Coaching Feedback

Gifts & Greats

Giving and receiving feedback is crucial for growth. And how you frame your feedback matters.

Imagine someone from your team asking, “How are we doing?” or “Do you have feedback?” How will you respond?

One of the ways you can communicate is by using the “Gifts and Greats” technique.

a Great is something specific that the team is doing well.

For example, you can share a particular instance where you observed how the team worked through their disagreements constructively by discussing options and arrived at a win-win solution. Or you may share that the team has improved in their Daily Scrum because people come prepared to synchronize with their teammates.

Don’t hold back. Share as many Greats as you see fit. Be specific.

When people know what is great about their work, then they can reflect on how best to do more or improve on what they already know how to do. Growing talent is about amplifying strengths.

a Gift is free from obligations. The receiver can choose to reflect on your idea and implement it or ignore it.

For example, you could share that sometimes team meetings get sidetracked, and using the parking lot will help the team stay focused on the topic. Or you may share that team members start many more items than they can finish, and minimizing work-in-progress would help improve throughput.

These Gifts are neutral offerings, with no obligation for the team to act on your feedback. Permitting people to choose ensures they have agency in their practices.

A critical aspect of giving and receiving feedback is to accept the team’s autonomy over its processes.


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