Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Interested in gauging the perspective of your team in easy and effective means?  Try a Start-Stop-Continue exercise.  This exercise is efficient and can be used by anyone, even if you are not familiar with facilitating groups.  With this one short exercise you can walk away with a better understanding of what you Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda done.

On a flip chart, dry erase board, or even pieces of paper, label one each for Start, Stop, and Continue.  Allow team members to brainstorm things to Start doing, Stop doing, and Continue doing as it relates to a specific topic.  I have used this technique in a variety of ways throughout my professional career.  Some examples include:

•    Project Management: Start-Stop-Continue can be effective mid-way through the project or as an effective feedback method after a project is completed.  It is recommended to complete this exercise in a timely manner so ideas are fresh and relevant.

•    Conflict Resolution: As a manager, I have used the Start-Stop-Continue to resolve a conflict between co-workers.  Both were able to share their perspectives on what they needed to co-exist peacefully.  I provided the worksheets to each employee the day before the meeting so they had time to reflect before getting together to discuss.

•    Supervisor Feedback: Why is it that managers get to review their employees but the employees rarely get to give their feedback to their manager?  Start-Stop-Continue is a simple way for employees to share their feedback on how their manager could better lead and motivate them.  Depending on the size and dynamic of your team, it may be helpful to recruit a non-team member to compile the results for you.

•    Family/Relationships: While never personally using this technique in a personal relationship, it would be easy to do.  Top of my list would be Start buying more pizza rolls, Stop storing, and Continue giving hugs.  But I digress…

Let me know if you have used this technique in other scenarios by commenting below!

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