An interactive event

A goldfish bowl session is an interactive event designed to encourage staff to learn from the stories of service users and to convert that learning into attitudes and behaviours that improve the quality of service provided.

Understanding goldfish bowl sessions

Goldfish bowl sessions are used to capture in-depth feedback from a small sample group, normally of around three or four people. During the sessions, users provide comments directly to staff, who then immediately reflect on what they have heard.

There are important rules to follow in order to deliver a goldfish bowl safely, and a session can take a fair amount of time to setup and participate in.

How to run a goldfish bowl

It is advisable to work with an experienced facilitator the first time you run a goldfish bowl.

NHS Elect have produced an in-depth guide to help staff deliver a goldfish bowl, and they have also published the following webinar to provide greater understanding of how these sessions work: