How to make your team grow with feedback — even remotely

Product designer Julia Fogelberg discusses the criteria and frameworks she’s used at Zone to make the best use of feedback sessions…

Constructive feedback is a tool that, if done effectively, can help you reach new heights as an individual or as a team.

Naturally, giving and receiving feedback remotely is a bit more complicated than running a session in a meeting room. But with the right tools and a structured format (and given that we have no choice at the moment due to COVID-19), it can be just as valuable as face-to-face. Here are some tips and frameworks you can use to make the best of these sessions.

I recently went to a leadership course that gave me a new insight into how easy it can be to give and receive feedback as a team. The criteria for the process to work was:

  1. Ensure the team is comfortable and open to receive and give feedback. It won’t work for a completely new team as the honesty required for it to be effective is not there yet, and a team in conflict needs to solve their issues first.


  1. Be concrete and specific — if your feedback relates to a specific part of the project, be clear about it


  1. Active listening

Facilitating a remote team feedback session step by step

  1. Ask for the team’s consent to run a feedback session.
Prepare a space where the team can write their feedback.

3. Invite team members to the session and the board.

4. Introduce the exercise, why it’s happening and how to give and receive feedback.

5. Present the format in which each person will give feedback (I’ve given suggestions below).

6. Set a timer for 15–30 minutes depending on how many people are in your team. Expect it to take approx. 2–5 minutes to write feedback for one person (depending on which format you’re using). Ask the team to start writing feedback in the given format (still keeping the notes under their own name — moving them around during the exercise is likely to cause distraction.)

7. Ask the team to move their feedback note under the recipient’s name.

8. Go through the feedback for each person from left to right. Everyone reads their feedback out loud.

Use different formats throughout the project

Example format — New team: [Recipient], my current strongest impression of you is [give feedback]. From [your name]

Example format — Newish team: [Recipient], I appreciate [give feedback]. From [your name]

Example format — Happy team: [Recipient], I would like to see more [give feedback]. Because I need [state your needs]. From [your name]

In the accelerator (Zone’s Innovation/UX lab) I’m working on right now I’ve used these formats. I’ve been asked to facilitate a feedback session for another project team and will mix up the format depending on their needs.

Make feedback sessions part of another ceremony

If you’re in an agile team, you already run Retrospectives. Why not incorporate feedback sessions as a part of it? That’s what we did in my team: 35 minutes retro, 25 minutes feedback.

Remember to customise it to your team’s needs. Is the purpose of the feedback session to create stronger bonds or relationships in the team? Is it about a specific event or skill? Design it accordingly.

Don’t wait for reviews to give and receive feedback

Make it part of your day-to-day routine. Keep it simple: you can use one of these strategies to collect feedback:

  • Use Matter to set specific goals and get 360-degree feedback throughout the year
  • Use Slack to get quick feedback after a specific event
  • Use a tool like Miro or Mural to run a remote feedback session with your team. Feel free to use this template as a base framework



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We write about customer experience, employee experience, design, content & technology to share our knowledge with the wider community.