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How I Align Teams

Using Negative Feedback to Achieve Shared Goals

Hello, fellows. Today is vacation time, but I want to use the time right now to update my mentoring blog with an idea I frequently encounter while working with various teams and companies. It’s about why we should focus on negative feedback to align people to shared goals.

Embracing Negative Feedback to Align Teams

When I first engage with a team to introduce an engineering culture, I often notice that after my initial presentation, people just stare at me, not saying anything. This is because I aim to provoke but not aggressively, which captures their attention.

Eventually, someone might offer neutral or doubtful feedback, like, "I've seen similar things fail elsewhere." And you know what? This feedback is great! I celebrate it.

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More Examples of Negative Feedback

To further illustrate the point, here are some joint negative feedback statements you might encounter:

  • "This won't work in our environment."

  • "We don't have the resources for this."

  • "This approach seems overly complicated."

  • "I've tried something similar before, and it failed."

  • "I don't see how this benefits us."

  • "This feels like unnecessary extra work."

  • "We already have too many changes to deal with."

  • "This is just a management fad that will pass."

  • "I don't trust that this will be implemented correctly."

  • "Why should we change what’s already working?"

If this sounds familiar, keep on reading :)

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