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SAO Guidelines


The Situation, Action, Outcome framework makes giving effective feedback easy and helps your team members understand exactly what they’re doing right or wrong by being specific.

Questions to Help:







When and where did this happen?

What specific behavior did you observe?

What was the result of that behavior?


Vague Feedback

“Great job on the project plan!”

SAO Feedback

“You worked so hard this week to put together a thorough project plan for the new partner appreciation initiative. Your efforts made it much easier to align as a team around our goals and timeline.”

Best Practices:

Now that you’ve got a handle on what to say, take a step back and consider how and when you say it.

Give feedback early and often

  • Don’t wait until performance reviews - give feedback when events are still fresh in everyone’s mind
  • Make it a habit to give feedback, especially reinforcing feedback

Focus on behavior

  • To make sure feedback doesn’t feel like a personal attack, focus on specific behaviors and avoid personal traits

Avoid the "feedback sandwich"

  • “Sandwiching” a piece of negative feedback between positive ones can distract from your point
  • Be direct instead - try mentioning the person’s strengths as a potential solution