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Quality feedback in 90 seconds

Quality feedback in 90 seconds

Nicola Hopes

7 December 2021

Give or receive meaningful feedback in less time than it takes to make a soft-boiled egg?  

You betcha! 

A consulting colleague and I facilitated a group recently where we did exactly that.  

And they found it valuable, fascinating and (at times) emotional. 

We used the Situation-Behaviour-Impact © feedback model in 90 seconds each to share: 


  1. One thing that person did extremely well – where their impact is off-the-charts positive, or is their USP 
  2. One area where their impact is not positive (regardless of intent) – highlighting the implications 


They were timed. And despite working in 2 languages, few people were still talking when the timer went off. 

It was intense. It was hugely valuable. 

So, if you’re telling yourself that quality feedback takes too much time, you’re kidding yourself. 


You’ve definitely got time for feedback  

You may already know that feedback is a hot topic for me. So much so, I have written a guide on the topic that you can access here. 

Generally, people don’t request feedback often enough. Give it often enough. Or get anything of quality that they can actually use.  

It’s a common complaint. 

So (with appropriate upfront agreement), perhaps you can introduce the 90-second rule in your team? Using the SBI feedback model to keep it pithy, tight and focussed.

  • One great thing you do.  
  • One not great thing.  
  • Over to you to decide what to do with it. 

The group in the exercise had been working together for a while and already had some ground rules about honest feedback. So, maybe dip your toe in the water with some 121s and build it from there. 

And we can all use this trick right now when I think about: 

  • How crazy busy it is – a meaningful short chat could be worth its weight in gold. Especially when compared to an hour of useless waffle that you couldn’t squeeze into the diary, even if you wanted to.

  • How to put the pep into performance reviews – as you come to the end of the year, do you really need to spend time telling Jo they did a great job writing the Christmas quiz? Or can you just focus on the truly wonderful and the somewhat problematic for them to consider? 

  • Who needs a thank you? - don’t fall into the trap of thinking feedback is just for formal performance discussions. Who around you has made a tricky year bearable? Who has really stepped up? And do they know the real impact of what they did and how much you appreciate it?  

So, make the next conversation a valuable one. 

You’ve got 90-seconds, off you go! 

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