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Feed forward, not feedback

What a resource the Internet is!

My latest find is an article by Marshall Goldsmith (http://marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com/docs/articles/Feedforward.doc) which describes a process of using feedforward rather than feedback and explains the benefits.

As Marshall explains, ‘there is a fundamental problem with all types of feedback: it focuses on a 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.’

  1. We can change the future. We can’t change the past.

  2. It can be more productive to help people be “right,” than prove they were “wrong.”

  3. Feedforward is especially suited to successful people.

  4. Feedforward can come from anyone who knows about the task.

  5. People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback.

  6. Feedback can reinforce personal stereotyping and negative self-fulfilling prophecies.

  7. Face it! Most of us hate getting negative feedback, and we don’t like to give it.

  8. Feedforward can cover almost all of the same “material” as feedback.

  9. Feedforward tends to be much faster and more efficient than feedback.

  10. Feedforward can be a useful tool to apply with managers, peers and team members.

  11. People tend to listen more attentively to feedforward than feedback.

I think his 11 reasons make a compelling case for trying feedforward. Do you?


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