Pattern: Productive Feedback

People are more engaged and creative when they feel comfortable receiving constructive information about their behavior and giving the same in return

A team whose main responsibility requires creative or innovative work.

In This Context

People are often blind to their own biases and live in their own bubble without realizing it.During a cloud native transformation, teams that have always worked in a proficient way now are tasked with innovation. They have no experience being creative,so they will keep using past solutions to attempt to solve new problems.Lacking external perspective you will be blind to your own confirmation bias and interpret results to fit your preconceived notions, leading the project to very poor results. At the same time, other people within the organization can clearly see the problems before they happen.
• Judgmental tendencies are hardwired.
• Most people don’t give positive feedback unless prompted to do so.
• Without empathy, feedback can be perceived as aggression or attack.
• For people who have never given feedback it can be difficult to start.
• An existing team has already solidified their relationships and will find it difficult to change their behavior.
• Significant feedback requires some level of personal relationship.


Create a safe environment and simplify ways for people to give feedback—positive,negative, even confrontational—in a constructive way.Facilitate team activities to build personal connections between team members; this helps to create a sense of mutual trust that allows feedback to flow freely.• Offer training or tools to teach people how to give constructive feedback.
• Create opportunities, such as one-on-one or group meetings or weekly email updates on the project, to exercise giving constructive feedback.
• If someone is doing something well, feel comfortable giving them praise.
• If you think someone is taking a wrong approach, tell them in a constructive way.
• Someone needs to act as leader to model how to do all this.
• Psychological safety is an essential prerequisite for Productive Feedback.


Productivity goes up because people can learn and improve their work and behavior,and because they feel seen and appreciated.
- There are costs involved: honest and constructive feedback relies on personal relationships and psychological safety.
- High risk of personal conflict, but this is the chance you have to take if you really want to go fast. People will learn on their own without feedback, but it will take a lot longer, and some things they will never learn on their own.