Giving Feedback

By Progression

The ability to consistently give good feedback, both positive and constructive

Level 1

Able to give honest feedback to team members when needed. Understands the position they're in and thinks about appropriate phrasing accordingly.

  • Useful praise: You have repeatedly been quick to praise good work in peers.

  • Constructive criticism: You can point to several times when you've given a peer constructive criticism in a discrete, timely and actionable manner.

  • Feedback on work: Your feedback to peers on their work is honest, actionable and timely. You put the needs of the project over personal inhibitions. You're comfortable with having your mind changed.

  • Understanding best practices: You've read known best practices on effective feedback giving, and can talk confidently about their values.

Level 2

Knows the difference between opinion and objective critique, and manages their everyday feedback process to ensure it's actionable and fair. Able to unpick team issues and give good direction without offending.

  • Useful praise: You're in a position of influence over a group of designers, and use praise actively as a way to balance team dynamics and promote diverse thought. Your praise is actionable, clear and reinforces specific good habits.

  • Constructive criticism: You have regularly identified opportunities for constructive critique within your team, and given it in a timely and actionable manner, resulting in noticeable improvements in performance.

  • Feedback on work: Your feedback on your team's work is honest, actionable and timely. You ask what level they need feedback on and ensure you stick to that level. You don't give feedback when you don't have enough context to be useful, and expect to be wrong a significant amount of the time.

  • Understanding best practices: You're confident in using best practices when giving feedback to your team. You can give reasoning behind your personal feedback methods and style.

Level 3

Able to critique work at a level that allows team members to feel autonomous and empowered. Practices radical candour – timely, clear and directed feedback – to team and peers.

  • Useful praise: You're in a position of influence over a large group of designers, engineers and other disciplines. You have actively used specific pointed praise as a method to shape the expected behaviours of the team you are designing, with measurable results.

  • Constructive criticism: You're comfortable giving constructive critique to members of your team and other teams where appropriate. That feedback is always carefully worded and useful and has resulted in several measurable improvements in relationships or work.

  • Feedback on work: Your feedback on multiple teams' work is strictly useful and actionable. You're able to articulate in a fair and efficient way not only what your opinion is, but why you have that opinion. In disagreement you're comfortable with having your opinion changed and invite other opinions from those around you.

  • Understanding best practices: Your adherence to best practice makes you dependable and knowledgable when supporting others in their feedback conversations. You advocate for best practices amongst your peer group.

Level 4

Teaching teams how to give feedback in more effective ways. Candid and honest, but fair. Not afraid to speak truth to power, and as such is trusted by the business to have an honest opinion.

  • Useful praise: You're in charge of a large group. You use your ability to praise and lift up entire teams of people to show good behaviour that can be mirrored in others. You're conscious of spreading praise across all employees and not biasing against less vocal team members.

  • Constructive criticism: You've coached members of your team or peers on more effective feedback-giving. You've encouraged an environment of candour amongst your team, meaning that team members regularly give more thoughtful critique to each other. You in turn have given constructive critique to senior staff when necessary, delivered sensitively.

  • Feedback on work: As a senior manager across many projects, you only critique work at an appropriate level, ensuring you don't undermine your team. You focus your feedback on the management abilities of the managers in your team, setting up environments which encourage quality critique.

  • Understanding best practices: You are actively coaching and guiding other managers using the techniques and advice of those more experienced than you, which you've adapted to the culture of the organisation. You're providing direct reports with material and training to help them improve.

Level 5

A central part of the businesses ability to sense check quality, culture and strategy. Known for honesty and integrity across the business. Majorly impacts openness and honesty in company culture.

  • Useful praise: You're setting expectations, processes and putting forums in place to encourage useful, actionable praise across your organisation - across different mediums. Through this you've seen a measurable increase in pride and happiness across all personalty types and teams. You're talking about the power of praise across the organisation and beyond.

  • Constructive criticism: You're helping every level of your organisation to become better at giving feedback. The executive team come to you for help with challenging power and recognising candour as a vital part of a well functioning organisation.

  • Feedback on work: You've developed a culture of healthy critique in your organisation. You can point to multiple methods introduced or encouraged by you to allow teams to run critique in more effective ways. You restrict your critique to the skills you are a true expert in, around leadership.

  • Understanding best practices: You've actively designed a program of workshops, reading and support to help everyone in your organisation to give feedback in a more consistent and appropriate way. You're developing techniques and drawing on psychology to improve methodology, which you're sharing with industry.

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