Principles of Effective Feedback

2-40 people

The aim of this activity is to enable a group to converse, establish, and recognize crucial principles of efficient feedback. In pairs, participants deliberate on instances of effective and ineffective feedback, followed by a group effort to define "effective feedback" and ultimately determine the principles they will strive to adhere to. This approach facilitates a concrete opportunity for feedback exchange and can be conducted in-person or virtually.

Workshop steps


Objective Clarify the session's objective: to help the group pinpoint the essential elements of efficient feedback. If necessary, briefly converse as a group about the definition of feedback and its benefits. Divide participants into pairs (online: utilize breakout rooms) and request them to share instances of receiving valuable/constructive feedback and unproductive/obstructive feedback. Allow 5-10 minutes for paired discussions before reassembling the entire group to exchange their experiences.


Team Activity: Identifying Feedback Types Inform the team that after listening to various examples, they will now collaborate to identify the characteristics of "ineffective" and "effective" feedback. Create two sections on a flipchart or virtual whiteboard, labeled "ineffective" and "effective". Ask the team members to share their ideas, and note them down under the respective categories, starting with "ineffective" and then moving on to "effective".


Anything Else to Add? Help complete the group's brainstorm by checking if any principles from the list below have been missed. Usually, most of these principles will be mentioned in some form. Include only those principles that haven't been discussed by the group yet. Timing: Be mindful of the other person's needs and priorities. Check if it's a suitable time for them, as they might be busy with other tasks. Self-awareness: Pay attention to your emotions; avoid giving feedback when you're upset or angry. Other Principles to think about: Describe the behavior you observed, not their personality or third-party opinions. Refrain from judging or labeling the person. Focus on performance (task-oriented). Don't attempt to change or "fix" the other person. Keep your feedback clear and concise. Regularly ask for feedback instead of waiting for it. Seek permission before giving feedback to someone. Take responsibility for your feedback and use "I" statements, not "we." Don't confuse your thoughts and feelings with those of others. Always be specific and avoid generalizations. Provide feedback promptly and consistently. Don't save up your comments to deliver all at once. Aim to connect with the other person. Focus on solutions rather than problems.


Conclusion: Inquire with the team about their plans to adhere to these guidelines. Encourage ideas from the participants. Wrap up the meeting once it seems to have arrived at a natural conclusion. Reminder: Think about conducting a feedback session afterward. Utilize your preferred feedback method.

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Anna Lundqvist
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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