Dethroning deleterious behavior in the workplace using feedback wrap!

by Durgesh Kumar Mishra

I am an Agile Coach by practice. I visualize everything in the agile way; where happiness and culture are two major ingredients. Happiness at work is a win-win situation. Happy, engaged people are healthier, more productive; they have more ideas, are more likely to contribute over and above the responsibilities of their job and perform to their best.

If your team is happy – you and all around them are more likely to be happy.

In my previous article I talked about the value of using personal maps and how they can help in driving the behaviour of co-workers or individuals. This time I want to share my experience with one of the best practices from Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0 #workout: The Feedback wrap.

Problem Statement: Agile or agility is about Culture and People, not process. To achieve agility, we need a “Cultural and Mind Shift”. In my day-to-day activity I have observed that most organizations structure different frameworks to achieve their deliverables.

Yet, when the process and tools to achieve those deliverables have been imposed on a team, they are not always used effectively, or indeed followed up correctly. The lack of proper training, or knowledge of the process, results in the team suffering during the annual appraisal.

To alleviate this problem, I highly recommend trying the “Feedback Wrap”. Yes, a wrap with basic ingredients, which add value to instant feedback for teams, friends, even family! I love this concept and feel like it’s applicable at any moment in life when you need to give “Feedback”.

My Feedback Wrap case story

I wanted to share a case story of a real Feedback Wrap experiment that I used during a client coaching session. Due to workplace compliance the company will remain anonymous.

Initial Observations

In one of the teams I was coaching, I found that although the team had a very good understanding of ‘Process and Tools’, they didn’t seem to be working well as a team, and their behavior towards their peers was very volatile.  I also noticed, that their behavior would change based on feedback shared during Scrum Retrospective meetings, or simply in their day-to day-conversations.

Scrum never talks about the “HOW” aspect of resolving issues and I found that the conflicts and behavior change was due to how the feedback was shared amongst team members. This was an opportunity for me to get on the floor with the team and share the benefits of using the “Feedback Wrap”.

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The Feedback Wrap experiment

I remember one of the quotes written by Civil rights leader “Mahatma Gandhi”.

Be the change you want to see in the world

This led me to think about how I deliver feedback to the teams I coach. I decided to use the Feedback Wrap to give my own feedback to the teams and leaders that I was coaching. I found it very helpful.

I used case studies to show how Feedback Wraps changed the way people accepted evaluation, and how they contributed to more constructive feedback.

I chose two of the leaders from the organization and showed them how to use the Feedback Wrap. I gave them the tools to be able to use the exercise in everyday scenarios. Initially it was a tough transition for them, however it’s been three months since they started using Feedback Wraps with their teams and it’s clear to see it’s helping them build better relationships with their people.

The steps I took:

  1. Select two leaders
  2. Knowledge Transfer on Feedback Wrap
  3. Work together to create a first draft of how to give feedback
  4. Start providing feedback using the ingredients discussed
  5. Measure the results, behavioral change and acceptance
  6. Make similar sessions with teams to make sure they understand the concept
  7. Scale the concept and bring on the change

I wanted to share the interview I carried out together with the team leaders after we had carried out the Feedback Wrap experiment with the teams:

Feedback Wraps

What tools and exercises do you use to give team feedback? We’d love to hear your best tips for giving effective feedback.

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