Jettison Feedback – Use This Instead

Jettison giving feedback

Let’s soar into a topic that’s been a point of turbulence for many managers: giving employee’s feedback. Are you a fan? Do your team members eagerly await evaluation day to hear your words of wisdom? Probably not, and here’s why you should steer toward a new direction and jettison feedback. Marshall Goldsmith introduced me to an alternative concept – feedforward.

Feedback focuses our viewpoint on the past, and we judge how our employees’ performance happened then. Our people tend to take it personally, and they get defensive. They can’t change the past. Passing judgment is not very motivating – on the receiving end or on the giving end. And, if it’s not motivating, it’s also not productive.

Why should you jettison feedback? There are several downsides: First, feedback is like staring into your rearview mirror while flying. It focuses on past actions and it locks you into a judgmental mindset. Second, like a turbulent wind, feedback often gets team members to tighten their grip, becoming defensive since the past is immutable. Finally, if it feels like you’re flying against the wind, both giving and receiving feedback can be disheartening.

Jettison Feedback – Instead, Elevate Your Team with Feedforward

Instead of using feedback, replace it with the lift of feedforward. That is future-focused – it’s all about setting your altimeter for higher elevations. Feedforward places your employee’s eyes on the horizon and sparks creativity. It promotes dynamic collaboration and employee retention. Think of it as flying in formation. Feedforward invites shared ideas for better performance. Just a change in your navigation can make all the difference.

It’s really simple. Here are some tips for effective feedforward:

  • Keep your gaze on the future. Focus on what your team can do tomorrow, not what they didn’t do yesterday.
  • Act like a co-pilot. Collaborate with your employees, and seek new flight paths for future challenges.
  • Involve your employee in the navigation. Ask him/her how he/she would steer in future situations.
  • Applaud the innovative strategies your team suggests. Positive reinforcement is a great motivational tool.

Feedback and feedforward are essentially two aerodynamic principles at play. But feedback only circles over past terrain, while feedforward aims for the sky. So, jettison feedback. Use feedforward and reach new heights—you haven’t peaked yet!

Give your people wings and your business will fly. Christine provides LIFT. Contact her to find out more.