1300 665 144

1300 665 144

1300 665 144


Does your Feedback Feedforward?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Imagine your staff member has just made a terrible presentation in front of the senior leadership team and you are in the room. 

Do you:

a) Provide feedback making your employee relive this humiliating experience by detailing what went wrong?
b) Offer suggestions for future presentations that are still very specific but delivered in a positive way?

Most of us in our careers have experienced the first response.

Many of us when we have had to give feedback, whether it is in an appraisal, a performance management meeting or in a one-on-one weekly catch up, have found the experience to be painful, embarrassing, or uncomfortable.

Often the traditional approach in giving feedback comes across as a harsh, ‘this is what’s wrong with you’, type of tone. When an employee is confronted with this, their natural response is to be defensive and the opportunity to work toward improvement or development can be lost.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith describes feedforward as being focused on the future, on offering ideas and suggestions for a way forward rather than dissecting what went wrong in the past. He described in a recent article for the Leader to Leader Institute

…. “there is a fundamental problem with all types 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.”

This does not imply that leaders should never give feedback or that it should be abandoned. Feedback is essential in a formal performance management setting and it can be effective when focusing an individual’s attention. Likewise, feedforward can be a highly beneficial tool that leaders can use when coaching and developing their employees.

Being able to provide both feedback and feedforward are essential tools in a leader’s armoury in developing and managing the performance of their team. Ensuring that the right message is conveyed, and that those who receive it are receptive to it, will determine its success.

So how can you have more forward-looking feedback? Come along and learn more about these skills in our upcoming Managing for Performance program on the 3rd & 4th of June.

Visit  our Workshops page to register or call us on 02 49637373.