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Feedforward | Actively and Continually Seeking Ideas To Improve

NLP and Feedforward 


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Feedforward is an approach developed and made famous by top leadership coach, Marshall Goldsmith. It’s a really useful addition to NLP modelling approaches. The basic idea is that while it is worth asking for feedback (how well have we done in the past), it can be significantly more useful to ask for ideas of how we can do better in the future.

The reality is that we can’t change the past, but we can change how we act in the future, and it’s easier to do so if we continually seek ideas of what we might do differently. We continually look for ways of improving. We don’t commit to implementing every idea we hear, but we do genuinely thank everyone who contributes ideas, and commit to considering them – and we may implement them later.

Feedforward

Feedforward. Continually seeking ideas of how we can improve

 

Why Feedforward?

Of all the coaching approaches I use, feedforward: actively seeking ideas for how we can improve, has made more impact ob the success of my clients than many of the other coaching approaches put together. It’s both a source of great ideas and builds a relationship with the people we ask.

Why don’t more people ask for Feedforward?

In my view three reasons:

  1. Many people have been burned by feedback, after all giving people feedback when it hasn’t been asked is a recipe for career disaster.
  2. Few people have been taught to ask for feedforward effectively.
  3. When we ask for feedforward in the correct way, and don’t get the response we expect, it may be time to change company or environment. We may not want to admit this to ourselves.

Classic Applications

Developing in your current company

Initially start with 3 or 4 people you trust, as practice. However, when you’re comfortable with the process, ask all your key stakeholders.  (The only caution is if you are asking people who really don’t want you to succeed. Done with care, however, you may begin to change their views about you.)

Approach the people with something like this: “You are someone whose opinion I respect, I’m going to be investing in a leadership and communication skills development programme. The purpose is to help me, help the people I work with, and enable me to contribute more to the overall company. I’ve been asked to get some ideas. If you were me, what are the top two or three areas you would focus on to get most value from the programme?”

Whatever they say, write it down, word for word and say: “Thank you, is it OK if I come back to you with any other questions?” “Please come back to me, if I can help you in any way.”

When you have a list of ideas, talk it through with your friend, mentor or coach. Talking it through with someone else stops our cognitive biases kicking in. However, in the end we make our own decisions, and take responsibility, for what we choose to develop.

Remember that getting others involved in our development makes it more likely that they will help us in the future, and we’re advertising the fact that we’re investing in our development. Always ask if we can do something to help them in return.

Joining a new company

Practice with your existing company, ask some people you respect, friendly critics are often the best. “You are someone whose opinion I respect, I’m going to be joining company X, if you were me, what are the top two or three areas you would focus on during your first 60-90 days?”

Whatever they say, write it down, word for word and say: “Thank you, is it OK if I come back to you with any other questions?” “Please come back to me, if I can help you in any way.”

When you have a list of ideas, talk it through with your friend, mentor or coach. Talking it through with someone else stops our cognitive biases kicking in. However in the end we make our own decisions, and take responsibility, for what we do.

When you get to the new company, work out who your key stakeholders are. Ask your own version of “You’re someone whose is highly regarded, I’m going to be developing my 90 plan for the joining the company, if you were me, what are the top two or three areas you would focus on during your first 60-90 days?”

Whatever they say, write it down, word for word and say: “Thank you, is it OK if I come back to you with any other questions?” “Please come back to me, if I can help you in any way.”

Again, when you have a list of ideas, talk it through with your friend, mentor or coach. Talking it through with someone else stops our cognitive biases kicking in. However in the end we make our own decisions, and take responsibility, for what we do.

Starting a new business

You may be keeping this confidential, so you may want to choose carefully the initial people you ask. The principle is the same as above. “You are someone whose opinion I respect, I’m going to start/take my company to the next level. I’m going to develop the business to give the very best results for my clients. If you were me, what are the top two or three areas you would focus on as part of the planning stage?”

Interested and want to know more?

Find out more. Book a  free 30 minute phone/Skype session in Michael’s Online Diary
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Feedforward – Recommended Further Reading

NP Eternal Streaming

NLP Eternal Richard Bandler Video and Audio Streaming

Feedforward – Recommended Links

All our NLP training and coaching will help you develop feedback and feed-forward loops.

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