Lesson Plan: Giving & Receiving Feedback

Giving Feedback

There are plenty of articles and blog posts out there about how to give feedback. Some even talk about the importance of how to receive feedback, too.

Articles can be interesting. Some people even act on them. Most people think: Huh, that’s interesting… and then eventually they’ll forget about it.

If you’re looking to train people on how to effectively give and receive feedback, here’s a free lesson plan on the topic. Feel free to use it. Modify it. Share it. If you put this lesson plan into action, drop me a line and let me know how it goes.

This lesson plan revolves around “SBI feedback” which is a commonly used model of feedback that involves:

  1. Situation: Point to a specific situation
  2. Behavior: Describe the specific behavior
  3. Impact: Share how the behavior during that situation had an impact (this is most effective by using “I” statements)

The thing about feedback is that it also requires the receiver of the feedback to be actively engaged in the conversation. My colleague, Josie Noah, introduced me to two common ways to do this. One is a model that follows this formula:

  1. Acknowledge what was said.
  2. Accept the feedback (note: this is different from “agree”; you don’t have to agree with the feedback to acknowledge or accept that it’s how someone else perceived the situation).
  3. Make a plan to address the situation/behavior described in the feedback.
  4. Re-commit to improving the behavior/situation.

If that seems too formulaic and structured and stiff, then Josie offers a second way to listen to and receive feedback. After someone has given you feedback, begin your first sentence with: “What I like about what you just said is…”

In my experience, using the lesson plan and having people try these models and strategies out in a training room has led to immediate results. One colleague who tried some of these strategies out as she coached a new hire recently shared with me that: “the ‘name one thing you like about that idea’ was hugely successful in truly hearing and considering the ideas.”

So there you have it. If you want to read about concepts and theories on giving and receiving feedback, thumb through an issue of the Harvard Business Review. If you’d like to train someone – either an individual or a group – on how to actually give and receive feedback, take this lesson plan for a spin, and then come on back and let me know how it went.

Have a presentation coming up? This past Monday I shared a lesson plan template that can help you organize your thoughts. I also made an offer to provide feedback to anyone who’s looking for a little help in making sure they’re able to engage their audience during their presentation.

Several people took me up on this offer and it led to some interesting discussion.

My offer still stands. If you’d like a second set of eyes on your presentation plan or if you’re looking for some new ideas on how to engage an audience, drop me a line at bpwashburn@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter at @flipchartguy.

Need a blank lesson plan template to help organize your thoughts? Try downloading and using this lesson plan template. Let me know how it works for you!


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