We conclude our series on The Top Emerging Competencies for 2021 with a deep dive into a competency called In-the-Moment Feedforward. Because many employees will remain working remotely for the foreseeable future, developing the skills to provide In-the-Moment Feedforward is going to be a critical area to focus on moving into 2021.
Defining In-the-Moment Feedforward
The third hot competency is the continuing evolution of providing feedback. In the emerging remote workplace, where you don’t have the opportunity to sit down face-to-face to have a dialogue with another human being, giving In-the-Moment Feedforward is going to be more important than ever.
For too many people, the easy solution is to avoid it and hope the issue goes away. Over the past few years, we have identified conflict avoidance by not providing feedback as one of the most disturbing trends in the corporate business environment.
The harder solution – and in our opinion the only solution - is to address issues as soon as they occur and provide In-the-Moment Feedforward to support both the continuation of great behaviors and the elimination of poor behaviors. In 2021, the concept of feedforward is very different than feedback. Feedback is too often perceived as negative, while feedforward is a positive view that creates collaboration for achieving positive individual and business outcomes through a dialogue focused on goals, objectives, results, and being accountable.
Based on some of Advantexe’s content taught in business simulation workshops, we are pleased to share the highlights of the 8 steps needed to implement a successful In-the-Moment Feedforward process:
Step 1: Focus on one Issue or Behavior - Feedforward must be about a specific issue or behavior and one that can be turned into a positive. For example, you work with someone who always is involved in drama and conflict in the workplace focus just on that behavior and don’t try to solve all the world’s problems.
Step 2: Ask – Identify the behavior you want to focus on and ask others about ways of solving it in the future. For example, if a person you are giving feedforward to always seems to have conflict situations, ask others about times where there were no conflicts and what the differences were.
Step 3: Listen – Engage with the individual and others to listen to all ideas, suggestions. Do not comment on them until all ideas are generated.
Step 4: Thank - Thank those who have offered you suggestions and insights so they will help again in the future and thank the individual for taking the time to have a feedforward dialogue.
Step 5: Think - Take the time to think about the suggestions you received from others and the individual on how to move forward so that the situations are not repeated. Interesting to note how integrative thinking comes into play with Feedforward!
Step 6: Present the Path Forward – Present the specific way forward in a positive manner that has a long-term outcome and solution and feels collaborative. The more specific, the better the feedforward.
Step 7: Ask for Acknowledgement – The feedforward won’t work unless the other person truly understands the specifics of the way forward. Ask the other person to specifically summarize the path forward.
Step 8: Follow-up – Check in with the other person to see how things are progressing. Offer both encouragement and follow-up suggestions.
In summary, providing In-the-Moment Feedforward is a critical competency that will enable leaders to solve performance issues and behaviors in a positive way that ultimately achieve the goals and objectives of the business.
If you missed parts 1, 2, or 3 of the series, please see below for links.
- Part 1 - The Top Emerging Competencies of 2021
- Part 2 - Developing a Strategic Mindset
- Part 3 - Integrative Thinking