arge companies have entire teams dedicated to running a formal “review process” that involves feedback collection and sharing. But for small teams, such a process may be too time-intensive and unnecessarily bureaucratic. In addition, limiting feedback exchange to an annual occurrence fails to capitalize on the review process as a learning opportunity and even an alternative form of compensation. We all deserve feedback; it helps us perform better and ultimately succeed in our careers.
Some of the most productive teams I have come across utilize a more simple and actionable approach to feedback exchange. Steffen Landauer, now the Director of Leadership Development at Hewlett Packard, taught me a particularly novel approach in which he encourages leaders to send an email to each person on their team – as well as key clients – requesting a few feedback points for each of their colleagues under the headings START, STOP, CONTINUE.
Each recipient is expected to share a few things that each of their colleagues and clients should START, STOP, and CONTINUE doing. People then return their lists to a team leader (except for the feedback on the leader, which would be redirected to someone else on the team). The quick points under each heading are then aggregated to identify trends.
What are most people suggesting that Matt START doing, STOP doing, and CONTINUE doing? One-off points are discarded, and the common themes are then shared in a quick meeting with each member of the team.
The START/STOP/CONTINUE approach is simple and easy to implement. It works at the end of the year, the end of the month, or even after a client engagement or meeting. Feedback exchange needs to be simple and action-oriented; the START/STOP/CONTINUE methodology particularly encourages quick and timely evaluation.