In his opinion column for developers this month, I. M. Wright discusses giving and receiving feedback, answering such questions as, “What are the two valid responses to feedback?”, “How do you best provide feedback?”, and “When is disagreement not surprising?”
Prior columns on related subjects include these:
You talking to me? – What does all bad communication have in common? How do you hold your reader’s attention?
Beyond comparison – What causes team members to sabotage instead of support one another? Do managers invite competition or is it inherent in our culture?
I can manage – Where do managers go wrong? What two simple things can you do to become a good manager?
Take a look at I. M. Wright’s “Hard Code” (Microsoft Press, 2008), which includes 49 columns and numerous Eric Asides contextualizing, clarifying, and complementing I. M.’s unpulled punches. (Eric Brechner is Director of Development Excellence in Microsoft’s Engineering Excellence group.)
And here is I. M.’s opening jab this month:
It’s Midyear Career Discussion time at Microsoft. Perhaps you just finished, but more than likely you’re still trying to squeeze yours in. How’d it go? How will it go? For you? For your manager? Well, that depends.
It depends a bit on your prior performance and your manager’s prior performance. It depends a bit on the feedback itself and how that feedback is given. It depends a bit on how your parents raised you and the comfort of your chair. But the biggest influence on the lasting impact of your Midyear Career Discussion is the way you and your manager respond to feedback.
Let me put this delicately to you. You have no frigging idea how to give and take feedback. Seriously—not one frigging idea. Think I’m wrong? You are only proving me right. If you actually knew how to give and take feedback your response would be a sincere and polite, “Thank you.”