Why Feedforward Beats Feedback

Feedforward Coaching Aha moment

It is our job, as the cutting edge habit company, to give you a AHA moment about something that really changes your mindset. And here is one about feedback. People tend to say what they don’t want or don’t like about what happened, but they forget to say what their expectations are for the future. That is why (even useful) feedback isn’t always appreciated – or even worse, gets rejected! So here’s something we would really like to say: feedforward beats feedback – EVERY TIME. The time has come to stop giving feedback and start giving feedforward!

What is the difference between feedback and feedforward?

Conventional feedback provides information about something that happened in the past and it tends to be focused on what went wrong. As a result most people who receive negative feedback often dislike it and react defensively. Feedforward on the other hand focusses on the future. The feedback-giver tells the feedback-receiver how he/she could do things differently in the future. So instead of saying what went wrong, try to say how you would like things to be done in the future and why it is important.

Feedback example

Manager: “I noticed you didn’t use basecamp last week? Why didn’t you use it?

Employee: “Well it was my day off when we had the basecamp training and after that nobody explained me how to use it.

Manager: Well you could have asked somebody how to use Basecamp after the training, even if it was your day off. Please start using basecamp  from now on.

Feedforward example

Manager: “I noticed you have been using basecamp. It’s important for us to manage project x that everybody uses basecamp so we know what everybody is working on and to organize project x better. So please use basecamp next week so everybody is up to date.

Employee: “I forgot to ask somebody how basecamp works after I missed the training session on my day off.

Manager: “So what could you do differently when you face a similar situation in the future?

Employee: “Well, next time I will ask a colleague to explain me how something works or tell me what I missed if I miss a training session.

Manager: “Yes, just ask somebody straight away next time. And here’s a suggestion that helped me to use basecamp, because in the beginning I also had difficulties in creating the habit to fill in basecamp.

Do you see the difference between feedforward and feedback? Give feedforward a shot this week and let us know how it went!

Why Feedforward Beats Feedback

Feedback Q&A

CUTESolutions did a Q&A with Bram, trainer at CUTESolutions, professional optimist and expert in positive psychology, about feedback habits. You can see the result in the video below.

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