Feedback for Growth

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“The way you ask for criticism and react when you get it goes a long way toward building trust—or destroying it.”  Kim Malone Scott

According to research on effective learning, feedback is an essential component of success, along with having clear goals and the genuine desire to achieve those goals. Sharing open and honest feedback, personal insights and concerns might seem risky. However, according to studies, the highest-performing teams work in an environment that allows for moderate risk-taking, speaking their mind and creativity.

The ultimate goal of constructive feedback is not to criticize, but for you and your colleague to jointly explore and align on expectations. Constructive feedback is more easily accepted when: 1) Your colleague assumes good intent, 2) You both are aligned on performance expectations, 3) Feedback is timely and frequent, 4) You don’t rely on interpretations but ask your colleague for his/her reasons.


For the conversation itself, Dabra recommends using the SAO model (Situation, Action, Outcome) followed by a wish or recommendation from your side. Refer to a concrete situation when you observed a specific action/behavior you are criticizing and explain the outcome of the behavior (or negative impact it had).  Let your colleague know how you would like for them to behave in the future.  Explore your colleague’s perspective of the situation, find alignment and a way forward. Check out this tool before you get started.


SAO (Situation, Behavior, Outcome)

  • Situation: Identify the specifics of a situation, incident, or event, such as location and time
  • Action: Focus on observable behaviors and actions
  • Outcome: Include information about the outcome of the actions, such as the emotional impact of the incident or event.


Future Behavior


Colleague’s Perspective


Way Forward

  • What do you need to be successful?
  • How can I support you?
  • Document next steps
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