Susan Scott’s Feedback in 60 Seconds Model

We have had great success with clients by having them recall a situation where they feel a need to give feedback to someone, yet they are remaining silent for fear that it won’t go well. Susan Scott’s model provides a useful template to inform the feedback process, and it is something they can practice in the mirror, or through role play with a trusted person who attempts to respond in a similar way as the actual intended recipient.

In 60 seconds, complete the following:

  1. Name the issue – the problem named is the problem solved.  Name the behavior that is causing the problem and the area the behavior is impacting.
  2. Select a specific example that illustrates the behavior or situation you want to change.  No long stories.
  3. Describe your emotions about this issue.  Telling someone what emotion his or her behavior evokes in you is intimate and disarming.  You are letting the person know that you are affected, that you are vulnerable.
  4. Clarify what is at stake.  For the individual, yourself, others, for the customer, the team, the organization, the relationship.  Use the words at stake, it reinforces the importance of this conversation.
  5. Identify your contribution to this problem.  No long confession is needed – it’s a brief acknowledgment that you recognize any role you may have played in creating the problem and that you intend to do something about it.
  6. Indicate your wish to resolve the issue.  Use the word resolve.  It shows there is no firing squad waiting outside the door.  It communicates good intent on your part.

Invite your partner to respond.  You have stated the situation from your point of view.  Now the invitation is offered for the other person to join the conversation.


Enjoy Susan’s sense of humor in her TED Talk

Subscribe to the Fierce Leadership blog  for regular tips and resources.

The simplest definition of a Fierce Conversation is one in which authentic, honest, and direct conversations take place. While many fear real, it is the overlooked conversations that ought to concern us. They are incredibly expensive.

This work is about the focus of developing the conversation skills of leaders.  It is about learning the art of conversation that can transform a culture; truth telling and truth seeking conversations.

“The future of the world — the progress of the world — depends on the our progress as individuals now.  Leadership is not a title.  It’s a behavior”

– Susan Scott