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Feedback: Start, Stop, Continue

Regular, effective feedback is one of the most important ingredients in building constructive relationships and thriving teams. Openness creates trust and trust creates more openness. Feedback exercises aim to support groups to build trust and openness and for individuals to gain self-awareness and insight. Feedback exercises should always be conducted with thoughtfulness and high awareness of group dynamics. This is an exercise for groups or teams that have worked together for some time and are familiar with giving and receiving feedback. It uses the words “stop”, “start” and “continue” to guide the feedback messages.

  1. Step 1:

    Work in a small team or organize a larger group into groups of around 4 to 6. Groups should have spent significant time working together and have a range of shared experiences to draw from when giving feedback.

    Facilitator notes

    With newer or less mature groups, use feedback exercises like Current Strongest Impression or I Appreciate… before using this one.

  2. Step 2:

    Give the instructions: “Write down the name of the person you are addressing. Complete the two sentences for that person. Use the principles for effective feedback. Sign it with your name.” Tell participants that they should reflect on each of the three prompts (Start, Stop, Continue), but they do not have to use all three if they cannot think of relevant feedback.

    “To _____: Something I would like you to START doing is... Something I would like you to STOP doing is... Something I would like you to CONTINUE doing is... Signed _____.”

  3. Step 3:

    In each smaller group, each participant completes the above sentences using one post-it for each participant in the group. Once all participants in a group are done writing, they deliver the feedback, one-by-one, verbally, handing the post-it note to its addressee afterward.