Have you ever felt shaky about an interaction involving feedback? Whether you’ve given feedback that was received in a way that you didn’t intend or reacted poorly to feedback given to you, these conversations have a tendency to get sticky. And if they’re honest, most people out there would answer yes to both questions — so it’s nothing to feel bad about.

But there is a way to make them better.

Okay, but how?

Because most of my colleagues have been in a feedback debacle before, I decided to run small-group sessions with different employees on some helpful tools to give and receive more effective feedback.

If you too are interested in improving your collaboration with others and improving your effective communication skills, follow my easy guideline for running your own Feedback Session.

I think your teams will like this session as much as our teams did at Smore!

The Guidelines

  1. Pick a couple of Feedback Models to work with
  2. I suggest picking at least two models, so your team members can choose to work with the model that resonates with them the most.
  3. I picked SBI(R) and STAT/AR because I found them easy to remember, but there are plenty of different types of models out there. Just pick a couple that suit your team’s needs!
  4. Describe the different model components with relative examples to help solidify the models in your team members’ minds.
  5. Create a couple of hypothetical scenarios and ask your team members to act them out based on the models you just went over
  6. I think it is important to create at least two scenarios. One scenario should address constructive feedback that needs to be given, and the other, positive feedback that needs to be given.
  7. When we think of feedback, we tend to only think of constructive feedback, but learning how to give positive feedback is equally as important.
  8. Open the floor for a voluntary discussion about personal experiences surrounding feedback, and how their experiences could have been more effective with the use of these models.
  9. Make sure to tell people this is a safe space, and honor confidentiality when different people share their experiences. You may also want to start by telling everyone to not use names of the people they are referencing if the experience being described happened in the workplace.
  10. Research and describe tools for responding to defensiveness
  11. Research and describe tools for getting comfortable receiving feedback

Now go ahead, and run that session!

You’ve got the structure, now add your personal touch.