ACE: Powerful Feedback that’s Psychologically Safe

A 90 minute workshop for Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters. 

Feedback is a double-edged sword: it’s the key to team performance, but done badly it destroys relationships, collaboration and performance.

So, would you like ways to…

  • … give feedback that people are pleased to hear?
  • … use feedback to give confidence and generate change?
  • … help people to hear feedback in a constructive way, so they will actually use it to improve their products and plans?
  • … encourage team members to give feedback more safely and effectively?
  • … get feedback communicated earlier, so problems are spotted earlier, less time is wasted on foreseeable problems, progress is more smooth and predictable, and results are delivered earlier?
  • … do all of the above, safely and easily, in one meeting?

You’re probably aware of Google’s Aristotle research findings: they found 5 factors that characterised high performing teams, and “Psychological safety was far and away the most important.” Psychological Safety is the confidence to say what’s on your mind, free from anxiety about being humiliated or punished in any way.

This makes sense - when people don’t feel safe to say what’s on their mind, valuable perspectives are lost to the team. It’s easy for months of effort to be wasted, all because someone who spotted a key problem didn’t speak up.

But Psychological Safety isn’t just about people speaking up: if they speak up in the wrong way it can cause real damage. When feedback is given badly it can cause upset that’s hard to correct (once someone has been upset, it’s very hard to “un-upset” them!) That can lead to defensiveness, poor communication and even conflict – all of which have a negative impact on team performance.

The ACE feedback model helps people to speak up in a good way – so they feel safe to speak, and other people find it easy to hear.

In this workshop we’ll cover:

  • The difference between giving feedback, making a request and giving an order – and why it’s crucial to know which one you’re doing.
  • The part of the human brain that’s wired to reject feedback – and how to avoid triggering it
  • The ACE model of Psychologically-Safe Feedback
  • An incredibly simple tool that helps create Psychologically Safety in both giving and receiving feedback.
  • How to give ACE feedback
  • Helping others to give ACE feedback on ideas and plans in any meeting

It’s a practical, interactive workshop – you’ll experience the model in action, and take away perspectives and tools you can put into practice right away.

Next Steps

To book this workshop for your meetup or conference, contact