For the past three weeks, I have written about the “stay” interview and, really, the importance of having meaningful conversations with the people with whom we work—our colleagues and team members.
I have received more appreciative feedback about this theme than I remember from past leadership posts. This has hit home with a great many of my clients and other readers. And I am thrilled about this, as our conversations with our people are as important as any of our other responsibilities as a leader.
So, I’d like to continue this topic, as there seems to be a significant interest.
I had said the term “stay” interview was somewhat new to me, and so is the term “feedforward.”
That is “feedforward” versus “feedback.“
I have encouraged feedback, as feedback in the form of people helping one another is a path to improvement. And I’ve said feedback is the lifeblood of teamwork. It is very important. It helps us learn.
Feedback is about the past, and is certainly important so we can learn from our actions. Just as important, though, is feedforward about the future and how we may improve.
I just read an insightful article by Marshall Goldsmith on this topic. I encourage you to read it, as well. I do not know Marshall Goldsmith personally. I do love his book,What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There. It’s packed with wisdom addressing the reality that often we promote a successful person to become a boss because of certain skills, e.g. sales, information technology, as examples. Too seldom do we first sit the person down and ask if she/he wants to be a boss, that it will require becoming a leader, a whole new set of skills are needed and that your new focus must be about helping your team members succeed, and it is no longer about you!
Marshall’s article about feedforward has insight about the help we can give others by offering and asking for suggestions and ideas about the future, that is, what we can do better and how we can improve. It takes inner-confidence to offer and maybe especially to ask others for their suggestions and ideas. This inner-confidence, coupled with a humility that we want to improve, will illustrate our leadership.
And the good news, very good news, is that we can get great suggestions and ideas for all levels—from the field, from administrative assistants, from up and comers, maybe everyone. We can also get suggestions at any time. In fact, a Forbes article this past July points out that feedforward can be an ongoing dynamic encouraged throughout the year.
Again, I am excited that conversations with our colleagues is resonating with so many people. I really appreciate your feedback about my weekly posts.Our conversations with our people deepens our leadership, enhances the success of our team and builds an appreciative and energized organizational spirit!