19-20 April 2018

15Hatfields, London

Feedback Game

Session type:

Session duration:
90 minutes

Presented by:

Alexandra Baptizmanskaya


Vitaly Korol


About this Workshop

In our company, we pay much attention to the feedback process. We started improving it by teaching our employees several effective techniques/feedback models and thought it would help.

However, it turned out that despite the fact that our colleagues used the techniques, feedback was still something painful and, moreover, not effective - it only led to misunderstandings and insults.

Then we decided to approach the feedback process from the opposite side, namely mindset side.

We identified 4 competencies important for effective feedback:

  1. Belief in a positive intention
  2. Ability to see and formulate deltas
  3. Empathy
  4. Ability to receive feedback

Belief in a positive intention - behind all the actions and words of any person lies a positive intention. When giving feedback it is crucially important to believe in people and in their positive intention, in opposition to the illusion that a person has deliberately made something worse.

Ability to see and formulate delta - studies show that highlighting success and praising positive behaviour is more effective than criticism. Instead of criticism and blaming, one has to learn to see and formulate deltas - a positive change/shift that will help someone become a better person/employee etc. Also, deltas never offend.

Empathy - an ability to feel together with a person - is an essential skill for effective feedback. When giving feedback you need to take a lot of things into account and some of them can be can be sensed only empathetically. Some people are more empathetic, others are less, but a person can work on it.

Ability to receive feedback - depending on the personality, it's easier for some people to accept feedback, while others find it more difficult. Also, in order to accept feedback properly, it is necessary to understand that people have positive intentions; and that people are different and can formulate thoughts and perceive information completely differently.

The workshop consists of 4 games - each helps to practice and go deeper into one of the 4 competencies.

We have received a lot of positive feedback for this workshop in our company and the agile community in Russia. After the workshop, participants note that feedback has become easier and less painful.

About the Speakers

Alexandra Baptizmanskaya

Alexandra Baptizmanskaya is an agile coach at SEMrush and an agile marketing evangelist. She has a strong growth mindset, and never stops learning new things and experimenting. She regularly moves between the company's offices, which are located in Russia, the USA, the Czech Republic and Cyprus.

Holding a master's degree in sociology, Alexandra is also a professional coach and is on the way to become a Gestalt therapist. Her greatest passion is working with people as she believes that people are awesome. She can be contacted at: facebook.com/baptizmanskaya.


Vitaly Korol

Vitaly is an agile practitioner with more than 10 years' experience. He progressed from being a hardcore waterfall manager to a product owner relying on trust and transparency, from an agile kamikaze to a sustainable Agile coach, who holds the skills and mindset - not just the responsibilities - and who knows the difference between doing agile and being agile.

Vitaly has worn the hats of a scrum master, agile coach, product owner, kanban team coach, facilitator and consultant working with international, American and European companies. He likes to go beyond agile dogmas, theory, practices and tools, instead carefully choosing the right approaches for every unique situation.

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