Posted by: magnussonllc | August 9, 2009

A Tool for Feedback: Rewind-Review

Giving feedback is something a lot of people struggle with. We are afraid to hurt other peoples feelings or to come across as harsh or rude. The Rewind-Review tool is a great addition to every professional’s toolbox. It will simplify the way you deliver feedback or criticism.

First get people to talk about their own performance (first). While there are some times that people know or understand how they need to improve, even if they are in denial about a serious behavioral gap, they always have an opinion about their work or performance. Before delivering the feedback you have for them, ask them their opinion.Rewind Review

Getting the other person talking about their performance:

  • Engages them in the process and reduces fear or apprehension they may feel.
  • Helps them practice the habit of reflection, a skill critical to optimal learning.
  • Reduces their defensiveness and resistance because people don’t argue with their own opinion.
  • Provides you with valuable information on their perspective and what they see as most important in their performance (which can improve the feedback and coaching that you then give them).

The Rewind-Review Tool is useful in these situations.

You simply ask the person to rewind back to the situation and describe what happened. This will give you an opportunity to evaluate how aware the person is about what occurred. Then you ask the person to review his/her performance. If the person clearly understands the issue at hand you can confirm and then move on to finding a solution.



  1. I can only agree this is a useful tool that has helped me giving better feedback on many occasions.
    In my experience when using this tool you can even further and ask the person to suggest a solution. On more than one occasion this has led to a good solution I didn´t think of my self, and coming from the person him-/herself it will have higher acceptance than if it comes from me.
    Johan, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this “step 3” of the tool.

  2. Thank you Tony for your comments. I would agree with you completely. Asking the other person for next steps, actions necessary or ideas for improvement will often create a higher buy-in.
    The action the other persons might suggest also helps you analyze if the person understood the feedback or not.
    So with the third step added it becomes a diagnostic tool as well.

  3. I think also, crucial to the feedback process, is to have a solution or suggestion (when the feedback is negative). The results you get from feedback where options are presented are much better, and much better taken, in my experience.

    Instead of it being “Here is the problem”, it’s “here’s a problem and some options or solutions on how to handle it”. I’ve used this successfully in dealing with negative feedback to management in the past, with great results.

    • Great comment, Jeff. I think you are absolutely right. People will respond better if we focus on the solutions instead of the problems. If we take performance reviews as an example, how much time do we spend during these talking about issues, challenges and improvement areas instead of focusing on the things we do well. I believe by leveraging our strengths we will be more successful than when focusing on our weaknesses. The same thoughts applies to your reasoning in your comment. By focusing on the solutions instead of the problems the conversation will be more forward-oriented and successful. That is, if the other person accepts your feedback. Getting people to understand and appreciate feedback is a challenging task as well. I will address this in a future post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: