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Feedback Skills Course Modules

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These feedback skills activities and exercises will help participants become more proficient in giving feedback, whether it be positive or negative, more effectively.

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Acts of Recognition

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants recognise how their behaviour/communication is experienced by others.
• To encourage participants to increase the positive acts of recognition they give to others, and to create a working atmosphere in which people feel accepted and recognised.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants recognise how their behaviour/communication is experienced by others.
• To encourage participants to increase the positive acts of recognition they give to others, and to create a working atmosphere in which people feel accepted and recognised.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 20 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. It can be particularly useful in management training and team building.

You'll Need:
• Post-it notes and flipchart paper.

Notes:
This module can be used alongside Land of the Nutritos in a diversity programme and as part of a programme on giving feedback or team working.

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An Introduction to Coaching

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to be able to define coaching and its purpose.
• To explain the key differences between coaching and mentoring.
• To enable participants to describe a basic coaching model.
• To identify the core skills required by effective coaches.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to be able to define coaching and its purpose.
• To explain the key differences between coaching and mentoring.
• To enable participants to describe a basic coaching model.
• To identify the core skills required by effective coaches.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 24 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
You'll need to have plenty of space for participants to work in pairs for this module.

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At a Crossroads - Board Game for New Managers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a manager and how to approach them with the right balance of ethics and pragmatism.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a manager and how to approach them with the right balance of ethics and pragmatism.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 to 18 participants.

Useful For:
Learners who are brand new managers (or very soon will be), particularly if they have been promoted from within the team.

You'll Need:
• Playing pieces, one per team.
• Small prize for the winning team.
• 60 second timer or stopwatch.
• Facilitator Traffic Lights.
• At a Crossroads Conundrum Cards.
• At a Crossroads Diversion Cards (3 per team).
• At a Crossroads Game Board.
• At a Crossroads Suggested Answers (for the facilitator).

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Stopwatches can also be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of up to 18 participants. It is run as a competitive game, which is a race to the finish and played in teams of two or three players. We do not recommend having teams with more than three participants.

All the scenarios contained in the cards are based on actual experiences faced by managers in their first year of managing a team. It is a particularly useful exercise for people who have been promoted from within the team to become the manager and who are struggling to adapt to their new role with people who were once their peers.

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At a Crossroads - Performance Management

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face whilst managing the performance of individuals in their team.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face whilst managing the performance of individuals in their team.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 to 18 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone who is responsible for the performance of others, or who soon will be.

You'll Need:
• Playing pieces, one per team.
• Small prize for the winning team.
• 60 second timer or stopwatch.
• Facilitator Traffic Lights.
• Conundrum Cards.
• Diversion Cards (3 per team).
• Game Board.
• Suggested Answers (for the facilitator).

New: Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Stopwatches can also be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of up to 18 participants. It is run as a competitive game; a race to the finish, and played in teams of two or three players. We do not recommend having teams with more than three participants.

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Coaching Skills Review

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about their own coaching skills development needs.
• To remind participants of the GROW model.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about their own coaching skills development needs.
• To remind participants of the GROW model.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Team leaders, supervisors and managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This short review exercise is a useful addition to any coaching skills training. It encourages participants to think about their own development needs and to formulate a development plan using the GROW model. (You should only use this review tool if participants have previously been introduced to the GROW model).

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Delegation - Sink or Swim

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the subject of delegation.
• To explore what constitutes effective and ineffective delegation.
• To consider best practice when delegating.
• To identify some pitfalls to avoid when delegating.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed within 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the subject of delegation.
• To explore what constitutes effective and ineffective delegation.
• To consider best practice when delegating.
• To identify some pitfalls to avoid when delegating.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Team Leaders and managers.

You'll Need:
Blank sheets of A4 paper.

Notes:
For this module, you will need:
• Plenty of A4 paper.
• Copies of each handout for every participant.

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Effective Delegation

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To agree the important principles of effective delegation.
• To review and learn from the experience of being delegated to.
• To recognise potential barriers to delegation.
• To prepare a checklist for effective delegation.
• To identify tasks that can’t be delegated.
• To plan for delegation.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed within 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 120 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To agree the important principles of effective delegation.
• To review and learn from the experience of being delegated to.
• To recognise potential barriers to delegation.
• To prepare a checklist for effective delegation.
• To identify tasks that can’t be delegated.
• To plan for delegation.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and junior managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
A useful discussion based exercise that encourages participants to really think about when to delegate, why to delegate and when not to delegate.

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Effective Performance Appraisal – The Value

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the purpose of performance appraisal systems.
• To identify the benefits of a good performance appraisal process.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 40 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 50 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the purpose of performance appraisal systems.
• To identify the benefits of a good performance appraisal process.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and above.

You'll Need:
• Post it notes and flipchart paper.

Notes:
This module assumes an appraisal process that works on a partnership basis, where objectives are agreed and where skills/behaviours are analysed in order to identify further training and development needs.

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Giving Feedback - Notes for Trainers' Images Video

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 80 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to notice examples of unhelpful feedback, both positive and negative in the film clips.
• To encourage participants to adopt helpful feedback in their own dealings with staff.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes (including the time required to view the training video). In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 80 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to notice examples of unhelpful feedback, both positive and negative in the film clips.
• To encourage participants to adopt helpful feedback in their own dealings with staff.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 20 participants, split into smaller teams, as long as suitable projection facilities are available to give everyone a clear view of the training video.

Useful For:
Managers at all levels, supervisors and team leaders.

You'll Need:
• A computer and a means of connecting to a screen.

Notes:
We recommend showing each clip of film in turn and drawing out the learning points. There is a further activity to relate the learning to participants’ own work situations.

Please note that these are the trainer notes that accompany the Trainers' Images video 'Giving Feedback', exclusively available to customers who have a Full Membership.

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Glasstap Sheep Trials - An Exercise in Communication and Continuous Improvement

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants' planning and communication skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of listening and using summary and clarification to check understanding.
• To consider what makes communication effective and the dangers of getting it wrong.
• To energise a group of participants.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To test participants' planning and communication skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of listening and using summary and clarification to check understanding.
• To consider what makes communication effective and the dangers of getting it wrong.
• To energise a group of participants.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Whistles.
• A stopwatch.
• Blindfolds.
• Skittles and hoops (or similar-see note).
• Prizes.
Many of the items needed to run this exercise are available from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
We don't often develop exercises specifically for the outdoors, but this is a simple exercise that can be used by anyone with access to a park, lawn or yard. A great energiser for sunny days and one which really does contain some important lessons about communication and the importance of checking understanding.

This exercise does require some preparation as you'll need to devise a 'course' for your participants to follow. Preparation will take about 5 minutes once you have the items you'll need. The course maps show three different routes through the same course, which means you won't have to change the course itself if playing more than one round.

We suggest using hula-hoops for your 'pens'. If not, you can mark the 'pens' out using other things like rope or giant pick-up sticks. Skittles, cones or balls can be used to mark out the rest of the course.

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Introduction to Giving Feedback

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the characteristics and differences between constructive feedback, praise and criticism.
• To explain the importance of constructive feedback.
• To build awareness of "good practice" guidelines for providing constructive feedback.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the characteristics and differences between constructive feedback, praise and criticism.
• To explain the importance of constructive feedback.
• To build awareness of "good practice" guidelines for providing constructive feedback.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and first time managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Managers Self Assessment

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To give participants an opportunity to reflect on their current skill levels as a manager and use the information to create a plan of action.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To give participants an opportunity to reflect on their current skill levels as a manager and use the information to create a plan of action.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Participants with managerial responsibility (or those who will have imminently).

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise can work as a stand-alone exercise but is best used as a precursor or a final exercise in a longer programme for new managers.

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Negotiation Skills - Observer Feedback Sheet

This isn't a training module as such, but an additional resource that can be used to support practical simulation exercises where the trainer or other participants fulfil the role of observer, making effective feedback easy and powerful.

About

This isn't a training module as such, but an additional resource that can be used to support practical simulation exercises where the trainer or other participants fulfil the role of observer.

The Observer's Feedback Sheet contains a list of positive indicators in the left hand column and some less positive indicators in the central column. Observers simply tick the boxes for the behaviours they observe and jot down examples, making effective feedback easy and powerful.

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Preparing for a Performance Review

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the things they need to do before conducting a performance review.
• To consider the importance of effective planning before a performance review.
• To identify questions that should be asked in a review, and to recognise the importance of thinking in advance about open, constructive questions that can be used in the review.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 40 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the things they need to do before conducting a performance review.
• To consider the importance of effective planning before a performance review.
• To identify questions that should be asked in a review, and to recognise the importance of thinking in advance about open, constructive questions that can be used in the review.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and above.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This case study based exercise encourages participants to really think about how they'd prepare for a performance review and highlights some potential barriers to effective performance appraisal reviews.

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Recruitment - Interview Practice

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 180 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to understand what is needed to run an effective recruitment interview and to practise doing so.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 130 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 180 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to understand what is needed to run an effective recruitment interview and to practise doing so.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 and 12 participants. Ideally, you should have at least 6 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone who is involved in interviewing candidates for posts in their organisation.

You'll Need:
• Post-it notes.
• The job description, person specification and the candidate applications for the role you’d like to interview for.
• One room containing a table and chairs for each group taking part in the practice interviews.
• A waiting room for your candidates. (One of these rooms needs to be large enough for the whole group to come together for the initial briefing and final discussion/review.)

Notes:
Recruitment is the start of effective performance management and one of any organisation’s most important activities. This module will ensure that all those involved are able to carry out the interview process effectively. It is simple to run but does need careful planning to ensure it works. The time spent doing this is amply rewarded by the fact that, once done, you can use the module again and again, without the need for much planning.

Although not totally necessary, we think it would be helpful to run this session as part of a whole course looking at recruitment. There is a complete course agenda in Trainers’ Library that shows how you could do this.

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Remaining Neutral

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To consider the pitfalls and dangers of giving advice when helping staff solve their own problems.
• To consider the dangers of making judgements or assumptions about the nature of someone else's problem.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To consider the pitfalls and dangers of giving advice when helping staff solve their own problems.
• To consider the dangers of making judgements or assumptions about the nature of someone else's problem.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Managers and team leaders.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Re-Scripting Feedback

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider the art of feedback and to ensure their feedback is appropriate and objective.
• To enable participants to identify useful, helpful, constructive feedback.
• To clarify what makes useful, constructive feedback.
• To develop participants ability to give constructive feedback.
• To consider how if feels to be on the receiving end of destructive or unhelpful feedback.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed within 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 50 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider the art of feedback and to ensure their feedback is appropriate and objective.
• To enable participants to identify useful, helpful, constructive feedback.
• To clarify what makes useful, constructive feedback.
• To develop participants ability to give constructive feedback.
• To consider how if feels to be on the receiving end of destructive or unhelpful feedback.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Team leaders and junior managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
The suggested time for this module is based on the assumption that pre-work has covered the essential elements of positive feedback.

The activity is designed to help participants improve their ability to offer feedback in a way that is constructive and helpful and leads to positive performance. It works particularly well following the ‘Introduction to Feedback’ module in Trainers’ Library.

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Structuring a Performance Review

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about how to structure a performance review.
• To provide a suggested agenda for a performance review.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about how to structure a performance review.
• To provide a suggested agenda for a performance review.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and above.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise can be used around a real example, or the case studies provided.

This module uses the same case studies as 'Preparing for a Performance Review' and is a useful follow on to that module.

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Training Practice

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 140 minutes.

Aims:
• To give participants an opportunity to practice training delivery; including debriefing exercises.
• To explore the importance of using relevant icebreakers and energisers to change energy levels in the training room.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 115 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 140 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To give participants an opportunity to practice training delivery; including debriefing exercises.
• To explore the importance of using relevant icebreakers and energisers to change energy levels in the training room.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 20 participants, but a maximum of 10 participants is recommended.

Useful For:
Participants in a Train the Trainer programme.

You'll Need:
• 1 set of the Training Practice Cards.
• 1 A4 envelope for each participant (with their name on it).
• Enough Feedback Sheets for participants to give feedback to each of their fellow participants.
• The equipment required for participants to run the individual icebreakers (see the trainer's notes).

Notes:
Unlike most of our course modules, this one is designed to be run as several ‘mini sessions’ at different points in your training.

The timings in our summary sheet are based on 10 participants, each delivering their session individually. To work out an accurate time for your group:
• Allow 20 minutes to introduce the session and give participants time to prepare.
• Allow 10 minutes for each participant’s practice session.
• Allow 20 minutes at the end for discussion, review of feedback and action planning.

It is preferable for your participants to deliver their sessions solo, but for larger groups, or if time is an issue, you can put them in pairs.

This activity can be used in groups of up to 10 participants or 20 if you are allowing them to co-deliver (not recommended).

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We Need to Talk - Holding Difficult Conversations

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 130 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants prepare for and conduct conversations they find difficult.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed in about 80 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 130 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants prepare for and conduct conversations they find difficult.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module helps participants to understand what makes difficult conversations ‘difficult’ and encourages them to think about how they approach such conversations.

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Why Feedback Matters

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the difference effective feedback can make to someone’s performance.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 20 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the difference effective feedback can make to someone’s performance.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants. Ideally, you'll have at least 4 participants though, so that you can demonstrate the 4 types of feedback described.

Useful For:
Anyone who needs to give or receive feedback.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is a great way to demonstrate the difference it can make when feedback is given effectively. During the role-play element it is advisable to select with care the people who will be receiving the different types of feedback. It is also advisable to explain clearly at the start of the exercise that it will involve you role-playing different types of feedback.

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