An unconference experience

What happens when we connect and discuss our challenges and opportunities in a place where there’s safety, freedom and no judgement.

A bit of a different post for me today. Sharing my summary from co-hosting an Unconference in Leicester just over a week ago for LnDConnect.

The Curve Theatre, Leicester with clear blue sky background
Image by Mark Gilroy

It was a beautiful sunny day at the Unconference last week and the Curve was a brilliant venue for us! Thank you to Mark Gilroy for his amazing photography beginning with this gorgeous one of the venue. read more

Psychological safety : we have a choice

Psychological safety was researched for many years before it hit the headlines with Google’s Project Aristotle. In asking “what makes an effective team?” the key enabling factor was psychological safety. But we have a choice — we can create psychologically safe environments with or without effort. What do you choose?


HT for the image : https://coetichr.com/psychological-safety-people-science/

Definition : Psychological safety is “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”

I’m sure you’ll have been in a conversation or a meeting at some point in your life where you wondered whether to speak up, whether to ask the question, whether to offer the idea you had, whether to say I don’t know, or whether to say it didn’t work. read more

Mapping the Employee Experience : #EX at #LearnConnectDo

I’m delighted to host this post from Lara Plaxton who’s co-facilitating the next Learn > Connect > Do on 14th June with Garry Turner.

Employee Experience is a new concept in the world of work so if you want to be ahead of the game and learn more: read on and book on!

Over to Lara…

In preparation for this month’s Learn > Connect > Do session, it came to light that whilst there’s lots of information out there on Employee Experience, it’s often quite theoretical and not practical. In our session, we will run an interactive workshop where we’ll consider the employee experience, map out journeys, create personas and run a design-thinking exercise to find solutions to some of the pain points in your workplaces. So ahead of this, we thought we’d share some thoughts on how to understand employee experience better through mapping journeys.

Firstly, before we approach employee experience its important to point out that this should not be viewed in isolation. Systems thinking is an approach to ‘seeing’ things in a holistic way to understand how everything is connected and interdependent on each other within a system. If we view an organisation as a system, then we start to become interested in the various components that make up that system – the stakeholders, processes, technology etc. It makes us think differently. A useful model in this respect is the Service Profit Chain Model:


https://hbr.org/2008/07/putting-the-service-profit-chain-to-work

This annotated version of the chain highlights both employee and customer satisfaction as the focus areas of both Employee and Customer Experience because these are the points where an emotional response is experienced and so these are critical components in the chain.  Their connection and interdependency with each other means they mustn’t be designed in isolation or without consideration of how they impact each other.

If you fundamentally believe in this chain as a route to success then you’re off to a strong start when it comes to Employee Experience.

Employee Experience is often confused with employee engagement or as an extension of the employee lifecycle but Employee Experience has User Experience at its core and, with the influence of Customer Experience which established itself first, we can define Employee Experience as the emotional connection between employees and the organisation from the first touchpoint with an organisation – before even thinking of applying for a role – through to the post-employment relationship. Employee Engagement on the other hand is a symptom of what your Employee Experience is like.

So, how do you go about understanding the Employee Experience in your organisation? There are various methods ranging from mapping journeys to developing personas through to analysing the emotional connection at every interaction. This includes human, digital, environmental, cultural and structural interactions where ‘moments of truth’ may occur or ‘pain points’ are highlighted that allow for deeper understanding of how someone feels at that point given their critical nature.

Here is an example of a Customer Experience journey which represents a useful way of documenting the various touchpoints, how the user thinks and feels at that point through to ideas for improvement.


https://www.visual-paradigm.com/guide/customer-experience/what-is-customer-journey-mapping/

This example is useful because it doesn’t just map out the touchpoints, it also includes how people think and feel which can be understood  through feedback surveys but also through behavioural analytics.  This insight then then forms the basis for idea generation – best done through collaboration from various departments and stakeholders to create potential solutions.

It can be helpful to map out the full employee journey at a high-level and it is also important to break this down into specific activities / transactions such as recruitment, onboarding, training etc so you can analyse the emotional responses of users as they go through these experiences. That specific activity must then be viewed within the context of the whole experience – and then within the wider system so you can consider how it might impact the Customer Experience. Constantly diving down into the detail and coming back up to the macro view to test the interdependencies and connections.

Developing personas (creating a fictional character of a ‘type’ of user) is a valuable tool in appreciating the various perspectives of an experience and to differentiate or personalise the experience for different users.

With the theory and context from this post as a backdrop, we’re looking forward to getting into the practical realities of the Employee Experiences of the Learn > Connect > Do delegates’ workplaces, using these mapping exercises and running a mini-hack to create innovative solutions.  we can’t wait!

If you’ve not already, book here!  And we look forward to seeing you there!!.

 

Why people disengage

First day in the new job….
I’ve never been responsible for so much before. I wonder what the new boss will be like.
Better make a good impression or they’ll think they’ve made the wrong hiring decision. Better make a good impression or they’ll think I’m no good at my job.
Must look like I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about. I’m meant to be in charge of all this. Must look like I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about. I’m meant to be in charge of this department.
OK, let’s do this. OK, let’s do this.
[Step into the office, shoulders back, head up, eye contact, confidently greeting people] [Steps into the office, looking around]

Is he here yet?

[Conversations in flow – listening deeply] [Conversations in flow – speaking passionately]
Wow I’m learning loads. Wow I know more than I realised, and he seems to be really listening. This is going well!
I have so many questions. These questions are really getting me thinking. I love this!
These people really know their stuff. I feel like I know my stuff even better than I did before this conversation!
They seem so engaged with what they’re doing and keen to change things for the better. I love this job and this new boss seems great!
I’d better show that I know stuff too [adds knowledgeable stuff to conversation]. And he has insights to add. That’s so useful to have a new perspective.
A few months later…..
[Amount of knowledgeable stuff added to conversations grows….] [Amount of knowledgeable stuff added to conversations is dropping, confidence is dropping]
Hey, I’m doing great!   Look at all this stuff I know now. I’m not sure I’m as good at this as I thought I was.
I can add so much to conversations. I don’t feel I can share anything he doesn’t already know.
I have so many ideas.  I’m thriving on sharing them with everyone! I don’t know where to take this next.  I can’t get a word in edgeways anyway.
6 months later….
I get all this now. I’ll wait to be told.
I’ve got a clear plan of what we need to do and how we’re going to get there. It’s always his opinion first so no point thinking first.

 

Why is this person saying this again? We went over this already? If he’d only listen he’d hear what I’m really saying. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t care what I have to say.
I asked for that last week. What are they doing? What’s the point, it won’t be exactly what he wants anyway.
I have this amazing idea – I’ll go and tell the people who need to make it happen. It must be done yesterday! Instructions received.   Robotic task-completion mode engaged.
Nobody has anything to say around here. …..
I wish people would just get on and do instead of seeking permission from me! Given he knows it all I need to check this first or it’ll be wrong.
Why does nobody interact in our meetings or bring ideas?

It’s like they’ve all just disengaged.

…..

We’re taught our whole lives – from school and through work – to show our brilliance.  Have the ideas.  Show you know things.  Demonstrate capability.  Do stuff and do it well and quickly.

All through school, university and work we’re rewarded and praised for knowing and doing.

Then we reach leadership and we keep knowing and doing.  And people disengage, switch off their brains, and do the basics or go elsewhere.

We need to just be.  To listen.  To allow space for others to grow into.  And yes to add insight.  To provide a broader context or set a vision higher than anyone might believe can be reached.  But all the while involving and listening to others.

How are you doing at being?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building for Collaboration

Today I’m delighted to welcome Shirley Marshall to the Wild Fig blog.  Shirley’s an HR Partner at RCI and came to the last Learn > Connect > Do event in December.  I was delighted when I heard that Shirley took her learning back to work and wrote an internal blog post to get others thinking and talking about the topic of workplace and collaboration, and she’s kindly given permission for it to be re-produced on here.

This is what the “Do” of these events is all about!  Having met Shirley and experienced her commitment to making work better, I’m confident that this will be the start of some changes for her and her colleagues.  For now, it’s over to Shirley with her reflections and questions that may just get you and your colleagues thinking and talking too.

I recently attended a think tank session at the Beefeater Pub in Leicester and given the topic was “do we still need offices” it was pretty relevant not to have the session in the office environment! As I walked in, the atmosphere felt friendly and warm, not like the traditional “seminar” type environments which we are often greeted by when attending such events. It immediately got the creative thoughts flowing in my mind!

To kick things off, a guest speaker (Dan Pilling) took to the stage to demonstrate the facilitation technique which was Pecha Kucha; a presentation style designed to facilitate dynamic conversations and consists of 20 images over 20 slides, with each slide having a 20 second window therefore making the presentation just 6 minutes 40 seconds. Dan is in Facility Management starting his career in the functional world of, how do we make the most of this space? However, as the world has moved on, so has his role in terms of managing stakeholder expectations and needs to ensure the office is not only functional but meets the needs of the business in terms of organisation goals, culture, engagement and brand.

Pecha Kucha was engaging and I focused on the content of Dan’s presentation rather than what was going on within the slide. It gave me inspiration for future toolkit sessions or open days that offer short, engaging “bite-size” insights rather than long presentations.

Dan’s presentation was thought provoking, and sparked many questions in my mind, but on review, they culminated into one overall trail of thought: what stops collaboration across different office environments, be that across floors in the same building, or across different locations?

Is it culture? The facilities? The IT? The behaviours/habits of the people? The communication channels? A lack of empowerment? Is it a combination of all of these factors and if so, how do these things integrate? We often look at these topics in silo but perhaps we need to bring it all together to make sure the objectives are aligned and conducive to teamwork and collaboration. In order to do that, we require alignment cross function and physical location, ensuring that everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities regardless of physical location or the team they sit within.

After the presentation, we split off into groups to brainstorm some ideas and resolutions to the current challenges we were facing….. We discussed the “us” and “them” mentality, with one member of the group – Garry – explaining that within his organisation they had Finance & IT on the 5th floor and Sales on the 8th floor and although part of the same organisation they were two distinct functions, with no sense of commonality, even to the point that the Senior Leaders within each floor had not had regular meetings until 2 months ago. This got me thinking about our recent office moves, and those that may be upcoming. I have heard people talking about how a particular team have moved “to the other side”. Perhaps it is a natural inclination to box ourselves and others as it enables us to simplify our complicated lives, & gives us a sense of belonging. But how can we move away from that when it prevents a culture of collaboration?

I started thinking about how many pockets of collaboration are occurring across our region, different teams do this in different ways…. But how do we communicate these tools that are currently being used in isolation? Team collaboration is fantastic but if we are all working to the same common goal and purpose – to send people on the vacation of their dreams – then let’s bring all of this together! I felt like we have all the right tools and stepping stones, but there is an obstacle – perhaps an unrealised one that prevents inclusion/sharing of these tools and insights.

A possible obstacle to this is the natural desire to pigeon hole ourselves into areas of expertise – but who should be involved and who makes the final decision? How often do we take a step back when it is something we are an “expert” in, and ask for other’s opinions or feedback/input? People that are collaborating across the business at the moment, could really benefit from including other people in their discussions but how do we foster an environment that makes it ok to reach out and include others. In fact, how do we ensure that people across the business know who is the most appropriate person or team to involve?

Is it also true to say there is an out of sight, out of mind mentality? How many people in the Midlands office understand what the Spain or London offices do? Predominantly it is only those working directly with those teams that would have an awareness of that.

Further to this, we often hear people talking about how busy they are – is this real or is it for perception? What if people have loads of time to share ideas and participate in collaborative thinking sessions, or just catching up with other functions and organisations – does that give the impression they don’t have enough to do?

Giving ourselves time to think and improve and collaborate should be part of our day to day and accepted within the culture, not perceived as time wasting. Some managers might be better at encouraging their teams to take the time on such things than others. How do we make this ok?

Before you leave this blog, take some time to ponder these questions….

Who could you better collaborate with?

What stops you from collaborating?

Do you give yourself time to think and reflect?

If not, what stops you doing that?

What would be the benefit of making time to think?

 

And finally….

What commitment will you make to do things differently in 2017?

 

[Image credit : http://blogs.informatica.com/2014/05/01/pim-is-a-silo-breaker/#fbid=SBF1IUS70NT]

Learn > Connect > Do : Do we still need offices?

delegatesLast night Dan Pilling and I welcomed a great group of people to the first birthday of Learn > Connect > Do where we were talking about workplace + space and whether we do indeed still need offices.

 

Dan started the event with a Pecha Kucha about how the workplace has evolved as technology and work has changed.  We no longer need all the desk space and personal office space we used to have in the 70’s.  Instead that’s mostly been replaced by bland, row upon row, of simple-to-design-and-install identikit desks where people spend too much time sitting => which we now know is causing all sorts of health problems including impacting our sleep => and poor sleep affects our work performance.  Oh, and the hours we spend sitting commuting to these offices…

With work now becoming more mobile because of tech, some workplaces are choosing to design work more closely to how we live – with areas where people can congregate around kitchen-table-type workspaces, or sit on comfy chairs with a good coffee for a meeting.  No longer do you need to go to a coffee shop to get that background buzz and delicious smell.  Less regimented, definitely less bland – and yet something which feels a long way off for most people.  Think of the numerous call centres up and down the land.  They won’t be lounging on a chaise lounge when they take your call!

So where did we get to with all this yesterday?  A theme emerged about wanting greater collaboration with the intention to break habits and silos, in turn enabling those serendipitous conversations which can be so surprisingly fruitful and inspiring.  Something which connects back to Margaret Heffernan’s opening keynote at the CIPD Annual Conference this year (Fika work breaks got a mention last night too).

So here’s my version of where the conversation went, including some of the side roads we took a trip down.

Take a look.  What does this mean for you?  What’s the difference your organisation wants to make? ….Beyond the numbers.  And what is it about your workplace + space that’s getting in the way of that happening?  And crucially, how engaged are your leadership team in this stuff?  Maybe that’s where you need to start?

Oh, and by the way, we decided that as a nation we just need to stop commuting and see what happens!  Up for it?  we’ll start on Monday 🙂

Add your thoughts in the comments to see what a serendipitous conversation could lead to!

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NEXT LEARN > CONNECT > DO : 9th March, 3-6pm, Observatory Beefeater, Leicester.

Send me your email address if you’d like to go on the mailing list.

 

 

 

 

Do we need offices?

BREAKING NEWS! Ian Ellison now also speaking at Learn > Connect > Do!!  Read on….

On 1st December it’s Learn > Connect > Do, the event for people professionals who care about making work better.

This quarter we’re talking about our workplaces and spaces and stimulating the debate from the position of “Do we need offices?”.  It’s fantastic to have Dan Pilling and now, not just Dan, but Ian Ellison too!  They’ll be joining us to bring us their deign and workplace insights and get the discussion going.  As the Chair and Deputy Chair of the BIFM Special Interest Group they know their stuff!

So why this topic?  With the gig economy and our ‘always on, work anywhere’ technology surely we don’t need to all be in one physical space together any more.  But then even Google has offices – and they clearly invest a lot in how they look and feel.  Most of us don’t have those kinds of budgets so what can we do where we work?

google-offices-2 google-offices-3

What’s it like for you?

Maybe your business has a regionally or geographically spread team.  Are they based in offices, from coffee shops or from their homes?  What impact does this have on how you and they work day to day?  What’s great about it and what stops this being useful?

Maybe your workplace is tired, uninviting and temperaturely chaotic.  What impact does this have on the teams and their wellbeing and effectiveness at what they do?

Or perhaps your workplace is in one location but inside it feels like lots of separate spaces – physically and emotionally.  Which areas are seen as better off and which are the poor relations?  What does this mean for how people communicate and collaborate?  Does the space reinforce silos between teams?

And then there’s the whole open plan vs closed offices.  Introverts and extroverts and highly sensitive people.  How do we meet everyone’s needs?

We’ll be exploring these and no doubt many more questions on the day so you can leave with new ideas and practical solutions that could make work better where you are.

Join us by booking here, we’d love to see you there – and Pulp Friction will definitely appreciate it – all profits this quarter are going to them 🙂

birthday-fizz-and-cake

P.S.  It’s our first birthday so there’s the chance for a cheeky wee prosecco and some birthday cake!

P.P.S.  I’m currently working with Simon Heath on re-branding ready for the new year so keep your eyes peeled for the new logo to start 2017 off in style!

P.P.P.S. If you can’t make this one but you’re interested in future events, send me your email address and I’ll put you on the mailing list.  And in the meantime pop these dates in your diary for 2017 – 9th March, 8th June, 14th Sept, 30th Nov – all 3-6pm.

How well do you influence others?

At the start of May I attended a course in Team Coaching, taking coaching from one-to-one to a team brings a whole different set of challenges and opportunities to improve organisational performance…

One of the topics we had some debate around was that of power in work. Power so often has negative connotations. In the same way the word conflict does. If I’d used that word instead of “debate”, what image would have come to mind about our conversation?  How would you have felt about it?  And what about “power”?  What do you think and feel when you hear that word?

Despite our emotional responses to these words, both conflict and power are essential in the workplace. Healthy conflict based on strong trust and with an intent to improve the organisation – not to have a personal dig at someone (see Patrick Lencioni’s work). And influencing through power, again with the intent to improve things for the collective – rather than for personal gain.

And no matter what influencing style you use, you will influence people in your life right now. You will have power over somebody, somewhere. That’s how things change.  This theory of the 5 Forms of Power might help you start to recognise your preferred approach and what you might benefit from doing more of.

 

Having been at the CIPD Learning & Development Show a couple of weeks ago there were lots of conversations about influencing the business agenda, about getting L&D the attention it needs from senior leaders. Chatting to Peter Cheese, he told me that he believes a shift has begun with organisations realising that their success relies on people. And I also hear more people professionals talking about knowing their business to be able to provide solutions that deliver the strategy.  This is all good.

However I’ve also had lots of conversations at the show and since, with colleagues continuing to struggle to get the people stuff taken seriously.

Leaders who say they believe in this people stuff but don’t follow through with commitments to make decisions at board meetings. Or who keep the people stuff until the end of the agenda so that it’s squeezed into the remaining minutes or left off completely. Or who say they want to do things but then don’t support their teams with conversations about it, or who don’t support them to re-prioritise so they can invest their time in it.

Leaders and unions who are so caught up in their own priorities, and protection of their position, that they aren’t open to others’ ideas or insights in case it shows up their knowledge gap or shows them something they don’t want to see. Putting their proverbial fingers in their ears and la la la’ing.

Fingers in earsa

Businesses so focused on task and deliver, deliver, deliver that they’re afraid to stop to look at another way in case everything comes crashing down in the meantime, therefore impacting on shareholder / owner value and their own career prospects.

Because often this behaviour we see isn’t through malicious intent. It’s often just because it’s the way things have been done for ages, or because there’s a lack of understanding and therefore a fear of being found out, or a fear of business failure and fingers being pointed and careers ended.

 

So what’s the solution? Well, that’s what Learn > Connect > Do is about on the 16th June. It’s a relaxed, interactive, conversation-based event to work together and figure out challenges we all face.  For June, the focus is how to influence effectively and, starting with this event, all profits go to an East Midlands charity.  The first to be chosen is LOROS who are a fantastic Leicester-based end of life hospice – so not only do you get great personal development and meet great people, you’re also doing good for others at the same time!

So what’s bothering you in work?  What’s not happening that’s feeling hard work?  What needs to change but isn’t?  Do you feel like you’re talking to yourself?  Do the people you need on side not ‘get it’?  Bring your challenges with you in June and we can collaborate together so you’ll leave with a way forward that works for you in your context.

To start your thinking, here’s a blog post from the L&D Show and a session where we heard from ATS Euromaster and Rackspace about how they’ve influenced leaders to embrace the modern learning agenda.

And here’s what we did at Learn > Connect > Do in December and March.

Book your place before they all go (only 20 people can join us!)

And we look forward to seeing you there!

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Founded by Helen Amery (owner of Wild Fig Solutions Ltd), the Purpose of Learn > Connect > Do is to bring together people professionals who care about work being better. And we do that by focussing on a different topic each quarter, facilitated with a different tool or approach each time. Aiming for maximum learning – both about the topic and about the approach. Plus getting to meet other professionals who care about the same things as you. And giving to charity too!

#learnconnectdo

It’s nearly here! #CIPDOD15

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I’m excited!  On 29th September I’m taking a trip down to London for the CIPD OD Conference and what a day it looks like it’s going to be!

I’m not sure how long Org Development as a term’s been around.  I first learnt about it from the imminently wise David D’Souza, back in 2013, when I found out that the job I’d been doing and known just as a change programme, was in fact OD!  Who knew!!

Whatever it’s called, we all know that change is the new normal – the shrinking globe, the pace of technology, customer expectations – and we know that organisational culture will determine whether you can adapt to those external changes or not.  So whatever the name of the discipline – developing a culture that enables your organisation to change is essential to success as we step forward from here.

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My main work focus now is Exec Coaching which means helping individuals change – I guess helping them create the culture they want for their own world.  My approach is psychology- and brain-based to help clients understand what’s going on for them.  Their thoughts.  Their emotions.  When we can rationalise and understand in this way, it can help us to see an alternative way through.  This work then also leads me into working with leadership teams, enabling them to create the culture they want so on the 29th September I’m really curious to hear about what others are up to, and some of the research behind it.

For example, the first session is about Embedding Transformational Change with Julia Balogun from the Uni of Bath.  She’s going to be telling us about ‘alternative approaches to change’ – I really can’t wait to hear what these are, and whether insights about the brain are going to find their way in here.

There’s also a session with Zurich which will focus on translating the culture we desire into behavioural reality.  The brochure info says they’ll be talking about both employee involvement and centrally organised initiatives so I’m really interested to hear about how they balance those two things – and how that balance supports the culture they want.

There’s a theme I’m liking for the day which is about the reality of change – some stuff around the obstacles that can be faced, the fact that this stuff takes time, that it requires dialogue and collaboration and that we might need to develop new skills.  In fact there’s a whole session about the role of OD and how HR can transition to this.

A couple of specific areas of skill that we’re going to get a look into are Appreciative Inquiry (AI) which Inji Duducu will talk about, linked to sustaining commitment which, given that OD isn’t a quick fix, will be great.  Also there’ll be insights around the use of technology in achieving a cultural shift.  The technology bit doesn’t initially interest me so much, but the fact it’s the NHS talking about this does fascinate me.  The NHS and great tech aren’t words which go together in my current world, and I also know that there’s great stuff happening in the OD world of the NHS – possibly one of the biggest OD challenges on the planet!  So I’m really looking forward to hearing about what they’re up to.

So do you fancy joining us?  It’s going to be an amazing day!!  Book here.

#CIPDOD15

This is me……..www.wildfigsolutions.co.uk

WFS Tree

#FeedbackCarnival – The Curation!

Wow! What an amazing month April’s been for fabulous feelings and philosophies on feedback! 33 posts all together! Impressive stuff and a great wealth of insight has been created on a topic which is clearly an area of work that continues to need some attention so that we can improve.

Thank you to everyone who’s contributed. It’s only because of you that this curation is possible and able to benefit others with this same challenge.

It all started with a post I began to write  after a Pilates class…..

“Every week in my Pilates class there’s at least one of us that needs help to perfect a move.

> Sit right back, put all the weight into your heels so you can lift your toes. > Keep your hips facing forward and twist at the waist. > Lift your chest keeping your back in neutral.

And we adjust what we’re doing and then go “Oh! That’s how it’s meant to feel”.

And sometimes words aren’t enough and our instructor needs to come and show us one-to-one. Perhaps just visibly. Perhaps physically adjusting our bodies for us so we can really feel the difference.

We think we’re copying her when she stands at the front of the class. And yet sometimes we’re just not. Sometimes we’re really completely oblivious to how our own bodies are actually moving.

Timothy Gallwey talks about this in The Inner Game of Tennis. How he has to get players to stand somewhere that they can see their reflection so they can watch their swing. And then they see “Oh! I really am finishing too high”.

Because we really can be oblivious to what we’re actually doing compared to what we’re supposed to be doing – we all have Blind Spots.”

From those origins, the Feedback Carnival was born with this invitation for people to add their thoughts and observations; “Feedback would happen all the time if……”

carnival

So this post is my curation of all that insight to bring you some of the thinking that’s out there into one place.

A key point made by David Goddin in his post is that feedback benefits from being observations, not judgements, and so with this post my intention is to share the insights from all the contributions without judgement of whether they are right or wrong, good or bad. They are what they are and you will be able to read; debate with whoever will be helpful for you in that; and choose what is right for you – because some parts will be more helpful in some contexts than others. So while you read, I invite you to have your context and your purpose with feedback in your mind, and maybe start with a question.

What might help you?

What might help those around you?

What might help your organisation?

So, why should we care about feedback? What’s the purpose?

I think without exception, all the writers have believed that feedback is a helpful thing. Helpful for our personal development, and therefore helpful for those around us – and beyond – because it raises our awareness and so enables us to develop and improve what we do and how we do it, which improves ours and others performance, and therefore improves overall organisational results.

Peter Cook wrote a great example of how embracing feedback and doing something about it, coupled with persistence, got him the result he wanted for his career.

Heather Kinzie wrote about our fundamental human need of being wanted – or of receiving attention. This need for attention, which is very obvious in children, remains with us as we grow older, and feedback is one way in which we can meet this need in others. If someone’s given us feedback, they’ve seen us, they’ve noticed us, and they’ve cared enough to say something about it, and that has us feel OK – something Gemma Reucroft experienced when offering feedback to a colleague.

Kandy Woodfield acknowledges the purpose of feedback as providing a sense of belonging, a purpose, aspirational goals and trust in each other.

So the purpose of feedback isn’t just about that external results and performance stuff out there, it’s about the stuff that goes on inside each and every one of us every day. Perhaps if we took care of the internal stuff, the external would be more likely to take care of itself?

So what does that ‘helpful’ feedback place look like?

Many people acknowledge that feedback already happens all around us all the time, if we stop to notice it. However most of the content has focused on improving the ‘traditional’ work-based feedback situation. The place of ‘this is how you’re doing in your job’ or ‘this was the impact on me when you did that’.

As 70:20:10 learning strategies continue to be the focus for improved sustainability of learning, effective feedback will have to be central to that, given that it sits in the 70% of on-the-job learning, and in the 20% of coaching and mentoring, as well as in the 10% of classroom learning which  Rachel Burnham picked up on with some practical examples of making feedback part of a learning environment.

Jo Stephenson has a dream for how her future place of feedback will look “I’m dreaming of time when it’s common practice that feedback talk happens as standard, within the 1:1s I’m part of. It’s expected, it’s what we do here. We value it.”

Meg Peppin, Julie Drybrough and Gemma Reucroft all wrote about a place where feedback isn’t a separate ‘thing’ you ‘do’ it’s just part of the conversation between two or more people.

David Goddin read more