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Feedback Sandwich (#111)

Learn how to raise constructive criticism with your team mates in a trusting and positive way
Source: Diana Hennessy
Try this activity to help teams that are only ever saying nice things to each other and seem reluctant to raise concerns about each other. If they are always keeping the peace, they miss growth opportunities and issues may fester. Feedback Sandwich is a way to learn how to give and receive potentially critical feedback. It goes like this:

Team members sit in a circle and take turns receiving the feedback. The team member who's turn it is is not allowed to say anything until each person finishes their 3 points. Once finished, the person receiving the feedback can only say 'Thank You'. They take turns receiving the feedback until all team members have participated.

Several days before the retro, you send out the following information to team members so that they can prepare:
'Think about the below questions for each of your team mates and prepare an answer before the session:
  1. What is something you really admire/respect about this person or something you think they do really well in a professional capacity?
  2. What is something you think is a weakness for this person? (Perhaps something they don't do so well, need to work on etc.)
  3. What is something you feel this person shows promise in, but could perhaps work on a little more to truly shine at it?
These questions are quite open in that you can draw on both technical and soft skills for each team member. So it might be that you choose to highlight a specific technical strength/weakness, or you might comment on someone's professional conduct, approachability, teaching skills, communication skills, etc.

Disclaimer: This activity is not about being nasty, or mean. It's intended to help the team get to know each other better and to improve on how we work individually and as a group. The idea is not to cause offence, but rather to understand how your team sees you and perhaps take something away to work on. It is up to you what you take away from it, you are free to ignore people's suggestions if you do not agree with them. Please deliver your feedback kindly and remember to thank your team for their feedback about you.


Retromat contains 127 activities, allowing for 8349005 combinations (25x30x22x22x23+5) and we are constantly adding more.

Created by Corinna Baldauf

Corinna wished for something like Retromat during her Scrummaster years. Eventually she just built it herself in the hope that it would be useful to others, too. Any questions, suggestions or encouragement? You can email her or follow her on Twitter. If you like Retromat you might also like Corinna's blog and her summaries on

Co-developed by Timon Fiddike

Timon gives Scrum trainings. He mentors advanced scrum masters and advanced product owners. Human, dad, nerd, contact improv & tango dancer. He has used Retromat since 2013 and started to build new features in 2016. You can email him or follow him on Twitter. Photo © Ina Abraham.