The history of LoopGain

Taking your team from the comfort zone to the trust zone!

What’s this exactly?

After working in several companies and volunteer organisations, with very small and very large teams, there was always a common issue. Feedback.

This happened while at organisations that had evaluation processes or where spontaneously day-to-day feedback was preferred. It happened while working with waterfall methodologies, agile or with none at all... all lacked a common time for teams to really stop and talk!

Talk about how we feel, what we like, dislike and how to improve as a team and enjoy our work even more!

Yes, most of us gave feedback to one another, but… we were mainly addressing superficial stuff, or just work related processes, so…

We envision a session focused on the team:

How do we diagnose that a team needs this?

Well, we found out that the easiest way is when the team can’t answer very simple things:

(Those are just a few examples..)


Do you know this? If you do great, maybe you don’t need this! 🎉

If you don’t… maybe you agree this is important, maybe you disagree and find that this is too personal. Anyhow, give this text a chance and read the next couple of paragraphs…

I can only advocate that whenever I could answer those questions, the teams, where I was working, were far more proficient and pleasanter to work.

We experienced this in a large range of teams: from software development, medical teams, teams to summer camp volunteers; agile teams and waterfall teams; both small (4 people) up to larger teams (12 people).

Still, this is just an opinion and we truly agree with…

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”― Jim Barksdale

So check this Google’s study on what matters to a team’s success.

TLDR: What mattered most: Trust.

Why the deck?

After more than 2 years doing successful feedback sessions on multiple teams, we noticed its’ bigger expansion blocker to other teams was.. it was complex for anyone to just start without help…


We understood that the next step must be to create something that makes these sessions doable in 2 minutes without any help.

L∞pGain was born!

The deck is simply a tool to make the sessions easy to do without effort.

This deck is composed by 50 playing cards, distributed among 4 categories:

Motto, Positive Reinforcement, Improvements and Personal Questions

Each category has questions of 3 different levels (of depth):

It’s recommended that the selected level is adapted to the current status of the team (i.e. if it’s a recent team and people don’t know each other well, Level 1 is recommended).

Curious? It’s easy to get a deck... and set up a session in 2 minutes just by following the instructions 👇

Instructions: 10 simple steps

(it’s waaaay easier that building furniture!)

Note: Cards picked during a session can be kept aside on the following sessions to avoid being repetitive. You have 12 of each to be able to do 1 session per month without repeating.

It’s easier to understand with an example…

Let’s assume a random pick of cards… and you could end up with:


Positive reinforcement:


Personal question:

Want to start?

Note: We skipped crowdfunding and have printing the first batch of 100 that flew in days. We have a 2nd edition now that has 50x more decks that should keep with the demand for a while.

Just one more thing…

Did your team have a feedback session?

If you can spare a couple of minutes, please drop us a message at any of our social networks to share some thoughts on this and how we can improve it.

We deeply appreciate it!


When did you know this would really work?

Right from the first session where we used this methodology. There is a quick story from the first sessions that Pedro Vicente:

The personal question was something like: “Can you share something that really bothers you?”

I was waiting for more generic comments, but one of my colleagues said very simply “I really don’t like when you guys hit the table with your hands out of frustration. My monitor shakes for a couple of seconds and it kind of drives me mad.”

Well… we did this probably every single day since we worked together — most of the times just as a joke — since we worked together… for more than 3 months. He had never mentioned it.🤯

What do we need as a team for this to work?

For this to be a proper feedback session, you’ll need everybody on the team to be aware that:

Why ask 3 things in most of the questions?

If it’s just one thing people normally pick the obvious things — those that everybody is already aware. 3 makes you really think about it. Anyway, it isn’t an all or nothing, if there aren’t 3 things you remember... it’s ok, if you truly thought about it!

Why those specific questions?

Well... I actually already spoke about that above. People are not machines. If you trust and like to work with people around you... it’s better for everyone. To make this possible, you normally need to know the people around you so you can understand their decisions/behaviour.

Why personal questions?

The idea is to provide either positive questions (to reinforce behavior), or constructive questions (to offer options to things or behaviors we believe should be different).

The biggest point is avoiding the common “you did this wrong”. That just makes people become defensive. Besides, feedback needs to provide an alternative way to do something, it helps the person giving feedback to really think about it not just rant.

Why 3 different question depth levels?

Not everyone is ready on day 1 to share deeply personal things. If the team isn’t already working very well, it’s even harder. I’d suggest you always start by the single dot questions and ramp up.

Who created this?

The original concept is from: Maria Cortês Ferreira Vicente  and Pedro Vicente 

The design from Atelier N8 — Design & Consulting

Check more here.

A big thanks to the pioneers that believed in this: 

Maria João Correia, Renato Almeida, Ricardo Vieira and Luis Franqueira

Finally thanks Mindera for being a place where this was possible to build.

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