Feedback is not only someone’s opinion but also evaluation and analysis. Of course, this is when it is a feedback, not simple criticism for the sake of criticism. No matter how hard we try to evaluate our work objectively, we lose the sharpness of vision over time. We need fresh eyes, an outside perspective in any case.
In addition, any feedback and reviews also attract attention to products or startups. And both the availability of these reviews and the appeal for their receipt. And there are many startups on the market, so it is necessary to be visible.
Feedback as a review is a sign of constructive approach allows you to evaluate your startup from the outside, to analyze strengths and weaknesses (and sometimes learn about them). And the most important things are to draw conclusions and change something.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
A feedback is still a feedback when certain rules for its filing are observed. No, there is no ready-made set of rules, but there are definite milestones. These milestones can be used by both those who wait for a feedback, and those who are going to provide it.
Rules of the quality feedback are right questions for yourself:
1. Is feedback needed?
- Does your startup need feedback? Have you reached the stage when you can not bring something necessary and new — in the reasonable limits? Do you need a fresh look from the outside? Are you already on the market and ready for competition?
- Does the startup need your feedback? Are you interested in this startup? Do you have specific comments on the product? Do you have something to offer?
2. Is it criticism?
- Here, the options for both sides are the same. Putting aside pride and possible resentment — is there any rational kernel in the given feedback? Are the positive and negative points indicated? Is there something that can be used for the feedback — in a startup itself or in a reasoned discussion?
These questions assigned to each of the parties. They are useful both for startups, who wish to receive feedback, and for those who want to provide this feedback, will allow distinguishing feedback from criticism.
Principles of a Constructive Feedback
Feedback should not only be properly submitted but must be heard. In fact, these two cases are closely related. There is a so-called “compliment sandwich” method that allows submitting feedback in the most pleasant manner. You will want to listen this kind of feedback in most cases.
“Compliment sandwich” method:
1. Positive approach. This will endear feedback recipients to feedback providers.
- give some positive comments
- give praise for the person’s strong points
- give compliments
2. Criticism itself. It must be constructive, logic, and not overline the advantages highlighted above.
3. Positive conclusion. Without repealing the above, it is worth pointing out the strengths of the project or startup, and perhaps its author. And, of course, give thanks in the end!
- remind of the strong points
- give thanks, offer support in the areas of improvement, and leave on a positive note
Feedback Receiving and Responding
Ability to respond to any feedback, not only submitted as correctly as possible, is an important skill. We can take advantage of whatever is at our disposal after all. Moreover, we can benefit even from criticism and complaining. A rational kernel can be there as well.
Basic principles of feedback accepting:
- Be accepting of the feedback. Either your startup is asking for feedback or someone is willing to provide feedback — it is better to accept it. Not only because it may contain some profit, but for your reputation too. Willingness to listen to the opinions of others is a positive quality.
- Find something in it to agree with. Feedback always has value in the vast majority of cases. If you find what to agree with, then feedback, in general, will be easier to accept.
- Determine how it can help your startup now or in the future. You should make good use of all things — this is the basic principle of any startup or project.
We can also highlight a few criteria for effective feedback. They are useful for both feedback providers — what to focus on when providing feedback, and for feedback recipients — how to determine the value of this feedback.
Criteria for constructive feedback:
- the feedback provider is reliable for the feedback recipient
- the feedback provider is trusted by the feedback recipient
- the intentions of feedback providing are good
- the feedback is appropriate both in terms of time of providing, and of the situation
- the feedback is understandable
- the feedback is helpful
“A lack of feedback can be scary because we don’t know where we stand,” as Leo Widrich, co-founder at Buffer, said. It is worthwhile to learn to understand its necessity, to determine its quality, and to accept. And then you and your startup will be able to work on improving.
In general, feedback should provide help and guidance, as well as analytics and advice. These cornerstones should be distinguished from the feedback itself. And it should be borne in mind that each feedback recipient and each feedback provider should use the method of individual approach. For example, someone may be allowed to provide less tactful forms of feedback — if their experience and authority in a certain field are undeniable.
Remember, a positive feedback is good for startups, but a negative feedback can help to identify the weak points of the project, and then quickly eliminate them. Success lies in the use of all possibilities!