Stop, Start, Continue is a useful framework for delivering or requesting feedback. In it, feedback is made up of three things the individual should keep doing, three they should stop doing and three new things they should start doing.

Summary by The World of Work Project

Start, Stop, Continue Feedback Approach

Example of stop, start, continue feedback approach

Feedback is very important for both understanding current levels of performance and for identifying ways to improve. Unfortunately, people are generally not good at either giving feedback, or receiving it.

The Stop, Start, Continue approach is a simple and useful framework that helps individuals overcome some of the challenges of both giving and receiving feedback.

To use the model, simply request or provide feedback in three sections:

  1. Stop: Things that are less good and which should be stopped, and
  2. Start: Things which aren’t currently being done but which it would be good to start doing.
  3. Continue: Things that are good and which should be continued.

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Learning More

Those of you who have spoken to us will know we have pretty strong views on feedback. We understand that receiving feedback well can be difficult and that feedback can feel like a social threat. We also know that receiving feedback can be triggering, causing our amygdala responses (fight or flight) to kick in. Given this, we think it’s good to focus on learning to receive feedback well before focusing on giving feedback well.

There are several posts in this site on various feedback tools and models which might be helpful. These include 360 degree feedback and the CEDAR model. There are also some tools we think you should avoid, including the feedback sandwich. Leaders and managers should remember that feedback can increase motivation as well as change performance.

Our second podcast on feedback might also be helpful. In it we have a conversation with a feedback specialist, Joe Hirsch. You can listen to it below.

The World of Work Project View

The Stop, Start, Continue model is a fairly simple tool that helps people think about feedback and helps them frame it into a useful messages.

In reality, the challenges with feedback generally have less to do with the models used than the with relationships between people and the culture within an organization.

It is our view that if there are good, trusting relationships and a fear free culture that values development, then good feedback conversations can occur regardless of which models are used. If there is a culture of fear, a lack of trust and the primary purpose for feedback is performance management as opposed to development, then feedback conversations will be poor regardless of the model used.

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This post is based on our own personal experience and there are no specific references for it. If you think this model should be attributed to someone, please let us know.

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