Mark / Mike,
after listening to your last cast on 'The Peer Feedback Model' I have a question: why did you cut step 1 'May I give you some feedback'?
I think that the question is good for two reasons:
1. for almost all the reasons it is good in the standard feedback model
2. it let you give feeddback in a more 'polite' way
Could you pleas explain better?

Mark's picture


Great question. The reason we did it is that I have tried both asking and not asking, and the overwhelming mountain of evidence pointed to not asking. I've tested this approach for YEARS...and it's just too obvious that asking reduces the effectiveness.

What I’ve found is that with peers, the biggest moment in delivering feedback is the manager asking themSELF “Can I share something with this person?” That’s obviously a function at least in part of the relationship and the perception of openness.

I’ve found as well that as soon as you ask the other person, in part because we don’t give feedback to peers nearly as often as we do directs, the recipient mistakenly sees this situation as significant or critical. In other words, asking a peer decreases their openness and increases their defensiveness, because they somehow feel that you are stepping beyond the acceptable peer relationship boundaries.

When we leave the first step out, it’s received more as a sharing of an outcome they might not be aware of, rather than a critique of their actions, which allows them to think more about what they did and come to their own conclusions.

I'm certainly not saying you can't ask... but my data shows that asking overall doesn't help. I've never tracked whether certain people prefer one or the other, because early on I learned that too many managers didn't want that level of complexity. That's not to say it wouldn't help in some situations.

Does this help?


PierG's picture

Thank you Mark, I see your point.