Facilitating” SAS Feedback


When we “give” feedback to people we are almost stepping off on the wrong foot! At LaPD Solutions, we believe that feedback should be a discovery which facilitates rather than gives the feedback. We promote this method to encourage thinking, reasoning and the development of solutions. 

With regard to Performance Management (which we call Personal Career Development), we believe that one to one discussions should be of a relaxed and informal style using questions to facilitate understanding, reasoning, impacts (or possible impacts) and then the thought through solutions and benefits of those solutions and continuous monitoring. 

When facilitating feedback we should always start with something positive, then move onto areas for development, the possible solutions to them and then finish on another positive note. 

You may wish/need to keep records of one to one discussions and reviews. This is useful to show each person’s development and achievements to date. You can also set new action points and target dates, recording this makes it clear what has been achieved and what still needs to be done.

The SAS method of facilitating feedback is shown below:

  • Specific and Positive – Discuss the specific positive things/areas that the person has done well in. Give recognition for good work and effort, for going that extra mile.
  • Areas and actions for development – rather than tell the person which areas you feel they need to develop and improve on, discuss specific events where things did not go so well. 
    • Ask questions to help the person identify why things didn’t go so well, what were the impacts (or what could the impacts have been). 
    • Don’t labour the point but encourage self-analysis in a supportive environment and together you will come up with areas that need looking at. 
    • As each area for development and improvement is identified, discuss what actions they think they will need to complete so that they can improve. 
    • Ideally agree an achievable time by when they expect to see the change and you can meet again informally to see how well things have progressed. This is critical as it gives opportunity for praise, recognition and a positive Pygmalion/Galatea effect.  
    • Ensure you ask what support they need or would like to achieve this. 
  • Specific Summary – Summarise the whole meeting from those specific areas they are doing well in. Praise them for identifying the areas they have chosen to develop and point out how they have come up with their own development and how they will achieve this. This helps them see how it was them that did all this and not you. End with the reassurance that you are there to support them and you are available should they need to discuss matters.

We should welcome feedback from our peers and those with years of experience, so we can build our own skills as the person responsible for feedback being useful. Add tools to our invisible toolbox and become a more rounded and experienced employee and colleague able to adapt our style to suits those we work with. 

We must learn to facilitate and receive feedback in an adult, emotionally intelligent and caring way. The value of regular feedback will keep us focussed on areas for our own development, allow us to build on our strengths and to listen to opinion and new ideas from all those around us.

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