I’ve recently been working with a few early stage founders and young professionals and noticed a common theme - people are getting a lot of feedback but not filtering and assessing it for relevance - leaving them swamped with information.
At the same time the high achievers I have seen in consulting and startups are the ones that learn the fastest and this involves interpreting feedback effectively.
These people turn interpreting feedback into a superpower and while it can take time to learn, a structured approach supported by tools can help accelerate that process. So I’ve pulled together a little guide (and airtable template) to make it a little easier to start.
Step 1 - Understand context 🔍
The first step is understanding the context of your feedback provider - whilst anyone can give great feedback it is still worthwhile understanding the experiences of that person to help weigh up what you are hearing.
For example: has that person raised a round before, were they an operator at an early stage startup or was it a listed tech company/corporate?
Step 2 - Break it down 🧱
The next step is actually breaking down their feedback into salient points - just as a person's experience may colour their feedback - it will also mean some is more relevant than other pieces.
The idea here is to not just throw the baby out with the bathwater - people will give you insights no matter what their experiences are but it is up to you to draw them out effectively.
Once you have identified these points and understood their context you can begin to create actions for the points they have made that have weight.
Say someone with deep enterprise sales experience gave you notes on how you could better position your enterprise sales messaging but also gave you advice on your technical stack you would split these out and place more emphasis on the sales messaging actions.
Step 3 - Capture and track 📊
Now capturing all of this in a set of notes is certainly a good start but pulling this information into a more structured format with additional context such as pitch decks at time of feedback, source notes, and filters will make your life a whole lot easier.
Based on the above I’ve created a feedback template in Airtable that you can use to manage this more effectively - hope it helps!