Actionable, Specific, and Kind

When I was learning to program, the first thing the instructors taught us was a framework for effective feedback.  The feedback we offered to our partners was to be actionable, specific, and kind

And “kind” was not “nice.”  We were not to be vague and falsely flowery.  Instead, we were to courageously offer a partner the gift of constructive feedback, a gift of growth.

Knowing how to give feedback, we were now on the hook to actually offer it when the time came, to take the risk that the exercise implied. 

How often do we, when we see a situation in need of insight and compassion, neglect to even engage the dynamic?  It is far easier to complain about the person concerned or fold our observation into the other noise in our head.

Though it is not easy, the risk of actionable, specific, and kind feedback is a risk worth taking.