A Comparison of two Feedback / Strengths Tools

This is a simple comparison of two card-deck products that can be used to build skills in providing Feedback and working with Strengths (and weaknesses) in Training Workshops.

Feedback game

The first product is called The Feedback Game developed by Peter Gerrickens in The Netherlands in 1999.

 

 

 

DSC_4795The second product is called At My Best Strengths Cards developed by Martin Galpin and Michele Deeks at Work Positive in the UK in 2014.

 

Materials:

The Feedback Game: 140 numbered cards – 70 with positive strength words and 70 with negative strength words (and four blank cards of each design) with Instruction Guide

At My Best Strengths Cards: 48 numbered cards – each with a positive strengths word on one side and related photographic image on the reverse, with Instruction Guide

Ease of use:

Both card decks are very easy to use and essentially fulfill the same function of guiding participants to consider whether the strengths or (weaknesses) written on the card relates well to them (or another person in a team or group). Each deck can be split using the card numbering system to make two decks, or reduce the choice available. The At My Best Strengths Cards deck has the advantage of potentially using just images to help guide people in considering strengths but of course not everyone will be able to relate the photographic image to a strength. The use of ‘Weaknesses’ in the Feedback Game deck can be useful in some circumstances but can also be removed if the focus is on more positive psychology aspects.

Applications:

Both decks suggest very similar application uses e.g, estimating your own strengths or those of another person, considering strengths of an organisation (or weaknesses in the case of the Feedback Game), feedback from others on perceived strengths (or weaknesses in the case of the Feedback Game).

Additional Materials:

There are several freely available materials and suggested uses for the At My Best Strengths Cards deck on the website along with the potential to purchase additional image based products from the card images. See www.atmybest.com

There is an additional (paid for) manual available relating to the Feedback Game – see Feedback Game Manual containing 20 x different methods of playing the game, and around 100 pages of Theory & Exercises in relation to Strengths - what they are, how they can be classified, how you can trace them in yourself, and how they are expressed in communication between people.

Conclusions

Both card decks contain similar words and have similar applications so it may come down to personal choice as how to choose one or other of these card decks (or indeed to use both!). The directness of many people from the Netherlands may explain in some measure their comfort in dealing with both weaknesses and strengths in terms of Feedback, whereas some other cultures would be less comfortable. Similarly, the use of both images and words in the UK-developed Strengths deck may confuse some people who are trying to interpret and personalise both the word and the image on a card.

My personal view is that I might use the At My Best Strength Cards for a quicker session in a small group, where I was comfortable that we had a sufficient spread of capability to develop useful conversations around strengths quite quickly; or indeed where I thought the more open use of just the images would work better for my group (perhaps due to language challenges); or I had no interest in getting the group to consider weaknesses.

I would use the Feedback Game cards where I thought there was value in considering the ‘Weakness’ cards, but consider using some of the additional useful game play versions by purchasing the separate hard copy manual to get a wider appreciation of the role of 'Weaknesses' in relation to ‘Strengths’.

 

 

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