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Thank you for inspiring me to document musings and learnings from the field of leadership, team performance and conscious change. I trust you'll find the exercises, resources and insights useful whether you are a leader, team player, coach/consultant or change agent.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Feed Forward instead of Back

Providing helpful feedback is a challenge for many leaders and teams. Why? We:
  1. Limit it to a once a year annual review
  2. Believe we will hurt someone's feelings 
  3. Focus on the past vs. the future
  4. Judge (what is wrong) instead of share an observation (what is)
  5. Don't have feedback protocols or permissions in our team agreements
  6. Discuss behavior only and miss impact
  7. Muddle the communication for fear of reaction
  8. Forget that we need others to help us see our blindspots 
  9. Don't align feedback with desired results
  10. Give one-way feedback instead of dialogue 
  11. Wait too long to provide it
Feedback is a key practice on high-performing teams and not just from leader to team member. To address #3, shift your approach from feed "back" to feed "forward".  Instead of pointing out "what is wrong" (that often has a pinch of punishment energy to it) explore "what might be".  Instead of looking back at what can't be changed, look forward to what is possible.  

Try it for yourself with a direct report or colleague:
  • Ask, "What is a behavior you would like to change or grow in? Why? And what difference would it make to goal achievement?"
  • Brainstorm ideas and discuss solutions together 
  • Invite him/her to select 2 ideas that most resonate to practice
  • Discuss ways you can support
You may experience this as a generative, energizing experience and actually enjoy it. For more on FeedForward check out Marshall Goldsmith's research. Thanks to Liz for the discovery!