Peer Feedback

Peer Feedback

Today I’d like to choose a pattern Peer Feedback  from Interaction Lens described as:

Can you give users feedback on their behaviour from other users of the system, equal in status to themselves?


Peer feedback on comments and stories is central to sites such as Slashdot (‘karma’ scores) and Digg (’digging’ and ‘burying’).

Surprisingly, when thinking about the mapping of this pattern to the managerial world it was not a 360-degree-performance-review that came to my mind first. Moreover, I think this not about performance review at all.

That’s all about your team being transparent. That’s about culture of sharing and giving feedback. If everybody are sharing status, problems, ideas and targets among peers they can get valuable feedback. Thus it is possible to understand how it looks from different perspectives. And finally, get proposals from peers on how to work together to get the synergy.

Don’t hide the information. Don’t work independently with each team member. And don’t let them work separately. That’s management style from the past. Shift to social approach. The team that shares and communicates is twice better than a group of people who don’t.

Surprisingly, it is not about tooling that helps. It is more about culture. Focus on the team transparency. Start from yourself. Don’t hide anything. Give the feedback and get it back. The team will do the same.

This trend is everywhere around us. CNN reports that some tech companies are thinking about switching from e-mail to more social oriented platforms. Yammer (Facebook for business) does a great job and growing. Sergey Polonsky made reality show from his business and publishes all meetings to the internet for discussion.

You shouldn’t afraid that more knowledge inside the team will bring more politics. It will definitely change the politics landscape but it will not increase it for sure. When everything is transparent and discussed there is no background for it. Politic’s main horsepower is in information that not available to others. Less hidden information less horsepower to politics.

Disclaimer: Do not forget that internal transparency is not equal to external transparency. Identify the areas that are business secrets and make sure that no one shares it to external world. External transparency might be not good for business. However, who knows …

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