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Seeking Feedback and Performance Appraisals

Seeking Feedback and Performance Appraisals
9.1
We forgot to do something at Menlo along the way. We forgot to built a hierarchy. We forgot to built bosses and reporting relationships and so on. And in doing so, the team still wanted to know how they were doing. So we realized, since we didn’t have a hierarchy at Menlo, the only place that feedback could come from was the other team members on the team. So our entire evaluation system at Menlo is built on a peer to peer feedback system. A lot of its based first on the pairings that we do every week. Each of us works two to a computer on the projects we’re working on.
45.1
So the first place to get performance evaluation criteria is with your peer partner. We’ve taught the team to ask during the course of the week, how am I doing? Am I doing okay? Let me give you feedback on how it feels working with you. By practicing this kind of feedback almost on a daily basis when we get to the point where it’s time to evaluate, whether it’s a moment where you could move up in our pay system. We’ve already been practicing this way of giving feedback to one another and our evaluation system, it allows you to move up from one level to another. Actually, occurs a lunch hour. We call it a feedback lunch.
83.7
You gather peers around you and you talk about how you’re doing. You talk about yourself, you talk about how do I feel things are going here. You hear from your peers. Peers you’ve invited to the table. And we encourage people as they think about who should I invite, the best feedback lunches are when you invite people you believe will provide the most challenging questions going forward rather than inviting the best friends who will say the nicest things about me. The team realizes that will be a long-term strategy, that’s not gonna pan out for them. So they start inviting people who are willing to challenge them on how they’re doing.
121.6
And because it’s a safe environment, because it’s not an environment where anybody’s going to this saying, I’m about to get crushed today in this feedback lunch. They’re willing to make themselves vulnerable to enter into that danger of saying, where do I need to grow right now? And these conversations that occur at these lunchtime feedback sessions are among the most thoughtful I’ve ever seen at Menlo. Because the team, given the way we work, given the close collaborative nature of our work style, the fact that we work in pairs and shoulder and shoulder. And we switch the peer, so everybody gets a chance to work with everybody else. You see this expressed at these lunchtime sessions.
161.5
The person you’re talking about isn’t somebody who’s three cubes down from you on the second floor of building five. They’re people you’ve worked shoulder to shoulder with for months and now they’re talking about things that are really valuable to you, because this is somebody who actually knows you as a human being.
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