On Friday, I just finished "Group Feedback" session. Well I don't want to blog about what happened in that feedback. This post is more from the point of view of "Why we need feedback?".
What is "feedback"? Wikipedia defines feedback as
Feedback describes the situation when output from (or information about the result of) an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or occurrences of the same (i.e. same defined) event / phenomenon (or the continuation / development of the original phenomenon) in the present or future. When an event is part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop, then the event is said to "feed back" into itself.
We work in team and the team is made up of "Individuals". The behavior of individuals influence the outcome of team , may be in a positive manner or negative! A team is constituted to achieve a certain goal and so the team members behavior is very crucial for team success. Over a period of time when you work together, you learn about positives and negatives of a person. This helps you in understanding the person a little more and gel with them in a better manner. Somewhere I feel, this adds to the productivity of the team.
In a group feedback session, when you listen to people who are giving feedback to others, you actually get to know what they expect in their team members. This helps understanding the team better. One way to improve ourselves at what we do is to seek periodical feedback and sincerely work on the improvement items. So this feedback shouldn't be one time activity like once in a year kind and could be scheduled every 3 months or 6 months so that team is better equipped in attaining the designated goals. During my 6+ years of experience, I have never seen this as a team driven activity. I have always seen this task coming up when we near the financial review period. In some organizations I have seen that people will actually wait till the end of the year to give you feedback that you were wrong (with respect to certain tasks). I really pity those people as they think feedback is to point out someone's mistake rather than a chance to help someone improve themselves and collaborate better. So it becomes more of a formality rather than a necessity.
Most of the time onus lies on individuals; I have seen people willing to learn and improve and also few people who doesn't believe in these things. Well this post will not change any perception about "feedback" for people who doesn't believe in that. But my suggestion to them is "Feedback matters"!
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