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Feed “forward” not “back”

2016. 12. 11.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions


Feed “back” or Feed “forward”?

‘Tis the season for employers and employees to sit down and assess their year’s performance, establish goals for next year, evaluate what worked or did not work, share tips on improvements and hopefully celebrate as well.  The same holds true for children and students who sit down with their parents and share their report cards, following a similar pattern to businesses.

Usually, when one hears the word “feedback”, there is a dissonance.  There is an initial “oh,oh” reaction both from the givers and receivers and as helpful as it is, many of us struggle with how to present it properly or how to accept it effectively.  “Feedback” should be constructive, not destructive, it’s not an attack, it’s a gift.  So as a different perspective, why not call it “feedforward?”  That word has resonance.

Here is an extract from last year’s blog, as a reminder for givers and receivers


Giving “Feed forward”

  • Equals: speak to each other as equals, as partners
  • Timing: let people know ahead of time and allocate proper time
  • Behaviors: know your character types and adjust your tone, voice, body language, words to each one
  • Space: give space to listen, think, speak and ask
  • Curious: ask them what they want, what they need, what else?
  • Praise: we all like to feel valued and appreciated

Receiving “Feed forward”

  • Listen: if you are thinking of what to answer back, you’re not listening
  • Notes: take notes for clarity and circle keywords as reference
  • Patience: be patient, remain calm, breathe
  • Notice Your Body: where is it tense and what can you do?
  • Ask Questions: gives clarity
  • Acknowledge: does not mean you agree with everything that was said, but that you are recognizing that the person has taken the time for you and simply thank them.

What gift do you want to give or receive?  “Feedback” or “feedforward?”