Good Organizations Go 2×2 by Jessica Stewart

By at October 28, 2013 | 12:58 pm | Print

Good Organizations Go 2×2 by Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart

We all know that getting and giving good feedback to our colleagues and volunteers is a critical part of running successful organizations and winning our campaigns.

I love a strategy that I’ve learned over the years from those wiser than myself — it’s called a “2×2 conversation.”

In brief, it’s a conversation in which each person shares:

  • Two things that they think they are doing well in their own work

  • Two things they want to improve upon in their own work

  • Two things their colleague is doing well in their work

  • Two things they think their colleague could improve upon in their own work

Before the conversation, we’ve found it’s best if the two people engaging send each other an email with their thoughts. Then schedule a lunch, coffee, or walk and discuss your thoughts and ideas about how the two of you can take your work together to the next level.

At this point in my career, I’ve probably had more than thirty 2×2 conversations. And regardless of the situation, I can honestly share that every one of these conversations has been helpful. I’ve gotten excellent feedback from managers, those I manage, and lateral peers, and gotten to share thoughts with others that I might not have otherwise made time to share given a busy schedule.

We do organization-wide 2×2 conversations at least once a year where teammates have these conversations with several staff with whom they work closely, and we also schedule one for 6 weeks into someone new joining the team (with that person’s manager).

There’s little that’s more important to your work than how you interact with your teammates. Those working relationships are worth the investment, and this is one tested strategy that you’ll love.

Jessica Stewart, Managing Director, Great Oakland Public Schools in Oakland, CA. GO Public Schools, or “GO” as most locals refer to it, provides information and supports the advocacy of a network of parents, teachers, and community to help realize the vision where each and every Oakland child receives the schooling and support they need to live happy, successful lives. Jessica is the former Alameda/Contra Costa Counties Math Teacher of the Year, a huge fan of Auburn University football (War Eagle!), and the former president of the Auburn College Democrats and co-founder of the Alabama State Federation of College Democrats.

Management & Strategy

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