Web3 promises to bring individuals together to achieve shared goals and share the benefits. It’s a beautiful vision. But getting diverse groups of empowered people working together harmoniously to get things done is no small undertaking. It takes communication and effective feedback between contributors to get everyone aligned and working towards a common goal. We practice this daily in the social workspace of DAOs, but we still have much to learn.
Along with developing pathways for decentralized compensation, Coordinape hopes to lead the charge on working together more effectively. Already, Coordinape epochs create a regular moment to share feedback, bringing teammates together to reflect on where and how value was created. GIVE allocation in Coordinape is itself a concrete form of feedback, and the Notes feature supports qualitative sense-making.
Over the coming months, Coordinape will be going on a sprint to further explore how to powerfully use the Coordinape epoch mechanism to strengthen your teams. Along with new features upgrades and mechanics around decentralized feedback, we will be providing tools and tips for the practice of working in DAOs.
Building a healthy culture that supports feedback is even more important in web3 than in traditional orgs. Giving feedback to your colleagues and frens helps to align efforts, avoid mistakes, and improve our own self-awareness and efficacy. It allows us to surface differences of opinion and, if done well, can lead to greater trust and stronger relationships. Many DAOs include this in their principles, recognizing the importance of rhizomatic pathways of communications. But, it is both a strength and a challenge that DAOs (by design) lack the “chain of command” along which feedback traditionally flows. Without clear managers, contributors must negotiate together what the DAO’s collective goals might be.
Add to that globally distributed teams with widely varying communication norms, work being done asynchronously and often in writing – all this with a bunch of people who are here because we choose to be sovereign? Well, you get the picture. Improving feedback processes can drastically improve the strength of collective sense-making. Research shows that people want well-delivered feedback — which correlates with better performance, retention, and satisfaction.
Here are some best practices and how-tos, put together by our resident DAO ninjas, Zach Anderson and Dr. Moshe Ovadia.
Good feedback is given in small amounts, and on a regular cadence. While we often think of feedback as constructive or critical, giving more specific and positive feedback is essential. Positive feedback helps a person know what to do more of — alongside conveying appreciation and building rapport. Relationship expert Dr. John Gottman has shown that couples that give more positive than critical feedback stay together longer; he found that a healthy ratio of positive to critical feedback is 5:1!
• 🕓 Give the feedback in as timely a manner as possible – while it’s still fresh and relevant!
• 🙅♂️ Make sure the person is open to receiving feedback from you.
• 🖼️ Be concrete, descriptive, and specific about the particular behavior (positive or negative) you observed. Provide examples.
• 🔍 Stay focused on the content that you have expertise over: your feelings about the particular incident and how it impacted you (or the team/DAO, from your perspective).
• 🧠 Stay open minded, empathetic and caring throughout the conversation. Reflect on your role in the problem (feedback actually says more about the giver than the receiver). After all, this is about a relationship!
• 🎉 Keep the mood honest, and light. There’s no need to sugarcoat constructive feedback. And there’s nothing wrong with putting 6 rocket ship emojis into a note (🚀!) as long as you explain the feeling behind the rocket! A little humor can go a long way.
For larger or more sensitive issues, find a time to address the topic live (as it’s way way harder to convey emotions in writing). We developed a new tool to help plan and give this kind of constructive feedback. Modeled after Non Violent Communication, this tool offers a simple format to frame what you experienced, the impact it had on you, and what you would like to happen differently in the future.
Here are some examples of how one might use this format to give constructive feedback:
When I noticed your three typos in an investor email. I felt distressed because I value impeccable attention to detail. Would you be willing to better proofread your messages in the future?
When you insisted I change the document, I was immediately defensive, as I value autonomy and being the final decision maker on my work. Would you be willing to find a different way to communicate your feedback?
2. Ask the person if they are open to receiving feedback, if so, find a time to meet live on video chat.
3. Share your feedback by reading back the template, and then listen carefully to the person's response.
Pro tip: Remember that feedback is your subjective opinion.
Coordinape is committed to helping DAOs and their contributors be their best selves. So stay tuned for new tools and templates we’ll be releasing to better support giving, receiving, and asking for feedback.