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Product Rituals: 3 secrets to get better feedback on your next proposal

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Hear how stakeholders really feel.

What: Pulse Check

⚡️ Start with the template: type “/pulse” in any doc to insert what you see below.
How do you feel about this proposal?
Submitted by
I’m excited, this could have a big impact. We still need to tune a few details, though.
Lola Tseudonym
This is all based on an assumption we haven’t validated. Can we discuss that first?
Buck Dubois
It feels ok, but is this the most impactful thing to work on now?
Felix Marlin
There are no rows in this table
Show everyone's sentiment
Uncheck when teammates are adding thoughts, so they’re not biased by others.
Check to show everyone’s input when your team is ready to discuss

Why: gather inclusive, unbiased feedback

As Product Managers, we write a lot of proposals. Over the last year, you’ll be hard pressed to find any proposal of mine that doesn’t include a pulse check like the one above. It’s an invaluable tool. A few reasons why:

Kill meetings

Often times you will find that you thought something would be controversial, but after sharing a doc with a pulse check out you discover that the team is mostly aligned already. Or there may just be one or two key stakeholders you need to follow up with individually to address some detailed feedback.
A common pattern is:
Schedule the meeting as a forcing function to get the proposal out.
Send out the pre-read a day or so ahead and gather initial sentiment.
If it looks like there are important topics for the whole group to discuss based on the sentiment, keep the meeting. If not, cancel it.

Reduce group think

That “show everyone’s sentiment” checkbox is key. It should start unchecked so that each person initially isn’t biased by feedback coming from others. If I see that the CEO or someone I really trust has already given the proposal a stamp of approval, I’m less likely to give my critical feedback. Similarly, I may be inclined to pile on the negativity if I see a sea of 1-2 smiley faces instead of sharing how I really feel.

Encourage thoughtful reflection

Chatting in a meeting is great for building upon and sharpening each other’s ideas but there is something about writing down your feedback that encourages thoughtful reflection. And you get the side benefit of having the feedback all together, which also makes the feedback easier for the working group to reflect and follow up on.


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