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Effective Strategies for Providing Feedback to Managers

David García

Head of Engineering at Cense AG

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Effective Strategies for Providing Feedback to Managers

In the fast-paced world of engineering, providing constructive feedback to managers is crucial for maintaining a productive and efficient work environment. However, it can be challenging to navigate this process while ensuring objectivity and professionalism. In this article, we will explore different approaches and techniques for giving feedback to managers, drawing insights from a recent exchange among top-tier engineers.

The Importance of Constructive Feedback

"This time, we are getting 360-degree feedback for everyone, including our managers."

Feedback plays a vital role in personal and professional growth. Providing feedback allows individuals to reflect on their actions, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately enhance their performance. However, when it comes to giving feedback to managers, there are specific considerations to keep in mind.

Framing Feedback Objectively

One engineer expressed uncertainty about how to frame feedback regarding their manager's readiness for the next level. They were concerned about being objective and avoiding any potential negative impact. In response, another engineer advised, "Be super descriptive and focus on specific situations. Try to be objective and avoid storytelling." By providing concrete examples and avoiding subjective interpretations, the feedback can be more effective and less likely to be misinterpreted.

Addressing the Manager's Impact

Another challenge that arose during the discussion was quantifying the impact of the manager's actions. The engineer explained, "We have been working on a complete redesign of the system, and my manager has been instrumental in taking initiative and going above and beyond." However, when asked to quantify the impact, they struggled to provide concrete measurements. In such cases, it is essential to explore alternative measurements that highlight the manager's contributions. This could include focusing on development experience, reducing complexity, or improving performance.

Promoting Junior Team Members

The engineers also discussed the importance of promoting junior team members to higher positions. One engineer shared their experience of pushing a junior team member to take on a senior role. However, they faced questions about ensuring the junior member's continued growth and performance. The engineer expressed their desire to provide comprehensive feedback to demonstrate the junior member's potential. This feedback would help others recognize their capabilities, even if they have not directly worked with them.

Strategies for Providing Feedback

To ensure effective feedback, it is crucial to approach the process with sensitivity and clarity. One engineer shared a valuable tip they learned from a psychologist: "When providing feedback, ask the person if they have a few minutes to discuss their performance review. This approach helps them relax and be more receptive to the feedback." Additionally, being detailed and solution-oriented in the feedback can help address any issues constructively.

Conclusion

Providing feedback to managers is a critical aspect of fostering growth and development within engineering teams. By framing feedback objectively, addressing the manager's impact, and promoting junior team members, engineers can contribute to a positive and productive work environment. Implementing strategies such as asking for permission before providing feedback and being solution-oriented can further enhance the effectiveness of the feedback process. Ultimately, effective feedback is a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.


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David García

Head of Engineering at Cense AG


Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingEngineering ManagementPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill Development

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