Feedback to teams – 3 Tools

Feedback to teamsI have written quite a lot about about one on one feedback recently but not taken the time to consider team feedback. As I was recently reading “Repeat the Remarkable” by Perry Holly (a truly excellent book by the way) he mentioned a technique for one on one feedback that I have used in team settings. This sparked me to write about a few ideas on how to provide effective feedback for teams. Below are some of the ideas I have used over the course of my work as a leader and then more recently as a team facilitator and team coach:

3 Tools for feedback to teams

1) Team 360 degree feedback :  Like individual competency based 360 feedback teams can do the same. They can collect anonymous feedback, both quantitative and qualitative from each other and  those around the team such as collaborators, partners, suppliers and customers. This information can then be developed into a report that would allow the team leader and members to discuss the feedback and consider areas to improve their performance. Two tools I use personally for this in my work is the Lencioni Five Dysfunctions of a Team 360 and the Lominger Team Architect eTEAM 360 survey. These both allow people to feed in anonymously and provide clear feedback to the team on the areas where they need to improve the most.

Feedback to teams traffic lights

2) Stop, Start, Continue: Based on the concept of traffic lights, this simply asks the team and others present in a workshop or meeting setting to provide feedback on:

  • Things that the team should START doing because it currently does not do them.
  • Things that the team should CONTINUE doing because they add value and drive performance.
  • Things that the team should STOP doing because it decreases value and/or performance.

The way I typically run this is by having three posters / flip charts on a wall with the headings Stop,Start and Continue each on a separate poster. I then ask participants to write AT LEAST two ideas for each section on post it notes. Once everyone has finished writing they post them up and as the facilitator I cluster the similar ones together to create themes or areas of improvement. From that moment on the session turns into a facilitated conversation around feelings on the feedback and a prioritisation / action planning process to create change in the team.

Feedback to teams - sail boat innovation game3) Sail Boat: This is an “Innovation Game” that has been developed from Kurt Lewin’s Force Field diagram. It basically asks the team and peers, clients etc to consider two fundamental questions:

  1. What is the team doing that is driving or accelerating team performance?
  2. What is the team doing that is stoping it or slowing it down in terms of maintaining or raising team performance?

Team members write these up, like the previous activity on Post It Notes. This time around though they are posted on a flipchart that has a sail boat drawn in the middle. For the answers to Q1 “The wind that drives performance”, the bigger impact accelerators get placed higher up the page above the mid way point and the smaller ones remail closer to the centre or sail boat. The same process is carried out for the answers to Q2 which are in effect “The anchors that slow performance” The bigger issues are placed further down the page and the smaller ones are placed closer to the “water line”. By doing this you can quickly see what are the big drivers and restrainers  of performance. These are in effect the arrows that Kurt Lewin developed in his original Force Field diagram. From here you can discuss and plan actions to create “more wind” or “remove the anchors” to drive team performance.3 Tools for team feedback

Feedback to teams: leadership reflections

As usual here are some questions for you to consider as you reflect on the ideas in this post:

  • When was the last time you gathered feedback to improve your teams performance?
  • What are the top three areas you think you should look at to raise performance?
  • What will you do this week to gather feedback or improve your teams performance?

Thanks once again for reading!

I am really keen to know what techniques you have used or seen for feedback to teams. Please let me know below!


[Image Credit: Stephanie Hofschlaeger on & MicroSoft Clip Art Gallery]

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