Companion Channel Episodes Leadership

Feed forward: Empower your team to help themselves

No doubt, feedback is the most important leadership instrument we have: It helps employees to learn from the past. However, sometimes we don’t need to discuss past behavior, but need input for the future.

This is what Marshall Goldsmith’s “feed forward” can do.

Try this simple exercise in your next team session. 15 minutes will do.

  1. Each team member chooses a point that they would like to change regarding their way of working (e.g., project handling, collaboration, leadership).
  2. Team members get together in pair
  3. s and decide who presents their wish for improvement first (= advice seeker) and who gives advise (= advise giver).
  4. The advise seeker asks the advise giver for 3 suggestions on how they could achieve the positive change.
  5. The advise giver proposes ONLY ideas for the future and does NOT comment on the past! Do not stop before you came up with 3 suggestions – they don’t have to be super creative!
  6. The advised person is only allowed to listen and take notes. NO COMMENTS! NO DISCUSSION!
  7. After having received 3 suggestions, the advised person thanks the advise giver for their suggestions.
  8. Advise-seeker and advise-giver change roles and start over again.
  9. After having finished, each team member finds a new partner for a new round. This can be repeated several times until 15 minutes are over.

Note: The whole process is supposed to take max. 2 to 5 minutes per run.

Afterwards, each team member can decide on their own what they will put into practice.

This method helps you and your team to

  • activate everyone to contribute to solve problems
  • foster exchange among team members
  • demonstrate how hard it can be not to comment and discuss, and how this simple rule can increase efficiency
  • break up your “business as usual” meeting routine
  • have fun.

Enjoy! And see you next week in our companion channel.

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