Feedback is a gift! however, what is the best way of giving it.

Lets see an example of a feedback given to a Scrum Master:-

“You seem to understand the Scrum Framework well, however you need to let the development team self-organize, anyways i believe that you are a great Scrum Master”.  Do you recognize this pattern of feedback; Yes your guess is right, this is a praise sandwich feedback pattern. (Praise-Criticize-Praise).

Doesn’t seem working effective though, as the receiver is confused and doesn’t know what is expected of him. Knowledge workers appreciate more honest and transparent feedback. There has to be a better way, indeed i learned a very effective way of conveying feedback authored by Jurgen Appelo in his book #Workout, discusses the Feedback Wrap technique.

The Feedback Wrap has five steps: Here is a real time example from one of my coaching sessions:

Step 1: Describe Your Context

I want to provide you some feedback in the context of the last Sprint Planning meeting

Step 2: List Your Observations

I noticed that you were assigning user stories to the team members during the sprint planning meeting, this is impeding team’s agility

Step 3: Express Your Feelings

I felt a bit disappointed because i have been coaching you constantly on agile values and principles to demonstrate Servant Leadership

Step 4: Explain The Value

Being a Scrum Master it is very important for you to demonstrate Servant Leadership by living Agile values and principles

Step 5: Offer Some Suggestions

I hope you can fix this mistake and let the team self-organize to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment.

The receiver of the feedback understood very clearly what is expected of him and could take the necessary action. Here is what was more rewarding than anything else “The receiver asked me – When are you giving me this gift (feedback) again”

Feedback wrap is an awesome step-by-step approach to address crucial situations, such as inferior quality or service, inconsiderate or unethical behaviors. Would you like to give one 🙂


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