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The Ultimate Feedback Technique of Today’s Leaders

According to the executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, failure to provide feedback is listed as the top problem in leadership.
“Failure to provide appropriate feedback and failure to involve people in decisions that impact them illustrate the importance of open communication and involvement. Operating in a vacuum where one is unaware of how he or she is doing in relation to others or to his or her respective goals and areas of responsibility can have a devastating impact on performance and morale.”
Providing feedback is one of the most critical skills of a leader, and yet the most feared.
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The key is to take that “negative” slant out of the equation. There just so happens to be a great technique that helps leaders with that …
It’s called feedforward.
Rather than looking at past performance, feedforward focuses on how individuals and organizations can improve going forward. Feedforward is an exercise that can be completed with a small group in only minutes, yet have great impact. Participants both suggest and receive feedforward, seeking answers to questions such as:

  • What is one behavior you would like to change that would make a positive difference?
  • And asking others …

  • How can I achieve this positive change?

Participants are encouraged to listen attentively and are not allowed to critique suggestions. Then, it’s on to the next person after a “Thank You” has been given It is an exercise of give-and-take.

In my corporate teambuilding and leadership training workshops, the feedforward session, where we role-play by giving each other feedforward, is often noted as the most valuable session in the workshop. Feedforward is a way to allow open and yet respectful communication between all parties. It optimizes the ability of both leaders and employees to go forward into a positive future rather than dwelling on past regrets and mistakes.
For more information on feedforward check out Marshall Goldsmith’s article here:

So, what do you think? Would feedforward help your organization?