It’s been a long time since I have had time to blog, after having a 2nd child and taking on a 3-month consulting project in February. I am happy to be back! In the coming weeks and months, I plan to focus on concepts related to the practical side of emotional intelligence.
Tomorrow, I am excited to be attending a speech by Marshall Goldsmith, a world renowned executive coach and leadership expert, and author of the book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. In anticipation of his talk, I have been thinking about Goldsmith’s concept of Feedforward, which I often weave into my work with executive coaching clients who are going through 360 feedback. The concept of Feedforward, however, has much broader applications and can be leveraged at work and in your personal relationships.
The idea of Feedforward is that it is easier to ask for and give valuable perspectives and insights on behavior if the perspective is around the future as opposed to the past. Feedforward is about engaging others in your future success.
For example, who wants to share (and receive) the message that one’s style of interaction is alienating to others? When this information, however, is flipped from the vantage point of past to future, however, there is opportunity for the messages to be positively conveyed and received; in addition, it has the potential to invite specific nuggets of wisdom on how to be successful going forward with different stakeholders. So, for example, the alienating colleague might receive feedforward from a direct report that it would be beneficial to acknowledge other peoples’ point of view and ideas in meetings.
So, whether you want to receive feedback on your performance and/or share it with someone else, you may want to consider feedforward in place of feedback. After all, the past is hard to change, and the future is approachable with constructive insight.