Mad Sad Glad – The Basics

In your professional career, there will be one point or the other where you will have to work as part of a team to achieve an objective. In order to ensure that it is a smooth process, most teams employ a ‘Mad Sad Glad’ retrospective plan that helps maneuver around the complexities of working with a group of 5 to 20 individuals. This system is the basis of operation here, at EasyRetro. We want to provide the platform to host efficient meetings and facilitate effective teamwork.

What is Mad Sad Glad exactly?

Mad Sad Glad is an example of an organization tool that is employed by a team in order to encourage discussion of pertinent issues. It is a great way to list down all the strengths that a team exhibits and address all the problems that are faced when time comes to work as a cohesive unit. If carried out successfully, Mad Sad Glad can often be a source of team satisfaction, a positive team dynamic and good morale since it promotes cooperation instead of dissent and frustration.

The way it works is that any events, issues or observations are listed down in accordance to how they made the team members feel –mad, sad or glad? It is always important for team members to understand that they have to emphasize listing down certain behaviors or events rather than assigning blame. Once everything has been addressed and noted down under a specific category, the discussion is initiated through a process of voting. The topic that receives the highest number of votes is discussed first and the rest follow in a similar fashion. The activity comes to an end once all the issues listed have been discussed proactively and solutions are proposed –if the situation demands it.

What are some examples of Mad Sad Glad?

When working as part of a team, examples of Mad Sad Glad can be as follows:


  • A lack of equal contribution
  • Inefficient communication leading to frustration
  • A lack of helpful feedback
  • Frequent unnecessary meetings


  • Not knowing the value of the work being completed
  • Feeling like hard work is not being acknowledged
  • Not being able to communicate openly with one another
  • Not being able to gel together as a team


  • Great team performance
  • Receiving great team support
  • Flexibility in regards to working hours
  • Innovative, creative and insightful ideas and discussions

How to run a Mad Sad Glad retrospective?

Now, using our EasyRetro online tool, create your own Mad Sad Glad activity so that you can create a conducive environment where the team can work efficiently. Simply get all the team members to address the following three aspects:

  • What worked well?
  • What did not work well?
  • What solutions do you propose to improve the situation?

Once you have collected all the answers given by team members, simply transfer them onto our digital platform and a chart will be made accordingly. Then, all you have to do is tick every topic off one by one after having an in-depth discussion about it. Not only will it improve the dynamic and function of the team but it can also be a fun bonding exercise.