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Triad Feedback Exercise

The triad feedback exercise helps reframe individual or team problems, turning our colleagues into helpful consultants.

By Gustavo Razzetti

March 30, 2019

A Liberating Structure Method to encourage participation, feedback, and collaboration. 

The Triad Feedback Method is an effective way to foster collaboration and feedback among small teams.

The original name of this tool is Troika Consulting–one of the 33 Liberating Structures. I prefer the word feedback because it’s the key benefit this exercise provides–one person shares a problem in an intimate, small group and receives input and thoughts that help better understand the problem.

What Is the Triad Feedback Exercise?

One person– the ‘client’– presents his/her challenge, and the other two people –the ‘consultants’– provide feedback. Though it sounds pretty obvious, the dynamics of how it works provide surprising results.

How to Facilitate this Feedback Method?

Divide people in small groups of 3 chairs (no table needed). 

Participants will take turns — one becomes the ‘client,’ and the other two, the ‘consultants.’

The client has to address two questions:

“What is your challenge?”
“What kind of help do you need?”

1. The client presents her/ his challenge (1 minute)-- consultants cannot ask questions or interrupt.

2. The client turns around with her/ his back facing the other two people.

3. The consultants generate ideas, suggestions, and provide advice (5 min). The client can listen, but cannot interact with them.

4. The client turns around and shares what found most valuable of everything the consultants said (1). Once again, the consultants listen.

Switch roles and repeat the sequence.

If you have time, you can do a second round. This time, the client should present his/ her reframed problem taking into consideration the feedback and ideas provided by the consultants.

Coaching Tips

In my personal experience, the main goal is not about finding a concrete solution but increasing understanding of one’s problem by listening to other people’s perspectives. 

The most interesting part is listening to two people discussing your problem like if you were not there.  That’s the purpose of having the client having his/ her back facing the consultants and not be able to speak up or ask questions.

Try it out, and you’ll be surprised how simple, yet impactful, this exercise is. 

Additional Reading

What Are Liberating Structures? How Can They Facilitate Change?
How to Liberate Innovation across Your Organization
Why Feedback Is Like Sex
 

Credit:

The Triad Feedback exercise was adapted from Troika Consulting, one of the 33 Liberating Structures methods.

 

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