Mad Sad Glad sounds like a funny name for a meeting format. But look beyond the name and give it a try. You will find it to be a simple yet powerful tool that helps you gauge the emotional state of the team. Making good teams great - a book by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen describes the MAD SAD GLAD retrospective. It’s a great read for anyone looking to dive deep into retrospectives.
Employees are asked to lead with empathy but emotions weren’t necessarily acceptable in the workplace till recently. For a leader or manager it is important to have a finger on the pulse of the emotional state of the team. The team can only perform if everyone is feeling supported, encouraged and is excited to come to work everyday.
Feedback can be specific or general. None of it needs to be directly associated with your project. It could be something that’s not even a part of your team. If it’s having an emotional impact on you it’s good to bring it up in the sprint retrospective.
Let’s take a closer look at each part of the Mad Sad Glad retrospective🧐
What’s making you furious at work? Is there something that irritates you so much that it’s affecting your work? You wish that there was a way to fix it so that you can go back and be completely focussed on work. Let’s look at some Mad examples we have seen overtime:
Is there anything that breaks your heart everyday you come to work? Well, that’s a bit much 🤣 ? But is there anything you wish you could change or someone else could for you. These might be things that might not make you Mad per se but still make you question their absurdity? Let’s look at some Sad examples:
Not everything in your team must be falling apart. There must be a few silver linings that give you hope, makes you happy, makes you hopeful about the future. Some examples of Happy are:
Handling emotions is not easy. Moderating a Mad Sad Glad meeting can easily become overwhelming. You should use caution and do ample preparation before leading the session.
Using the feedback from Mad Sad Glad you can build a positive work environment. People thrive in their work when they feel their voices being heard. Mad Sad Glad does that. It provides a framework to analyze the emotional state of the team.
The Mad Sad Glad conversation can sometimes get really heated up. Using icebreakers is a great way to lighten things up and start the meeting on the right note. Here are some icebreaker questions examples:
Want more icebreaker questions? We have compiled a list of over 300 icebreaker questions just for you. This will keep you well stocked on icebreaker questions for your retrospective meetings for atleast a few years 🤣 🤣 .