Stop – Keep Doing – Start

Simple Questions for Improving Performance

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"Stop – Keep Doing – Start" provides action focused feedback.

© iStockphoto/pagadesign

Feedback is essential for our professional growth: it helps us identify and build the skills we need for success. But asking for feedback can be daunting, particularly when we fear that it might not be wholly positive.

In this article, we'll look at "Stop – Keep Doing – Start", a tool that helps us ask for focused, action-based feedback.

Overview

The SKS (Stop – Keep Doing – Start) Process is the formal name for a short set of questions that you can use when you ask for feedback. The questions are simple:

  • What should I stop doing?
  • What should I keep doing?
  • What should I start doing?

Phil Daniels, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University, is credited with devising the process. It's effective for several reasons.

  • First, it's reassuring: The questions push others to think of specific things that you do well, as well as encouraging them to say what you could do better.
  • The process is action-focused: The comments made give you a practical insight into the impact of your behavior on others, and explain precisely what you need to do to improve.
  • Finally, the questions are quick. In many cases, they allow people to give good-quality feedback in just a few minutes.

Tip 1:

Stop – Keep Doing – Start was initially devised as a way of requesting help and feedback. However, you can also use it when giving feedback  .

Tip 2:

The process works best when the questions are asked orally: It's not intended to replace more formal feedback processes, such as performance reviews.

How to Use the Process

What Should I STOP Doing?

Look closely at the behavior that you've been asked to stop doing...

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