Archive for October, 2007


Soliciting feedback .. ..

October 10, 2007

        When we ask someone to evaluate a project / idea / work of ours, often the first statement we receive is .. “nice, but make sure you … ” or “why don’t you do this instead”.

However good intentions traveled with this “but”, we do not realize the harm we just received. That is way teachers are often encouraged to appluase students when they succeed 3 times more than correcting them when they don’t. Not many follow this advice and we wonder why we have low self esteem in children or “spirited” behavior. Same thing goes at work, and the same reasons we feel gloomy and depressed at the end of the day. Why bother with new ideas we say.

so let’s try for the next 10 days to use this tool more deliberately. It’s called “Praise first”, or PPCo.

By using affirmative judgement we express both positive and negative responses to the idea without crushing its potential.

Step one: Pluses:

State what’s good about the idea (or solution) and list all its strengths. Ask questions:

* What do I like about this idea?

* How does the idea meet criteria?

* What strengths do I see?

Step two: Potentials:

Go further on and list the potentials and future gains that could result from this idea (solution). Ask:

* Where do I see this solution leading to?

* What does this option have that no other option has?

* What might be potential spin-offs for future growth?

Step three: Concerns:

Now is the time to think about what worries you. Be sure to phrase concerns as open-ended questions using “How to…”, ” In what ways might I …”, or “What might be all the … “. Consider the following:

* Where do the solutions fall short of the criteria?

* What limitations does this idea have?

* What challenges will we face if we adopt this solution?

Step four: Overcome concerns:

Don’t leave those worries hanging around, get started with generating at least a dozen ways to overcome each major concern. Think of:

* How can I make these issues less of a problem?

* How might this limitation be overcome?

* How might the solution be strengthened?

When you have completed your real feedback, look at your new polished solution and celebrate!