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Constructive Feedback/Reflection Tools for Teams

Collaboration, communication and active participation are key for team performance, but this takes structure and intention. In group sessions it important to build a safe space for teams so they feel free and encouraged to share ideas, experiment and learn from each other. That said, giving and receiving feedback and constructive critique are absolutely necessary.

As we all know, feedback can be tricky to navigate especially during group sessions. Tools can provide the structure and scripting necessary to promote honest conversations after group sessions. Here are three simple and practical tools and techniques I use most + how I use them. Hope they come in handy. Enjoy!

  1. ROSE, THORN, BUD: It sometimes seems a little too romantic for me, but the use of a metaphor or object (the flower) takes the energy away from the comment sets it more on the actual rose. Plus, I may not love it, but people really dig it :-) Think of the ROSE as something positive, something you liked or worked best about the idea/thing you are providing feedback for. THORN is something that did not work that well or as intended or needs to be improved. The BUD speaks an opportunity.

  2. I LIKED, I WISH, I WONDER (I WILL): This goes very much like the previous exercise, but I find it to be more personal. I LIKED (or sometimes I use loved) goes for something that you found to work really well. I WISH goes for something that could have worked better. Note how the word WISH, hints on a need or pain the person would have liked to see addressed however, the word is still positive or constructive. Again, language matters. Finally, there is I WONDER. I love this one because it often gets participants to become connectors of ideas, turning them into bolder solutions. Sometimes this same question gets people to talk about the validation of assumptions and often key steps to starting moving forward with ideas. If what you would like to get people to at the end of a session is commitment or action, then you can change I wonder for I WILL. This slight change gets participants on the driver seat discussing that they will do differently after a session.

  3. WHAT I HEARD, WHAT I LEARNED, WHAT I SEE MYSELF DOING IS....: This works really good as a reflection tool after workshops/keynotes. WHAT I HEARD goes for specific soundbites/quotes key moments of their experience. WHAT I LEARNED, is more about what was most meaningful and takeaways from participants. WHAT I SEE MYSELF DOING IS... goes for commitments from them and changes in behaviors.

INSTRUCTIONS on how I use these vary and depend mostly on what kind of session it is. If it is a team session and they know each other, I might create three areas on walls for post-its, one for each question. Then go one by one asking the participants to share with the team one of each and post them up as part of the debriefing/closing of a session. If the group is bigger, I might get them to share their post-its in one minute with each other and then switch maybe once or twice so they share their insights more than once.

When it comes to even bigger sessions/panels or keynotes, I often create a reflection card with WHAT I HEARD, WHAT I LEARNED, WHAT I SEE MYSELF DOING IS to have them fill and maybe share with each other once or twice. I find that sharing serves to ground learning and commitment. Even if they keep the card, having them get it out of their head and onto paper is the first step to make change happen.

By: Angiemille Latorre

Cofounder SeriouslyCreative

#facilitation #feedback #teams #weareseriouslycreative

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