Food for Thought #3 – Uncalled Feedback


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April 20, 2011

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Apple cake

When was the last time you gave personal uncalled feedback? In the past, I observed a lot of people that were displeased or unsatisfied about a service or a product. But when I asked them, „Did you tell them your opinion?“ I often get a, „No, I didn’t“. What most people forget is, that it’s very difficult to get an outside view of a situation, when you’re completely involved. If you’re part of the problem, you won’t see what is going wrong. I know it is difficult to look someone in the eyes and tell them the truth, but you’ll shortly recognize that they are thankful that you told them about your concerns. And even better they’ll solve it immediately.

A few weeks ago I bought an apple pie at my local bakery. At home, I found out that the pie tasted completely different than in the months before. It was disgusting (at least in IMHO). I went back to the bakery and told the saleslady about my observation. She went right away to the baker and informed him about my case. In the end, it came out that he bought a different shortening. He was quite happy that I reported my concern. And guess what? Yes, the next apple pie I bought was again delicious.

Another case happened at our favorite pizzeria. The main problem they had was that they had only a few guests. Every time you went to the restaurant you were greeted by a barking, aggressive little dog. I didn’t have a big issue with him. But when we went home my wife told me that she loves dogs, but she feared the little monster. The next time I was there I told them, that there are people who fear the dog and that this could be a reason for the guest problem. Now about a year later the pizzeria is booming. There are no guest problems anymore, and the only thing they changed was to remove the dog. (Just in case you ask: No, I didn’t get any free pizza 😉 )

So what I want to say is this. If you are displeased, unsatisfied or annoyed just open your mouth and talk. Nobody will hit you (at least most of them) for telling them what you have observed. In most cases, they will be happy that at least one person was courageous enough to tell them the simple truth. And so am I if you leave a nice comment.

About the author 

Marc Löffler

Marc Löffler ist Keynote-Speaker, Autor und Mentor für passionierte Scrum Master. Er befasst sich schon seit 2005 leidenschaftlich mit agilen Methoden, wie z.B. Scrum, Kanban oder eXtreme Programming. Bevor er mit dem Thema Agilität in Berührung gekommen war, hat er als zertifizierter Projektmanager (IPMA) bei Firmen wie Volkswagen, Siemens und EADS erfolgreich multinationale Projekte geleitet. Mit Begeisterung hilft er Unternehmen dabei, agile Werte zu verstehen und genau die Form von Agilität zu finden, die zum jeweiligen Unternehmen passt. Dabei nutzt er sein PASSION Modell, um die jeweilige Situation zu analysieren und sinnvolle nächste Schritte hin zur passionierten, agilen Organisation zu definieren. Er liebt es, neue Einsichten zu generieren, und unterstützt Unternehmen dabei, Probleme aus kreativen, neuen Blickwinkeln zu betrachten. Seit September 2018 ist er zertifizierter Professional Speaker GSA (SHB) mit der besten Keynote seines Jahrgangs. Im Jahr 2014 erschien sein Buch „Retrospektiven in der Praxis“ beim dpunkt.verlag. Im Jahr 2018 folgte das Buch „Improving Agile Retrospectives“ bei Addison Wesley. Im Februar 2022 folgte dann das Buch "Die Scrum Master Journey" beim BusinessVillage Verlag.

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  1. Hi Marc,

    I think one thing we can do is to at least state very clearly that we want feedback. Don’t just mention in, say it loud and clear that you want feedback, how you want it, and when (at the end of the talk, or ask questions whenever).

    Start the blog-post by saying that feedback is appreciated, or maybe even say „please tell me what you think in the comments!“. Or like you did in the end of this blog-post 🙂

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for your comment. I totally agree that you should explicitly ask for feedback but this wasn’t the point of my post. Instead it’s about giving feedback even if nobody asked for it. In most cases this is also highly appreciated because they didn’t know about it and now they are able to improve. Please start with giving uncalled feedback, most people will love it 🙂

      – marc

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