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My team lead asked me to give feedback for her. I don't know what should be the appropriate reply as I don't want to write something that might make her angry or upset. Also I can't simply be honest because in my past experience I have seen people get offended if I am being honest.

So basically there are some questions she wants an answer to. I would list them below.

1.) The stuff she should start doing and stuff she should stop doing and stuff she should continue to do.

2.) Any positive impact she has made on the team.

I am not expecting exact answers here. I am expecting some pointers that I should keep in mind while answering these questions with some examples maybe.

  • Do you think she's genuinely interested in your feedback or is this something that's dictated by company policy? – AffableAmbler Dec 14 '19 at 2:25
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Don't think that a feedback always have to be negative, it can (and should) contain positive sides also.

The general rule for any feedback:

  • Start with a positive note.
  • Bring up the negatives, and suggest ways to overcome it.
  • End on a positive note.

Depending on the situation, you can:

  • Surely list down the positive sides (and how those tings helped you and the team)
  • Choose to present the negative sides in a way, instead of criticism, that appears as a point to improve.

For example (just for illustration, may not match your scenario):

Positives:

  • Focused (Clear vision of end targets)
  • Target-oriented (Helps to set and achieve practical goals)
  • Quality-oriented (Do it right the first time approach, saves rework) . - etc.

Negatives:

  • Need more time in individual development: We need to come up with a plan to put a little more focus on individual development, apart from the assigned work.

Impact:

  • Lead and stand by the team in difficult times.
  • Helping to make critical decisions.
  • Going the extra mile to recognize and reward the efforts of team members.
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This feedback-for-the-boss thing is, surely, part of her performance review. Somebody, possibly her boss, is trying to assess her skills at leadership.

Sometimes this can be a very positive thing for morale in a company, if it's done well. Doing it well involves some executive or human-resources professional giving a presentation about how it works, and honestly answering questions about what kind of thing they're looking for.

I guess it's not being done well at your company. Somebody noticed that people like you are afraid of their team leads, panicked, and looked at Harvard Business Review for "solutions" to the "problem." And found this. And is trying to do it without thinking it through.

So, go along with it. Go bland and positive. For stuff she should stop doing, suggest in a subtle way that she should not work so hard. Say that she does a great job keeping members of the team coordinated with each other.

Don't overthink it. Your management didn't.

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