This useful exercise to use when working with a new team during the forming stage of the development process. At the end of your workshop or following a team building activity, participants are tasked with writing feedback for each other on a piece of flip-chart paper placed on the wall. This feedback should be honest and provide both positive and constructive criticism.
Resources: Flip chart paper, blue tack and pens/markers
Time: 20 minutes (or less depending on the number of participants).
Group Size: 8-16 people
Flipping Great Instructions
- Give everyone a sheet of flip chart paper and a marker pen. Next, get them to write their names clearly at the top of the sheet and then stick the sheets to wall using the blue tack.
- Each person then moves around the room and writes one positive and one development point for each of the other team members on their respective flip chart paper. Ensure you give a strict time limit to stop people reading other comments and wasting time.
- Once the time is up and everyone has provided some feedback. Allow the individual to reclaim their sheets of paper and time to read and reflect on the feedback provided.
- Discuss the purpose of the exercise and ask each person to provide a summary of the feedback they have received.
On their own named flip chart paper, ask each person to write down the things they think they are good at and the areas they feel they need to develop. Everyone is allowed 4 ticks per person to put beside the points they feel are most important (two ticks for positives and two ticks for development). This will give the person feedback only in the areas they have put forward themselves – less risky, therefore eliminating any barriers for development.
Once you have completed the exercise, each person should summarise their top ranking positive and development points and set some goals to help them progress.
Tips and Guidance
- If you have limited supply of flip-chart paper, you can still do this exercise but just use A4 paper instead. Follow the same process as above.
- Ask team members to focus feedback on a particular goal, learning outcome or anything you need to highlight during the workshop (such as communication, leadership, problem solving etc).
- Encourage the importance of being open and honest with each other. Your goal as a facilitator is to help the team develop and guide them in the right direction – understanding both individual and team strengths is essential for progression.
- Allow time and space for individuals to reflect when they receive their sheet of paper. You should also ask them to set themselves a goal for development.
- Ensure you carefully listen to team members when they discuss the feedback they have received. Nobody likes to be criticized and some handle it worse than others, so be very careful how you approach this.
- Don’t be afraid of conflict, as teams typically go through a stage of ‘storming’ during the development process.
Here’s an article I wrote about the different stages of team development.