The Revenue Impact of Feedback


Studies show that everything about feedback is stressful. We are social creatures and when we perceive the threat of conflict, we react in a multitude of strange ways. Incidentally, none of them tend to make for great work interactions.

Both internally and with customers, it’s important to foster a healthy relationship with feedback. And not just for social reasons. Honest, constructive, and tactfully delivered feedback will also reduce the likelihood of churn and strengthen relationships that can lead to revenue.

While we’re talking science, it’s also proven that actively asking for feedback on your work is a great way to help negate the stress than can come with unsolicited feedback. 

In their blog post
 ‘How to Take Feedback Well as an Employee’, people development platform Reflektive writes, “Learning how to take constructive criticism offers an important lesson: mistakes are not failures, but opportunities to improve. Everyone makes mistakes on the job. Not everyone knows how to take feedback and use it to improve their careers.” 

You have a choice to either get defensive or get better. Theoretically, it should be an easy choice, but that doesn’t make it easy in practice. At Go Nimbly, we use a variety of tools and frameworks to guide us in giving and receiving feedback productively.


The AID Framework

For real-time feedback between colleagues, the AID framework—which stands for Action, Impact, Do—offers a helpful structure. 

First, it’s important to discuss the Action. That means whatever was done that impacted either others on the team, external players, or customers. The action is the catalyst for the feedback and needs to be clearly stated to make sure everyone is on the same page as you begin with the framework. However, you should make sure to focus on objective realities, as opposed to your interpretation or emotional reaction. Accusatory or overly emotional language and tone can result in defensiveness and an unwillingness to listen. 


Next, you need to discuss the Impact of the action. That means whatever effect it had on you, as well as on the others involved in the project. Let people speak for themselves at this part, as opposed to making assumptions and accusations.

Finally, you’ll discuss the Do. Give constructive suggestions on how someone can perform better next time or what they can change to improve the outcome of similar situations in the future.

This type of feedback should be given as soon as possible after a task or project. Making it a part of regular retrospectives is a great way to help people get used to the process and become more open to it over time. 


The GROW Framework

Another framework useful for coaching sessions is the GROW model. Originally developed by business coaches Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore, this framework is more in-depth than AID. The GROW framework facilitates a one-on-one analysis of what your core goal is and how best to achieve it. 
This type of feedback is also much more collaborative and tactical in nature. Using GROW, people with different areas of expertise can solve tricky problems, align on company goals or interdepartmental projects, and drive initiatives forward. This allows teams to finish revenue-impacting projects more quickly and learn how to work through problems methodically and efficiently, any time they come up. 

Another way to encourage positive feedback is through gamification. Having a dedicated Slack channel just for shoutouts, or using an app like HeyTaco motivates people to give positive feedback and makes receiving feedback so commonplace that it becomes less stressful. Even outside the safety of a happy Slack channel. 

The takeaway? Find ways to incorporate productive feedback day-to-day. It will make for increased self-awareness, motivation, and stronger relationships across the board.