Is it possible to help your team become more courageous in the span of one day? Our afternoon today seems to make the case. We spent the last few hours of day one of Factory Week giving each other feedback around two questions. What is my greatest gift? and What advice do you have for me?
Because there are just 15 of us, we went around the room and answered both questions for each person, one at a time. Yep. One at a time. It pushes pretty much everyone a little out of their comfort zone. For some, being the center of attention and listening to everyone talk about them is the most challenging part. For others, offering advice to others in front of the full team is the really tough part.
Conversations like this are so powerful. Hearing all of the greatest gifts is so affirming. Giving advice helps us practice being open and honest with each other, and it honors our core value of courage too. This is our second running of verbal peer reviews, and it's been rewarding each time.
If you're thinking about trying it, here are a few things to think about:
- Give people at least an hour (or more for large teams) of prep time. This helps people be thoughtful and write down feedback for each person they are to review.
- Going first is tough. We started with our CEO. Having a leader be in the hot seat first makes it easier for everyone else.
- Schedule in a break! It can take a while to get through everyone, so keep people fresh by offering a break, and snacks or coffee.
- Don't rush things. It took us a little more than three hours to make it through our whole team. Out of fairness for the person who receives feedback last, you want to make sure everyone is still fresh and present. Split feedback sessions up into multiple days rather than rushing through it.
We think feedback is a gift. We each wrote down what we heard from our peers and will reflect on our gifts and advice during Factory Week and beyond.