Getting better isn’t impossible without some kind of feedback and introspection, but it’s almost impossible!

It is amazing how much our colleagues see and know without ever talking about. Some of the best feedback I have received in my entire career came from teammates I didn’t even talk with on a regular basis.

This card is the heart of getting feedback from your colleagues, team members, leaders. On a regular basis, or all the time, make the effort to find out how you’re doing. You mean well. You want to do the right thing. Asking these two questions gives you the information you can use to take what you are good at, and improve it until you’re great. And also tells you what you do that isn’t quite hitting the mark, allowing you to refocus what’s not working and make it better.

Download your copy of Build Upon & Refocus.


Usage #1

  1. Gather your team together and pass out index cards to all team members. Each team member should have as many cards as they have colleagues.
  2. Have each team member pair up with another team member.
  3. One person will go first and ask the question, “What should I build upon?”
    • If the answer is not detailed enough, with examples or guidelines, they should ask for more details.
    • Yes, they need to ask the question each time. The brain responds differently (and not in a good way) if the question is not asked first!
  4. Then they will ask, “Where should I refocus?”
  5. Switch roles so the asker is now the responder. Repeat steps 3 & 4.
  6. When they’re done, find someone new to learn from.

Timing: You can do this exercise in about 5 minutes per pair. If you have a team of 7 people, each person should pair with 6 other people. At 5 minutes a pairing, the total time will be about 30 minutes (6 pairings * 5 minutes = 30 minutes). Feel free to use a bell or chime to help folks keep track of time spent.


Usage #2

  1. Managers, as you leave a meeting with one of your team members and you are walking back to your own workspace, ask these questions. Show them everyone has something to build upon, somewhere to refocus. Let them know you are open to critique and you will build trust for when you later force them to ask you these questions.

Don’t forget to grab Build Upon & Refocus.