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How To: Giving and Receiving Negative Feedback

Published on February 23, 2021

Have you ever struggled with how to approach giving negative feedback to a colleague? Or perhaps felt hurt and deflated when on the receiving end of negative feedback? Removing the fear of how to be wrong and spending time learning tools that introduce constructive feedback into the ideation process is essential in ensuring your team remains motivated and energized to pursue their ideas.  

In this week’s Innovation Hour, we’re introducing two invaluable tools on how to give and receive negative feedback .

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything

Ken Robinson

What’s Innovation Hour?

Sometimes, it can be easy to fall into a comfortable box at work – you focus on just your work and stay only inside your bubble (ex. HR, tech, research, client outreach, etc.). Obviously, focusing on your work is by no means a bad thing. But when you only think and communicate only on topics within your bubble 40 hours a week, 50 out of 52 weeks a year, it can really stifle a person’s curiosity and creativity.

So we started hosting Innovation Hour, a bi-weekly hour dedicated to our entire team exploring new topics, exercising our innovation muscles, and widening our perspectives. We’ve covered a wide scope of topics: a TED Talk on creative confidence, climate change, living wage, and more. Our Talent, Culture, and Performance Strategy was actually born during an Innovation Hour session!

As we’ve shared what Innovation Hour is with our friends and clients, we’ve been met with resounding excitement and interest. To help you host your own Innovation Hour with your teams, we’ll be sharing prompts and resources to help kick off discussions. We can’t wait to hear where your team’s creativity and passion takes you!

Download the full high-resolution pdf

Innovation Hour: Scenario

Working in pairs or small groups, use the tools “I like/I wish” and “Dream/Gripe” (outlined in the framework below) to practice introducing constructive feedback into the innovation process.

The innovation process takes time and lots of experimentation. We want to avoid stifling ideas and instead, welcome new perspectives and opinions. While we all understand that constructive feedback is useful and important, it can sometimes be difficult to separate our ego and emotions when receiving negative feedback.

By reframing constructive feedback into the “I Like/I Wish” model, it helps feedback be presented and received as opinion or an alternate perspective rather than an attack. Similarly, the “Dream/Gripe” approach to problem solving helps you reframe circular discussions about problems into creative thinking challenges you can start tackling.

Innovation Hour: Tools

We developed a session framework to help guide you through your own feedback practice.

Want to share this Innovation Hour with your team? Download our free high-resolution card with all of the session info on it!

Innovation Hour: Extra reading

Enjoying this week’s topic and want to dive in deeper? Here are some other articles we found interesting and were inspired by:

Build your creative confidence: the dream/gripe session

Build your creative confidence: I like, I wish


Samantha Lee
Client Solutions in Communications and Content

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