Feedback Dialogues / Feedbackdialoge




Feedback Dialogues

Leaders, teams and stakeholders who enjoy functioning dialogue and communication are productive and successful. Team members are able to contribute their thoughts and ideas and leaders have access to fresh impulses for optimal cooperation and leadership.
Through neutrally moderated feedback dialogues cooperation is improved and a culture of mutual feedback is fostered. Effectivity, cooperation and collaboration increase in a context of open dialogue. Combining all viewpoints allows for a holistic and comprehensive perspective geared for growth and development.
A typical feedback dialogue lasts approximately 4 hours and ends with mutual goal setting. There are countless configurations for effective feedback dialogues, depending on the needs of the team. Some of the most commonly used are the leadership dialogue (feedback between the team and their leader), the team dialogue (feedback among the team members themselves), and the stakeholder dialogue (feedback between the team and select stakeholders). Holding regular feedback dialogues (at least once per year) is an important measure towards creating and sustaining safe space and the exchange of essential information.


Führungskräfte, Mitarbeiter und Stakeholders, die ein offenes Gesprächsklima geniessen, können alle Aufgaben erfolgreich meistern. Mitarbeiter bringen ihre Ideen und Gedanken zum Ausdruck und Führungskräfte bekommen frische Impulse für optimierte Zusammenarbeit und Führung.
Durch ein neutral moderiertes Feedbackdialog wird die Zusammenarbeit verfeinert und die Feedbackkultur gefördert. Effektivität, Kooperation und Kollaboration steigen im Kontext eines offenen Gesprächsklimas. Das Abgleichen von verschiedenen Ansichten ermöglicht eine ganzheitliche Sichtweise.
Ein Feedbackdialog dauert ca. 4 Stunden und schließt mit gemeinsam formulierten Zielen ab. Es gibt zahlreiche Arten von Feedbackdialogen, die je nach den Bedürfnissen des Teams eingesetzt werden können. Typischerweise werden der Führungsdialog (Feedback zwischen dem Team und der Führungskraft), der Teamdialog (Feedback im Team selber) und der Stakeholderdialog (Feedback zwischen dem Team und ausgewählten Stakeholders) am häufigsten eingesetzt. Das regelmäßige Abhalten (mindestens ein mal pro Jahr) stellt einen wichtigen Beitrag für die Schaffung und Erhaltung von Safe Space dar und sorgt somit für den Austausch essentieller Informationen.


What are the benefits?

The foremost and most obvious purpose of such dialogues is to give team members, leaders and stakeholders feedback concerning their behavior (eg communication and collaboration skills) and how they influence each other. This gives them the opportunity to see themselves through the eyes of the others, thus gaining increased ability and motivation to change and grow. 

It leads to improved relationships, greater cohesiveness, stability, enlistment and sustainability. Feedback dialogues are an instrument that supports company, leader and team development on multiple levels.

How are such dialogues structured?

A three to four-hour feedback dialogue is held in three phases; the introduction, where the coach explains the agenda, the goals and the rules; the group work, where either the team works together, or the manager/stakeholders/team work separately on formulating their feedback; and then finally the group discussion, where the all participants come together to compare and discuss their findings and agree on goals.

What about confidentiality?

The degree of confidentiality is one of the most important issues that must be decided by the management before any dialogues can be scheduled. Experience has shown that the lower the degree of content disclosure, the higher the degree of openness in the discussions. In other words, the higher the degree of ensured confidentiality, the greater the success of the dialogue. The chances of participants discussing real issues – that is, going beyond the superficial purely operative level – are greatly increased if complete confidentiality is ensured. Confidentiality and “Safe Space” are closely linked.

Should a feedback questionnaire be used?

Keep in mind that questionnaires are structured and defined by the author and not by the individual filling them out. This means that the feedback is structured and filtered even before the dialogue can take place. This minimizes the ability of each individual to say what he/she really thinks, because the issues are determined by the confines of the questionnaire. Additionally, free flowing feedback better empowers individuals to expand their perhaps newly gained feedback skills to other situations. Giving and receiving feedback is always a learning process for both sides.    

What about conflict?

Conflicts often form the basis of growth and development. Within the context of a feedback dialogue we are able to openly name and discuss conflicts to then move towards resolution and growth. Conflicts are opportunities to connect in a meaningful way, and finally redefine processes and relationships, opening up to new chances. And although obviously not all conflicts can be solved during the dialogue, they can (and should) be brought out into the open and a commitment made by all involved to work towards their resolution.

What is the role of the coach?

One of the major roles of the coach is to ensure and sustain trust, respect, appreciation (and humor) throughout the dialogue for all participants. This can engender surprising empathetic feelings, which, by the way, form the basis of the strong relationships needed to create sustainable and crisis-proof teams.