Different types of feedback, different impact on people

Different types of feedback, different impact on people

Lately this is a topic that for different reasons I have been involved, we all know that giving feedback is positive and we should try to do it often, actually I like to ask for feedback after I finish a dynamic, retro or whatever I facilitate or help with, but this post is not about why we should give each other feedback, is about the different types of feedback we have and their impact on people.

This is dynamic I learned in the last #play14 . I think worths sharing it!

First of all, you are going to need at least 4 people to do this, 4 people plus the facilitator, 5 in total, that is the minimum, of course, as more people participate in this dynamic then the better.


  • A meeting room or similar
  • Out of the people that will participate, you will need 4 volunteers, that’s why the minimum to do this is 4.

Before Starting

Ask those 4 people to wait outside the room, and then proceed to explain the dynamic to the people that will be with you inside the room.

Explain that we are going to hide an object inside the room, and each of the volunteers will have 2 minutes to find the object, and the way we will use to help that person to find the object is of course by giving feedback, but we will do it with 4 different types of feedback.

  • Ignore:  Before starting, tell everyone that while the volunteer is looking for the object no one can even look to the face of the first volunteer, everyone needs to remain quiet and silence, maybe checking the phone or laptop, it’s imporant that the volunteer feels ignored.

Once you reach the 2 minutes then you stop and tell the volunteer that everything was on purpose and he or she will understand later, now that person becomes part of the game and we will proceed with the next volunteer and the next type of feedback.

  • Negative: Same thing here, before starting, tell everyone that during the 2 minutes everyone needs to give negative feedback, always with respect, but you can tell things like: “No matter what you do, you are not going to find it”, “go home”, “don’t even try, better you do something else” and stuff like that, very negative and not helpful at all.

Once you reach the 2 minutes, you do the same as you did before, moving on to the third type of feedback.

  • Positive: It’s the opposite than the negative, people needs to say super nice things to the volunteer, during the 2 minutes they have to tell things like: “You are awesome, you are going to find it”, “You are the best”, “There is no doubt you can do it” and stuff like that, very positive but not helpful at all.

Once you reach the 2 minutes, you do the same as you did before, moving on to the fourth type of feedback.

  • Constructive: As you can imagine this one is the better, now the game change and what we will do is the following: once the volunteer starts looking for the object the rest of people will be telling cold or hot depending if it’s close to finding the object or not, we will basically be giving constructive feedback, you will see that like the other cases where the 99% of the times they don’t find the object, in this case they will in less than 30 seconds.

Wrap Up

After the last step, ask the group to reflect on what the volunteers experienced, their thoughts, the first one is the worst, the person that is being ignored it’s the person that has the worst experience, tell the group the importance of the feedback, so the next time they will think twice. Good feedback does not mean a nice feedback, I mean, even if you tell to a person how good and awesome that person is this will not be helping the person in a constructive way, will just increase the ego, and the negative will just make the person feel bad about what is he or she doing.

This game helps a lot to open your mind aboud the way we give feedback, and with my experience people will think twice next time they have to provide feedback!

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Marcos Pacheco


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