Feed-forward is not a replacement of Feedback. Feedback and feed-forward shall coexist.

Feed-forward is conceptualized to help a manager or senior executive to improve his behavior that has been blocking his success and pace of growth. It is based on the premise, “take it or leave it, you are the one who will get affected”.

Feed-forward & Feedback

Can ISOLATION exist between them!!

 Let us ask ourselves

A question of curiosity……so kiddish of me…curiosity itself is a form of question. And many of us tend not to realize it. However, I am sure you will get the answer if you have questioned yourselves on –

  • What do you know about feed-forward?
  • Why do you think people resist feedback?
  • Do you think there can be feed forward without feedback?
  • Do you think you can ever replace performance management with feed forward?

Feed Forward from Performance Management Perspective

“Feed forward as a management term has been used by Avraham Kluger since 2006 and Marshall Goldsmith in one of his prominent management articles. Marshall has pioneered this term through his numerous coaching programs across globe.

Marshall has given an outline to set the process of using feed-forward as a tool. He said pick a behavior that you would like to change. Change in this behavior should make a significant, positive difference in the life. Describe this behavior to randomly selected fellow participants. This is done in one-on-one dialogues. It can be done quite simply, such as, “I want to be a good manager”.

Ask for feed-forward—for two suggestions, for the future that might help one to achieve a positive change in the chosen behavior. Listen attentively to the suggestions and take notes. Thank the participants for their suggestions”.

Interestingly here one will neither give a feedback or reason nor shall there be any follow-up on whatever is said.

Is there a real case of Isolation

The tendency of being human is to block the mind & resist from listening to the other person, the moment we feel that the other person is criticizing us.

Whenever someone gives a feedback, the individual is also expected to suggest a way out to better / improvise. Similarly, if someone is asked to improve in certain behaviors, it is also important to the concerned to clarify / explain “Why a change is necessary / desired?”

Problem with most of the people in many cases is that they find it difficult to distinguish between feedback and criticism. And when one criticizes the other, that person immediately goes into defensive mode and thereafter whatever suggestions are given will not be accepted. The criticism blocks their mind towards acceptance. In their mind, they are not only rejecting the criticism but also suggestions.

Given the context, Feedback and feed forward cannot work in isolation.

How can this happen?

Whether the other person really improves or not is up to him / her. While making any suggestion, one must not give any kind of feedback to that person. One must not tell him / her that why he / she must improve that particular behavior, attitude or skills. It is by and large a suggestion based process meant to help other person improve his / her behavior, skills or competencies based on the career planning for future targeted role.

And as such, Feed Forward cannot be used to measure performance against the planned because, feed forward is not meant for tracking the performance.

If this has to happen the way…..it can happen only through a “Feed Trough” that comes more from the aspirational perspective of the individual who observes the actions following the individual’s feed forward, uses his / her experience to gently push their direction towards the destiny.

It has more to do with “Empowering the people to visualize the tomorrow in their today & enable them to slide into the grove of tomorrow”……Universal Eternalization / Universal Consciousness.

By and large, this has more to do with something called as “Aspirational Leadership” which we will discuss when the situation arises in our journey forward.

Composed By: Sanjeev Himachali

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