What is the CEDAR Feedback Model?

The CEDAR feedback model is a Tool that helps Provide Feedback in an efficient and constructive way.

 

It is primarily employed by Managers and Human Resources to help employees improve their Behavior and Performance.

 

Its name is an acronym for the 5 Steps it proposes to do it:

  • Context.
  • Examples.
  • Diagnosis.
  • Actions.
  • Review.

The Five Stages of the CEDAR Feedback Model

1. Context: The first thing to do is Put things in Context.

  • Who is being “affected”, How things are going, What was happening, etc.

 

2. Examples: Then, describe Examples of what should be Improved.

  • Situations in which a Behavior or an Action were reprehensible.

 

3. Diagnosis: Clearly Explain what the Problem was and Why.

  • Don’t assume that it is obvious: Highlight the Issue repeatedly.

 

4. Actions: Define Actions or Routines to improve Behavior or Performance.

  • An Easy guideline that everyone could follow.

 

5. Review: Organize regular meetings to Track Progress.

  • Once a week first, then once a month an then Quarterly, for example.

CEDAR Feedback Model

 

Let’s see the first example:

CEDAR Feedback Model example

 

Imagine you have a child who doesn’t study.

He (or she) is unable to sit for a single hour studying and you start to worry.

 

One day, you decide to use the CEDAR Feedback model to convince him (or her) to study more.

 

What do you do?

 

Context

In the first place, you explain your kid the importance of Study in a broad sense.

  • How, to get to know things and people better it is necessary to read and learn about it.
  • No matter what you want to do in life, you have to learn about it.
    • And, to do so, you have to learn How to Study.

Finally, you describe his day to day highlighting How he is wasting lot of time.

 

Examples

You tell him, day by day, what he has done during the week and how he has done nothing productive.

  • Also, you check his homework to show him that he didn’t put any effort.

 

Diagnosis

In the Diagnosis, you try to analyze with him why this happens in a constructive way.

  • Maybe he is not motivated.
  • Maybe he can’t focus.
  • Maybe he doesn’t like the school.
  • etc.

You let him give you an answer.

 

Actions

With his answer in hand, you propose different solutions by asking “What do you suggest?”.

Your goal is to get him used to studying so if he likes Math more, let him study more Math than “English.”

  • But, he has to study 1 hour per day at least. No matter what.

If he likes computers, for example, you’ll let him study software programming outside of school.

 

Review

Everyday, you’ll check that he has studied at least one hour of what he wants.

Once a week you’ll track progress and talk to him if he is happy learning what he is interested about.

  • Once he gets used to study, you’re sure we will enjoy learning about other topics.

 

* We are aware that this example seems very naive.

  • Of course it is. Parenting is extremely difficult.

Take it as what it is: Just an example to show How this Tool works.

One of the limitations of this Model is that it focuses on “What you say”.

  • And forgets about “How it is said”.

 

There are multiple factors that make the difference between a good and constructive Feedback and an absolute disaster.

  • Factors that are difficult to list or write down.

 

After years of Managing people, we’ve put together a few useful Tips for giving feedback in a successful way:

How do you give Feedback?

Be empathetic: Put yourself in the place of the other.

  • Try to understand his situation and Why he (or she) is behaving this way.

 

Don’t over-judge and analyze things Objectively.

  • We all have internal biases that tend to skew our perception.

 

Let him (or her) give you a Solution.

  • Build on that Solution: You can always tell him that it was his idea.

 

Don’t be too “bossy”.

  • When people feel “challenged” or “Compelled to do something” don’t cooperate.

 

Be subtle when tracking Progress.

  • Don’t make it seem like he is constantly being observed.

 

If you detect Bad Intentions, be Cold and Direct.

  • When there is an intentional misbehavior, you should take it seriously.

As we always say, the best way to understand the CEDAR Feedback Model and how you can use it is by sharing some examples with you:

CEDAR Feedback Model examples

We have chosen 3 examples of common situations in which the CEDAR Feedback model can be of great help.

 

Let’s begin:

The Lazy Employee - CEDAR Model example

 

Let’s imagine that you have an employee who is a bit lazy.

  • He is an intelligent guy and you think he could contribute much more to the Company.

 

That is why you decide to use the CEDAR Feedback Model.

 

What do you do?

 

Context

First of all, you explain him How much work there is in the office (in a polite way).

  • Deadlines, Projects, etc.

 

Then, you explain objectively what you think his Strengths and Skills are.

  • Why you hired him.

 

Examples

Once he’s been put in context, you describe different situations in which he could have helped his co-workers and the entire Company much more.

 

Diagnosis

You sincerely ask him How could the Company motivate him more.

  • He says he doesn’t like what he’s working on lately.

 

Then you ask him what he would like to work on.

 

Actions

You two agree in a new dynamic:

  • He will work part-time on his current tasks and the other half on the new project in which he is interested.

Providing he develops his current tasks in a productive way.

 

Review

Every week, you’ll have an informal meeting to track Progress with him.

You’ll also meet with one of his coworkers to get objective feedback on his Behavior.

  • You will have to organize this meeting in a subtle way, not to convey mistrust.

The Rude Student - CEDAR Model example

 

In this example we’ll imagine that you are a Teacher and you have a very Rude Student.

  • We’ll also assume that “physical punishment” is illegal in your country (just kidding).

 

As you are decided to help this kid, you’ll try to use the CEDAR Model.

 

This is How you use it:

 

Context

First of all, you explain him the day to day of his classmates.

  • How, some of them, want to become doctors, Engineers, etc… and need to get good grades.

You also explain him that he has many classmates that are very interested in learning Math, Biology, etc.

 

Examples

Once he knows the Context, you explain him different situations in which he disturbed the class.

  • And how it affected himself and his classmates.

 

Diagnosis

After you ask him why, he tells you that he is bored.

  • He is not interested in most of the Subjects.

 

Actions

Then you offer him a deal:

  • He will study whatever interests him in class as long as he behaves well.
    • Art, Engines, Vehicles… Even Football.

 

You’re sure that, once he gets used to focus on a subject he’ll enjoy others more.

  • And his behavior will improve.

 

Review

As you are his teacher, you’ll follow his progress on a daily basis.

The Unproductive Coworker - CEDAR Model example

 

Now we’ll imagine that you have a very Unproductive coworker.

  • You are not his boss, but you want to tell him that he is not doing anything, as it is affecting you personally.

 

You decide to use the CEDAR Model:

 

Context

First of all, you explain him your day to day at work:

  • How much work you are doing.
  • How many hours you have to spend every day.
  • etc.

And How it is affecting your personal life.

 

Examples

Then, you give him examples of Situations in which you had to do extra work because of him.

  • And How it affected you personally.

 

Diagnosis

He tells you that he hates his daily tasks. He only likes to “Prepare the Documents”:

  • Prepare presentation.
  • Assemble Excel Sheets.
  • etc.

 

But he doesn’t like to develop its content.

  • He is not good at it.

 

Actions

Since you are very good at developing content and it is your favorite part, you two make a deal:

  • He’ll Prepare, all your Documents (design, indexes, grammar revision, Excel Sheets, etc).
  • And you’ll develop all the content.

 

As your Job involves lots of paperwork, you think it is a good deal.

  • You waste lot of time with formats (and you hate it).

 

Review

Every week, you two assess if the workload is evenly distributed and his “Productivity”.

  • In a subtle way, as you are not his boss.

Summarizing

The CEDAR feedback model is a Tool that helps Provide Feedback in an efficient and constructive way.

 

Its name is an acronym for the 5 Steps it proposes to do it:

  1. Context: The first thing to do is Put things in Context.
  2. Examples: Then, describe Examples of what should be Improved.
  3. Diagnosis: Clearly Explain what the Problem was and Why.
  4. Actions: Define Actions or Routines to improve Behavior or Performance.
  5. Review: Organize regular meetings to Track Progress.

 

Tips on How to give Feedback:

  • Be empathetic: Put yourself in the place of the other.
  • Don’t over-judge and analyze things Objectively.
  • Let him give you a Solution.
  • Don’t be too “bossy“.
  • Be subtle when tracking Progress.
  • If you detect Bad Intentions, be Cold and Direct.

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