Is your feedback a little backwards?

  • August 26, 2015
  • /   Kolleen Edwards Chesley
  • /   training-development

Although there are many schools of thought on leadership, one commonality is most leaders agree that providing and receiving feedback is essential to growth. Effective feedback provides for the opportunity for advancement and improvement and helps direct leaders toward attaining their goals. Feedback allows us to know what is working and what isn’t and aligns us with a path of constant advancement.

In Marshall Goldsmith’s article “Try Feedforward Instead of Feedback”, he addresses the stark reality of feedback. “It focuses on the past, on what has already occurred—not on the infinite variety of opportunities that can happen in the future. As such, feedback can be limited and static, as opposed to expansive and dynamic.”

The article goes on to outline some of the benefits of Feedforward instead of Feedback:

  • We can change the future, we can’t change the past which aligns our thoughts to a positive and changeable future, not a failed and unchangeable past.
  • Feedforward is especially suited to successful people by focusing us on goals and not on judgement.
  • People don’t take feedforward as personally as feedback. That one hits me in the gut, thanks Marshall!
  • It’s easier to give someone feedforward versus giving them feedback. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there when you have hesitated saying anything that can be perceived negative.

And, there are seven more fabulous benefits he points out that you want to read. A new tool for my toolbox, feedforward!