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A Better Way to Write Self-Evaluation and Peer-Feedback
(3 Min Read) Ditch STAR/SBID and give INDL a try.
Writing self-evaluation and peer feedback is one of the crucial tasks that every individual in an engineering organization is expected to do. The recommended format for writing are:
These models are great when sharing verbal feedback. But in written communication, I don't find them as effective, especially when writing self-evaluations and peer-feedback for colleagues.
As an engineering leader, I find these formats severely ineffective as I decode the work for my team. Often, self and peer-feedback won't follow either of the two formats. And if they do, as a leader, we still need to filter the result or impact for each individual on the team, identify their work, and prove that the individual did the work.
And a poorly written rationale in organizations where leaders write the rating rationale can make a difference in the IC's performance rating. So as a leader or an IC, we don't want to risk it just because we didn't write about our (self and team) work effectively and clearly.
Now you ask, how can minimize the risk?
First off, verbosity is not the answer. Concise is better. A well-written STAR or SBID format can be concise, but it often lacks clarity. So instead of using STAR or SBID format, I recommend using the INDL.
INDL - Impact, Numbers, Descriptions, and Links.
INDL format makes highlighting your' and peers' work concise and crystal clear in written communication. It's also easy to consume for the manager and leaders reading the rationale to determine the rating.
Why is INDL better?
Let's dive in:
Starting with Impact makes it clear why we did the work
Supporting the impact with Numbers highlights the scope/scale of impact.
The Description explains the individuals' contribution towards delivering the impact.
Links act as proof.
And that's it. INDL format is easy to follow and lends itself to concision and clarity.
Lets' see INDL effectiveness with an example. Below I have written self-evaluation about this blog both in an old and new format:
I started writing online on the personal blog to create one post every week. I published one post every week for 2021 and published 38 posts.
Gain traction on this blog by publishing to multiple social platforms. Brought is more than 100K views and gained additional 500+ subscribers.
Deliver value to the readers by writing high-quality posts. Five posts made it to the front page of hacker news, with 4/5 being at the #1 spot for several hours.
INDL: (Same work with new format)
Published 38 blog posts in 2021 on the self-published thinkingthrough blog and achieved the personal goal of writing in public.
Generated more than 100K page views and 500+ subscribers while automating publishing to multiple social platforms.
The difference is noticeable. INDL is easy to read and follow than STAR/SBID model.
I have used the INDL format for writing self-evaluation and peer feedback for years, and it always works wonders.
Next time you are writing self-eval or peer feedback, I suggest giving INDL a try. It may make a difference in your rating.
(BONUS Content) Apart from following the format, here are additional things to keep in mind when writing self-evaluation
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