A new approach to feedback: ‘Feedforward’

I write often about how important feedback is for leaders. Whether it’s to help you identify your blind spots, strengthen your team or culture, seeking advice and comments from others is an important component of improving performance and growing.

So when I came across this piece from relationship expert Paul Cowan in RealLeaders challenging the notion of feedback, I was intrigued. Now, Cowan isn’t advocating against asking people for their thoughts and how you can improve. Rather, it’s all about changing your mindset to be forward looking.

Here’s how he recommends you implement “feedforward” at your organization:

  • Get your eyes out of the rear-view mirror: Feedback is often given after the fact. You ask your members or clients to rate your team’s performance, what was the content at the event like, or what issues they had with the process. Think about reviews online: Most people leave comments when they’ve had a bad experience. Sure, it can help you identify big misses to try to prevent going forward, but it can also leave you hung up on something that’s already done. That’s mentally fatiguing.


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