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Understanding Feedback:

Feedback is an essential skill for leaders. But 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.

Feedforward instead is, to give someone else suggestions for the future and help as much as you can. Then in a second role, you to accept feedforward and listen to the suggestions for the future and learn as much as you can.

In addition, you should ideally give feedback in the balance of positive and negative emphasis.

1. Negative feedback: 

Changing past behavior that should be improved.

2. Positive feedback: 

Affirming past behavior that should be repeated.

3. Negative feedforward: 

Behavior that should not be repeated in the future.

4. Positive feedforward: 

Suggestions about future behavior that can improve performance.

Inspired by

Marshall Goldsmith  

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