I bet your team members love it when you give them loads of detailed feedback about all the things that they could have done differently, err….probably not. 

The trouble is that while most people think they like receiving feedback, the reality is quite different. You’ll probably find that when you deliver feedback with some team members, they shut down, they get defensive, and therefore they don’t take the message on board in the spirit that it is intended. So what do you do?. Because if you have team members on your team, they do need input to improve their outcomes. 

Well, I have got a gift for you, instead of using feedback which is pretty unhelpful in some ways because it’s about the past and nobody can change the past, I want you to use something called: “Feedforward” Now, feedforward is an excellent concept because it gets people to focus on the future. 

We can change the future. So, consider a situation where you have a salesperson that’s just had a crucial sales meeting, and for whatever reason, that sales meeting bombed. 

Now, the worst thing you could do is sit down with that salesperson while their confidence is low and point out all of the different things they did wrong. 

That is not going to help them, a much healthier approach would be to sit down with that team member and use feedforward, which would be about assisting them to look at what they can do differently in the future, so you could ask them great coaching questions, like: – Next time you find yourself in a situation like that, what are some of the things that you’re going to do differently to prepare better? That way, you’re getting people to think about the future.

With feedforward, you can be pretty direct, so you can say – Right, this is an excellent question that I’d like you to focus on or you could be pretty directive and point out specific things that you want them to do next time, people tend to be less defensive, and therefore, your message gets through.

So next time you find yourself in a situation where you have a team member that needs some input from you, I want you to think about “feedforward” and ditch the “feedback”.

If you’re looking for more new business advice, then we’d like to see you every week on “Mind Your Own Business,”

If you’d like help implementing these tactics, then contact Marco Soares for professional coaching for business.