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Feedback is one of the most misused of management concepts. Management Consultants will continually talk of the importance of providing feedback to your team members as one of the essential requirements to running an efficient and profitable business. 

Managing your team is something that has a number of facets, of course. This includes running good team meetings, giving them the right kind of guidance, and helping them manage stress as a few examples.

However, providing feedback has often come up as one of the most difficult parts for many of my clients to get right.

Commenting on your employees’ work is not just about delicately giving constructive negative feedback, but it is also highly effective in keeping your team aligned with the business – which is very important in keeping them motivated.

In this video, I explain a concept that my coach, Marshall Goldsmith, has taught me that will redefine the way you look at feedback.

Have you had trouble with giving feedback? Leave a comment on your main issue with giving feedback and we will discuss how you can start feeding forward instead.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text: 

Hi my name is Shweta from London Coaching Group. I very often get asked by my clients that what is the best way to provide feedback to their team members. 

Now providing feedback is one of the essential skills of a leader or manager and you need to make sure that the team member is aligned with where the company’s headed to, knows what you or she is doing, what the person is doing well and what the person needs to improve on. Now it’s an exercise which I’ve realized that not very many people enjoy because it’s very tricky to give that positive and also not so positive feedback to the other person. 

There is also a fundamental problem with feedback. It is about the boss. Something that cannot be changed, something that’s static, something that’s limited. World what you to consider going forward is actually you placing feedback with feedforward. Now this is the concept which I was start about my business coach Marshall and I thought I would share it with you.

Benefits of Feedforward

Now there are some very clear benefits of replacing feedback with feedforward. The first one is that successful people, they do not want to know what they’re not doing so well. They want to know the ideas of how they could become better. So that’s the first one.

The second is, that people generally don’t take feedforward as person or other personally compared to feedback. Now we might say that we are providing constructive feedback and it’s all about the performance and not about the person. But let’s face it, the sense of identity is so closely linked with the world that people are doing. That it’s difficult to dealing and then people getting to justifications and defenses go up and it just becomes a very different kind of an exercise compared to what you really wanted to be. So that’s another important benefit.

The other one is that the process of feedforward is a lot faster compared to feedback. A small tip there is rather than talking about the boss and trying to prove that while you’re right and the other person trying to prove why you are not right and getting into a debate and still trying to be soft and trying not to upset the person, feedforward is pretty much like this: “Look, I’ve gone through what you’ve done so far, I’ve got four ideas, four suggestions for you to improve on what you’re doing. You might not want to consider all the four ideas. Even if you consider to our four, you’re two steps ahead. I want you to think through it and once I finished telling you my four suggestions, I just want to say thank you. Or if you can come back and then discuss the ideas that you want to take forward a lot more in detail.” And that’s it. And then you tell them well the four suggestions for moving forward. And people generally are – it’s difficult for them to critique it or criticize it because it has still not happened and you want them to think through it and come back with more detail.

That’s the other clear benefit and as I’ve explained in this process, people tend to listen more closely to feedforward than to feedback. And you can imagine, I’m sure you’ve experience this, that when you’re giving a feedback to someone, they are actually thinking of their response in their head that how are they going to combat what you’ve say. How do they justify that they are right and you might not be that right. 

Finally the way I see this as a leader, as a manager, it’s more productive to help people build themselves than to actually get into that whole struggle of trying to prove a point which is not something that I’m sure you enjoy or you want get into. So, once again enjoy giving feed-forward to people. What is it that they can improve moving forward because done is done. Let’s see what we can do with the future.

Looking for more help with your team?

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