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Taking a moment for a team year-in-review fosters curiosity and connection

I don’t know about you, but we love a good “year-in-review” list. There’s something about looking back over the entire year and seeing what stands out. More than the list itself, it’s the conversation that it provokes that each of us finds compelling: “Really, that was your favorite…. interesting.” “Oh, I almost forgot about that one. That WAS a big deal.”

What are your year-in-review highlights? How would your highlight reel compare to the year-in-review highlights from your team?

A “what stands out” conversation can be a great team builder for your end-of-year meeting, or to enhance your December one-on-ones.

7 Questions to Help Your Team Reflect on the Year

Here are a few questions to help you facilitate a year-in-review conversation.

1. What are your personal bests?

One fun way to do personal bests is to give your team a list of potential “best ofs” to choose from, and have each team member pick one or two personal bests to share.


  • Day (this one can be a lot of fun, and great for storytelling).
  • Accomplishment (it’s always interesting to see which people choose– it’s a great indicator of what matters most to them).
  • Contribution to the Team (also interesting to see what people see as their “best of,” and, of course, this can set the table for additional gratitude).
  • Customer Win (it’s easy for “going the extra mile” for customer stories to go unnoticed. Here’s a chance to share.
  • Idea (Celebrate the I.D.E.A.s (the remarkable ones), and even the great ones you were not able to use.
  • Comeback (Filling the room with great come-back stories is always energizing).
  • Collaboration (This is a chance to talk about when teamwork was at its very best)

Of course, a good follow-up question is… what made these best-ofs so great? And how do we get more of that next year?

2. Which of our projects/efforts/contributions was most impactful to the organization?

This is a great way to help your team consider how their work aligns with your organization’s strategic priorities.

This works well, even for frontline employees who may not be involved in projects with a capital “P.” Invited them to talk about ways they have contributed to improving results.

The natural follow-up conversation is to talk about how your team can continue to contribute in meaningful ways.

3. How have you grown this year personally and professionally?

Probes: In what areas have you developed? What development and training were the most impactful? What new skills did you learn? Which areas of your performance have most improved?

4. Who helped you most this year? How? What difference did it make?

Even if you’ve already thanked someone, you can’t go wrong with including gratitude in your year-in-review. A quick lightning round of this question is a great meeting starter.

5. What’s your biggest lesson learned?

What did you learn and how? How will you apply that learning in the future?

6. What would you do differently if you were to live this same year again?

Closely related to the lesson learned, this question is a good one to set the stage for strategic changes, priorities, and new habits for next year.

7. What important question should we add to our year-in-review discussion?

This question empowers your team to identify specific areas they would like to talk about as part of the end-of-year review.

We would love to hear from you. What questions would you include in an end-of-year review?  What would you include in your best of highlight reel?

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Karin Hurt and David Dye

Karin Hurt and David Dye help human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results. As CEO and President of Let’s Grow Leaders, they are known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. Karin and David are the award-winning authors of five books including, Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. David Dye is a former executive and elected official. Karin and David are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

Be More Daring


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7 Practical Ways to be a Bit More Daring

Be More Daring


Get the FREE Courageous Cultures E-Book to learn how

7 Practical Ways to be a Bit More Daring

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