets of what we're trying to achieve and then reflect on those reps and sets to make sure that we're moving in the right direction. When it comes to feedback, reflection is the key. After every attempt, after every, you know, new thing that you're doing, you can observe what what well, what didn't go well and what you're going to do differently next time to optimize further this introspective feedback mix with how successful you were in your pursuit.
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It helps you get better. And of course, you can also receive feedback from others with a different perspective, which then will compound your development further. Feedback is the only way to get better quickly because it improves the quality of and shortens the cycle to doing something great and the discomfort and time that feedback takes. Those are the prices that we pay for trying to be better.
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It's ultimately part of the journey. Now, I think all of us can agree intellectually. Feedback is great. Feedback is important. The issue becomes that even though those things are the case, feedback is tough and it's kind of tough by design. But that doesn't make it easier. It's tough because it's personal and it's emotional. And if you think about the feedback that you received in your career, some of that critical feedback probably just kind of cut you right through the heart and some of that positive feedback probably fueled you for days, depending on the source and depending on what it was talking about.
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It's a spectrum, but the continuum ends can be really, really extreme. Not all feedback is hard to take, though, if you think about it. So if you think about some of the critical feedback that you can easily accept, it's typically that feedback that you've come to terms with, no matter the gravity right? When people call me a curmudgeon, some of you don't know me personally, but I'm kind of a curmudgeon, you know, a pragmatist, but also an idealist.
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And it's a really weird combination to have because some days you're like everything sucks, and other days you're like, We're going to figure it out. Right now. It's not a positive kind of indication about me, but I'd have no problem accepting, right? Because I've kind of come to terms with, you know, that's kind of how I'm wired. But feedback is hard to take when it grates against the stories that we tell ourselves about our strengths and weaknesses.
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If Peter, for instance, told for Kuno that he was doing a deadlift like completely incorrectly in his form was off, you know, Cirkunov probably would have a hard time listening to that feedback because Facundo does deadlifts, you know, every single week, whereas Peter hasn't done a deadlift since college. Now Fuku could easily ignore Peter because who clearly knows more in this instance.
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Yet if Peter went to Facundo and said, Hey, you're a poor leader, something as vague and general as that, there really isn't clear expertise there. It's a little bit more of an amorphous concept. You need to get a little bit more specific. And also Faker respects Peter, so this would be much more difficult to hear. So as a provider of feedback, we need to be cognizant of the times that we're giving feedback to someone that respects us.
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And if we want everyone to respect us obviously, but also about something that they hold dearly about their identity and as a recipient of this type of feedback, we need to do our best to check our ego through cultivating healthy self esteem and of course embrace the beginners mindset where all feedback is a gift to get better. Feedback ultimately is going to hurt.
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Sometimes you're going to take it personally, and that's just because you want to do a good job. You're not going to want to give it. You're not going to want to give feedback because you don't want to hurt someone's feelings. And while seemingly well-intentioned, the higher aim is to make everyone better. And of course, the only way to do that is through feedback.
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Now, when is feedback easier? How do we make feedback easier for our teams and even for ourselves? Well, feedback is easier when it you know it's from a source that cares. When you put feedback at the center of your principles as a company as we've done, and we reward those who, you know, constantly get feedback, I think we don't always realize this, we know this intellectually, but we always do the work of, Hey, that's only the beginning.
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We also need to make sure that those who are receiving feedback know the provider cares. This gets into the whole concept of having, you know, a psychologically safe environment where, yes, critical feedbacks flow and left and right and center and everywhere in every direction in between. But ultimately that those people know that it's not something that's, you know, attacking them.
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It's something that's there to help them in. The best way to do that is you got to build relationships, deeper relationships allow us to understand and respect each other's triggers. You're then able to give feedback at the levels the relationship supports. Because Facundo and I, we've been working together for a long time in a very kind of rigorous and just very critical manner.
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And so we're going to talk to each other differently when we're talking about feedback than if I was going to email a team member or a group who I don't interact with much and we naturally will build relationships. We have to make sure we're putting in the effort with our reports, our team and our manager and well, we don't hire people that don't inherently care.
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But since we encourage you to bring your whole self to work, we have to make sure that we're learning more and more about those around us. And the more we know, the easier the conversation ends up being, especially when you take your relationship into account when giving and receiving feedback and the relationship's not always going to save you, don't get me wrong, because you're not going to know the entirety of someone and something that, you know, they end up being sensitive to.
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But this is where we rely on things like the most charitable interpretation principle, which is something that we can talk about in another, you know, kind of episode at some point, but we ultimately can kind of recognize that reaction and not let it impact the feedback ultimately. And we're not always going to be perfect, but that's just kind of what growing is all about, right?
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So given the why and kind of examining, hey, this is when it can go really, really poorly or this is where it can go really, really well, here are some foundations of how to give feedback. And when giving feedback, your job isn't to tell someone what to do. I think this is where we have a problem. We have a different distinction.
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There's not even an obligation for that person to listen to the feedback that you're giving. Instead, our job as a feedback provider is to help someone get to an outcome and grow more effectively. And I think this is a really, really important distinction because oftentimes when we're giving feedback, we're kind of, you know, especially if it's a manager to, you know, an individual contributor.
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We run into this situation where, you know, we're not necessarily focusing on the outcome. We end up focusing on, you know, some sort of like form and it can get misconstrued and oftentimes very, very much misinterpreted. And then all of a sudden you might hurt the relationship, which then is going to hurt giving more feedback in the future.
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So as a kind of a giver of feedback, you got to focus on that outcome and focus on the growth as a recipient of feedback, your job is to take in and understand the feedback as much as humanly possible and then filter it to guide your decision making in the future. So in that vein, we may end up giving feedback on things we know very little about.
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If I go to Michael or Director of Engineering and I give them some feedback on something to do with our code base, you know, that's okay. But I can't like act as if, hey, I know everything, therefore I'm right. I know very, very little. Therefore, my feedback needs to be housed in. Hey, I'm not really sure about this.
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I'm sure you've thought about this, but just something that like keeping me up last night, you know? Have you thought of this? Right? And we have to realize that the recipient of feedback oftentimes will have more insight or closer proximity to the problem. So here's a few pillars to think through. I think the first thing is really embedding feedback in a performance culture.
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So we already talked about, you know, feedback being non-negotiable, like kind of go so far to the extreme to make sure it's ingrained in our culture, but it's also, you know, how we should, you know, embed this whole concept and how we think about performance. Those managers who proven effective at giving a receiving feedback, they tend not to last long infractions could include, you know, being duplicitous with feedback, you know, quote unquote, picking your battles, creating an environment where the team is uncomfortable receiving or giving feedback.
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This goes for those who aren't managers as well. But we can't breathe the benefits of feedback if we're not all on the same wavelength. So oftentimes from a performance standpoint, if you're not good at giving feedback, you're not going to last long, especially as a manager. We also need to make sure feedback has the right context. Whoever you're giving feedback to, no matter their role or seniority level, they should know why you're giving the feedback and how the feedback fits into the bigger picture.
00;17;43;25 - 00;18;02;18
You're ultimately trying to help that person with answering what should they do more of and less than you want to give as much context as possible because you're giving them data to filter and make decisions around how to get better, not about telling them what to do. It's about giving that feedback in order to say, Hey, these behaviors seem to have the right outcomes.
00;18;02;18 - 00;18;20;19
These behaviors seem to have the wrong outcomes, but you're the one closer to the problem. Here's the feedback. And like, let's talk deeper on. And if you don't understand or if you think this is something worthwhile, another big thing is focusing on the future. Non-judgmental feedback isn't about the present. I think that's a big, big thing. We mess up.
00;18;20;19 - 00;18;40;08
I mess this up a lot too. It's about the momentum that you're gaining to be better When you dwell on the bad or the good, it doesn't really do much to reinforce or help fix anything. You got to focus on outcomes. Feedback is rarely about being right or wrong. I mean, oftentimes that's what we want to make it just as, you know, reactionary humor humans, but it's more about effectiveness.
00;18;40;19 - 00;19;04;05
Make sure you understand the outcome and speak in terms about how you think a certain behavior or lack of one is making them less effective in other things, being clear and direct or discomfort with giving and receiving feedback. It's sometimes makes us generalize or keep things vague. You're not doing your job or helping someone if they leave the conversation, not understanding your feedback or thinking something completely differently than what you meant.
00;19;04;23 - 00;19;30;26
Be clear and direct. Our discomfort with giving and receiving feedback sometimes makes us generalize or keep things vague. You're not going to do your job properly or help someone if they leave the conversation. Not understanding your feedback or thinking something completely differently than what you meant. Now, one of our favorite examples of this, and you don't have a lot of context on this, is in the early days, Peter, who is kind of the most lovable exec we have.
00;19;31;10 - 00;19;56;02
You know, he'd give critical feedback and the person would actually think that Peter was giving them positive feedback. You know, you need to be clear. Really good test of this is making sure you get alignment. Ask that person, you know what they're taking away from the conversation and confirm. And then kind of going into this to last point, feedback needs to be positive to a lot of this conversation was really focused on critical feedback, and that's because that's typically where we have the most difficulty.
00;19;56;15 - 00;20;14;00
But positive feedback is so, so important because studies have shown that critical feedback is only effective when coupled with positive feedback, It doesn't mean the compliment sandwich. That's not what I'm talking about though. But it doesn't mean that if you're not receiving positive feedback, the critical feedback is going to wear on you or the person that you're giving the feedback to.
00;20;14;11 - 00;20;30;26
You got to make sure your teammates understand positive feedback. And this goes along with, Hey, what should I do more of? And oftentimes these are some of the best managers that they're focusing on. Hey, here's what you should do more of. This was great. Do more of this. It's also important for learning because it helps us reinforce what we're doing.
00;20;30;26 - 00;20;52;29
Well, remember, it's about doing more of what works and less of what doesn't. You can't know what's working unless you get positive feedback. And the final piece here is this something we say a lot of we probably could say more is that feedback is non-negotiable, but the way you receive feedback is very negotiable. We all have different personalities and backgrounds and you got to know what's the best way to receive feedback.
00;20;52;29 - 00;21;11;08
And some of you have never really thought of that. A lot of us think we're, you know, warriors who can handle critical feedback in front of a group and you don't really get brownie points for the intensity of the environment. You're receiving feedback. You really only get points for receiving and using the criticism to get better. It's okay to not want to receive critical feedback in a public setting.
00;21;11;16 - 00;21;29;26
It's okay to want to get on a zoom to talk through things versus doing things through Slack. It's okay to tell your team that you're sensitive about certain topics. You know your emotions better than anyone else, and you'll know how to receive feedback in a manner that's best for you. Just make sure to tell those who give you feedback your preferences.
00;21;29;26 - 00;22;01;01
If someone who normally gives you feedback is sending some your way, it's okay to ask them to change the venue or give them a call. How you receive feedback is very negotiable and we put that together mainly because we started getting feedback. Well, what's really interesting is when you have this kind of overindex type mantra, feedback being non-negotiable, at least in my opinion, you need such an intense kind of stake in the ground is because when you kind of cede ground on some of your values, you end up kind of opening a giant hole when it comes to those values where all of a sudden it becomes something that you say but you never actually
00;22;01;01 - 00;22;18;00
do. And when you put that stake in the ground, you avoid that problem. But the consequence is oftentimes you end up kind of getting bugs in a little bit of a different way where people think that, you know, everything around that particular value isn't negotiable. And so we wanted to talk through like, Hey, the way you receive feedback is very negotiable.
00;22;18;00 - 00;22;38;26
You just got to get the feedback. And I think that worked out fairly well. But we have to coach so much more than I think we're doing right now, especially with, you know, certain types of folks who naturally aren't inclined to, you know, get this feedback smoothly. But to kind of close this out, if we're all trying to improve the most effective way to do so is through feedback.
00;22;39;10 - 00;23;03;03
It's the heart of our jobs at profit. Well, and I think it's the heart of your jobs as an operator in the world of SaaS. It could be uncomfortable. It's going to be uncomfortable. Like most things, you know, achievement has some sort of discomfort. You want to work to improve your resilience, to feedback just as a human. And you got to lean into this whole concept of most charitable interpretation where you're not just assuming everyone has it out for you and assumes the worst.
00;23;03;20 - 00;23;27;01
And if you both of these, you know, profit well, and I would argue your business will easily become the part of your career where your learning curve was the steepest. You'll not only do better and achieve more, but you'll just be a better person. I know for me personally, I have grown so much through feedback where, you know, just emotionally I've been forced to kind of face so many different things, which was great over the past decade.
00;23;27;03 - 00;23;47;01
It was awesome to basically focus, but ultimately feedback, it just helps you do better. And so with that, I hope all of you have a phenomenal rest of the week and weekend, depending on when you're listening to this. If you have any questions, obviously reply to the email, make sure you're signed up at Protect the Hustle dot com, but make sure you're doing well.
00;23;47;01 - 00;23;55;09
Make sure you're doing your introspection, make sure you're getting that feedback and make sure you're given that feedback. But we'll talk next week. We'll see how.
00;23;57;27 - 00;24;32;16
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