Regular, effective feedback is one of the most important ingredients in building constructive relationships and thriving teams. Openness creates trust and trust creates more openness. Feedback exercises aim to support groups to build trust and openness and for individuals to gain self-awareness and insight. Feedback exercises should always be conducted with thoughtfulness and high awareness of group dynamics. This is an exercise for groups or teams that have worked together for some time and are familiar with giving and receiving feedback. It uses the words “stop”, “start” and “continue” to guide the feedback messages.
To support groups to build trust and openness and for individuals to gain self-awareness and insight
Work in a small team or organize a larger group into groups of around 4 to 6. Groups should have spent significant time working together and have a range of shared experiences to draw from when giving feedback.
Give the instructions: “Write down the name of the person you are addressing. Complete the two sentences for that person. Use the principles for effective feedback. Sign it with your name.” Tell participants that they should reflect on each of the three prompts (Start, Stop, Continue), but they do not have to use all three if they cannot think of relevant feedback.
“To _____: Something I would like you to START doing is... Something I would like you to STOP doing is... Something I would like you to CONTINUE doing is... Signed _____.”
In each smaller group, each participant completes the above sentences using one post-it for each participant in the group. Once all participants in a group are done writing, they deliver the feedback, one-by-one, verbally, handing the post-it note to its addressee afterward.
Tips for running this activity online
- If running the activity in groups, use a video conferencing tool where you can assign the participants into breakout rooms (eg. Zoom).
- When briefing the exercise and assigning the groups to work together, keep all participants in the main video conference room and explain best practices.
- After this step is completed, turn on breakout rooms so each group can work on their tasks.
- Each member of the group chooses another member to give feedback using the Start, Stop, Continue framework. Invite each person to write their sentence in a Google Doc or notetaking app so it can be shared later.
- While still in the breakout group, invite each participant to verbally share their feedback with the group and then send their written feedback to the recipient in Slack, email, or in a shared online whiteboard.
- After everyone has shared their feedback and breakout groups are completed. participants return to the main room where you can debrief the exercise.
- If you do not have breakout sessions, keep everyone in the main room, though invite groups to communicate in small groups on Slack or other messaging software. Have each group share their feedback together in the messaging room before returning to the main group in the video chat.
The principles of effective feedback are inspired by: Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Source: Hyper Island toolbox
Hyper Island designs learning experiences that challenge companies and individuals to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly digitized world. With clients such as Google, adidas and IKEA, Hyper Island has been listed by CNN as one of the most innovative schools in the world