Effective feedback – AID model

AID feedback modelHaving been working as a leader and training leaders for twenty years, I have always been on the lookout for a solid concept for feedback. Until now the best I have found is the AID model. AID is a simple feedback model that can be used for both positive moments and those that need corrective action.


Emphasis is on their actions, not on your interpretation of it. So you are feeding back what you observed or heard, not on their intentions, their personality or their character. Limit the number of actions you comment on a level they can handle – far better to give feedback on one key action that they can digest and build on to make a difference, than ten things which leaves the message diluted (and invariably leaves them demotivated). Because this is based on fact it is less likely to be challenged.

Action questions to consider:

  • –  What are you there to discuss?
  • –  What did you see?
  • –  What evidence/facts are there for this performance level?


This can include positive or negative impact on the end result, or on the process itself e.g. the amount of effort needed on their part to achieve the result, or the impact on others, etc. When giving praise it is so easy to say to someone ‘that was really good, well done’ without saying why it was good or what made the difference this time compared with previous occasions.

Impact questions to consider:
  •  What impact is this performance having on the team?
  • –  How does this performance effect other departments?
  • –  How is the customer (internal or external) impacted?
  • –  What evidence do you have for this?

Development or Desired Behaviour

Remember, the purpose of feedback is to enhance performance and motivate. So this last stage is important to determine what happens next e.g. develop to make it even better next time around, to correct a mistake or to perfect a process. Put the emphasis on what is missing rather than what is wrong – building on strengths or positives is far more likely to engender enthusiasm. Using open questions, ask the individual how they think things can be developed or built upon. This will help to gain buy in and you may be surprised by the options they suggest.

Development or desired questions to consider:

  • –  What needs to change going forward?
  • –  What does the goal look like?
  • –  Are actions SMART?
  • –  When will you meet again to confirm improvement or review results?

Remember with feedback you always have two choices:

  1. Tell the person what you want them to know.
  2. Ask them to self assess and consider what has happened.

You may find initially that you tend to tell rather than to ask. The more you ask the more your team will be able to self assess and improve their own performance.Aid feedback model

Applying AID feedback back to work:

Whom should you be giving feedback to this week both for great things done and to improve personal performance?

Take some time to prepare the feedback session around the AID model.

Let me know how it goes!


[Image Credit-Microsoft Image Collection]

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