Personal Growth retrospective

Create continuous personal improvements in a supportive environment

What is the Personal Growth retrospective?

This is an exceptionally valuable retrospective if you’re looking for an easy way to support the empowerment and well-being of your team members. Given that your team is made up of individuals, this retrospective gives them the opportunity and space to look at how they can each set personal goals and how others in the team can support their efforts. This can help to build bonds but also create the impetus for personal change at work.

The Personal Growth template was inspired by two areas of research.

Firstly, Rotter’s work relating to the Locus of Control, one of the four dimensions of self-evaluation. His research and that of others points to the fact that the more internal control an individual perceives they have, the more confident, empowered and productive they will be.

Secondly, the alignment of gratitude to well-being. This is a hot topic at the moment and for good reason – grateful people are happier and far less stressed.

The process of helping your team review your last iteration with this template will help the next sprint and your team!

Personal Growth retrospective format


Participants are invited to capture the actions they can deliver to improve the next sprint. What small habits could help them focus? What could they do to support other team members? How do they perceive they could directly contribute to the next sprint?


Here participants list the help the team could offer and why that is important. The assistance could be directly aligned with delivering value through the sprint or helping to foster well-being.


Participants have the chance to identify sources of work-related gratitude, the longer the list the better! The reasons could be as small as liking the coffee.

Suggested Icebreaker questions for Personal Growth retrospective

  • What one thing would you tell your 15-year-old self if you could go back in time?
  • Who has supported your personal growth?
  • For what or whom are you most grateful?

Retro Rehearsal

Invite your team to rehearse the retro referencing a short-term plan.

For example, how can you improve, support or show gratitude for plans for the weekend?

Ideas and tips for your Personal Growth retrospectives

  • A great way to open up minds to this style of retrospective is to ask everyone to share one statement that they would tell their 15-year-old self if they could go back in time.

    What is a piece of wisdom, knowledge, change or advice that they would give to their younger selves? This lends itself well to the style of retrospective that can sometimes be confronting or challenging.

  • Make brainstorming anonymous to allow people to feel safe when contributing their thoughts. People will feel more engaged when they feel like they can air what they need to.

  • Be explicit and open about asking people to respect the ideas and thought put forward by others and reward supportive behaviour and comments.

  • Look for commonalities between the areas of improvement where there might be an opportunity for sharing, paring and caring for each other.

  • At a high level, it might be good to see what areas you can help support the whole team within terms of reaching their goals.

  • Ending on gratitude is a powerful way to close the meeting and to leave people feeling empowered and motivated.

How to run a Personal Growth retrospective in TeamRetro

Start Agile Retrospective

Start your retrospective in a click
Log into TeamRetro and choose your sprint retrospective template.

Invite Your Team
Invite your team easily – no separate accounts needed
Send an email invite, a link or add to your Slack channel to get people started quickly. SSO options are also available.
Agile Retrospective Brainstorm
Time to brainstorm
Each team member can now brainstorm individually under each topic. This avoids group think and allows everyone to have their say. They can indicate when they have finished, or you can set a timer so that you know when to move onto the next stage.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Group related ideas
Drag and drop  related ideas to combine them for easier voting. TeamRetro can also automatically suggest ideas that are similar, saving you and your team valuable time.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Vote independently to avoid anchoring
Each team member votes on what they would most like to discuss further. The results won’t be displayed to everyone until you advance to Discuss.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Discuss the most important things first
You and your team discuss the top voted ideas and can capture deep dive comments.  Presentation mode allows you to walk your team through ideas one-by-one and keep the conversation focused.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Review and create actions

Easily facilitate discussion by bringing everyone onto the same page. Create action items, assign owners and due dates that will carry through for review at the next retrospective.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Share the results
Once you have finished your retro, you can share the results and actions with the team. Your retro will be stored so you can revisit them as needed.

Congratulations! You’ve just run a retro like a boss.
Want more? Read on.