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360 Feedforward Coaching Process

Our approach to leadership development and coaching is highly successful

We place a strong emphasis on involving coworkers, implementing change, and follow-through to measure growth in leadership effectiveness. After all, what really counts is the leadership growth and who will see that better than the people you work with? We know, from experience that, "Leadership change is simple but not easy!". And the 360 Feedforward Coaching is a highly effective, transparent, bespoke, and time-efficient process that works as follows:

 

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The first phase is Committed Start

1. Aspire:
Change isn't an obstacle but, rather, an invitation to rise to the next level in the leadership journey. That's why we start by figuring out how the leader wants to grow. By describing their leadership journey and articulating their 'Authentic  Leadership Model', we create a blueprint for the leader they'll grow to be. This helps them commit to the process because the journey, and the benefits, are entirely tailor-made.

2. Focus:
With guidance and support from a coach, leaders then choose two specific areas for their leadership growth (e.g. empowerment and decision making) journey. Behavioral interviews and multi-rater leadership assessments (180° - 360°) are tools Coaches utilize to help leaders determine the best direction for their development.

3. Commit:
Once leaders can translate how their growth focus will powerfully impact themselves, their teams, and their business performance we widen the circle. This is when we invite coworkers to play a vital role in the leadership development journey. Leaders never walk alone.

The second phase is Grow

This includes a future-focused Monthly Feedforward Cycle consisting of 3 steps:

  1. Ask for future-focused suggestions to improve in your growth areas, (don't forget to thank people for their valuable input!)
  2. Reflect on the suggestions given and create a monthly action plan
  3. Act on the suggestions given by sharing and implementing the action plan (Remember to follow up with co-workers to check whether the change is visible to them.)

During coaching sessions, the Coach and the Leader work on skill development and finalizing the action plan, for the leader and their team, to work from the following month.

We all know you can only manage what you measure which is why this phase also includes a followup process to measure leadership growth. This quarterly Pulse Survey asks leaders, their teams, other coworkers, to reflect on the visible growth over the recent months. These results provide clarity on the ROI of the leader's efforts in the context of their work environment. The coworkers’ perception is the leader's reality.

The report from this survey describes the individual Leadership Growth Progress which the Leader (and sponsor) use to gauge their success. The report also plays a crucial role in guaranteeing and measuring leadership growth for both the leader and the organization as a whole.

The 360 Feedforward Coaching process aims to accomplish 3 things:

  1. Grow as a leader by becoming measurably more effective
  2. Transfer the coaching skills and process to the leader so that they can continue to develop themselves
  3. Roll the coaching process out to the Leader’s teams so that the Leader becomes better at coaching team members.

10 Reasons to Try Feedforward

by Marshall Goldsmith

Giving and receiving feedforward only takes about two minutes. People enjoy receiving feedforward for 10 good reasons:

  • We can change the future, not the past.

    Feedforward helps people envision and focus on a positive future, not a failed past. By giving people ideas on how they can be even more successful, we increase their chances of success.

  • It is more productive to help people be right, than prove them wrong.

    Negative feedback often becomes an exercise in proving others wrong. This tends to produce defensiveness on the part of the receiver and discomfort on the part of the sender. Even constructive feedback is often seen as negative. Feedforward is positive. It focuses on solutions.

  • Successful people like getting ideas aimed at helping them achieve their goals.

    They tend to resist negative judgment, accepting feedback that is consistent with the way they see themselves and rejecting or denying other feedback. They respond to (and even enjoy) feedforward.

  • Feedforward can come from anyone who knows the task, not just the person.

    Almost any one can give you ideas on how you can improve. They don’t have to know you. Feedback requires knowing the person. Feedforward just requires having helpful ideas.

  • People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback.

    Constructive feedback is supposed to focus on the performance, not the person, and yet most feedback is taken personally.

  • Feedforward assumes that people can make positive changes in the future, whereas feedback tends to reinforce stereotyping, self-fulfilling prophecies, and feelings of failure.

    How many of us have been “helped” by a spouse, friend, or colleague who recites our “sins” and shortcomings? Negative feedback reinforces the message, “This is just the way you are.”

  • Most of us hate getting negative feedback, and we don’t like to give it.

    Most of us are not very good at giving or receiving negative feedback. Nor do we value the more positive skills of “providing timely feedback” and “encouraging and accepting constructive criticism.”

  • Feedforward can cover most of the same “material” as feedback, but in a more positive manner.

    Imagine that you just made a terrible presentation. Using the feedforward approach, your manager helps you prepare for future presentations by giving you very specific suggestions in a positive way, rather than make you “relive” this humiliating experience.

  • Feedforward tends to be more efficient and effective than feedback.

    For example, in giving ideas to people, you might say, “Here are four ideas for the future. Please accept them in the positive spirit that they are given. If you can only use two of the ideas, you are still ahead. Just ignore what doesn’t make sense for you.” With this approach, no time is wasted on judging the ideas or proving them wrong.

  • Feedforward can be used with managers, peers, and team members.

    Rightly or wrongly, feedback is associated with judgment. This can lead to very negative outcomes. Feedforward does not imply superior judgment. Since it is more focused on being helpful, it is easier to hear. Invite people to ask, “How can I better help our team in the future?” and listen to feedforward from fellow team members.

So, in addition to giving feedback, start giving feedforward and make your life and workplace more enjoyable. By using feedforward, you not only convey the right message, you also ensure that those who receive it are receptive to its content, open to change, and focused on the promise of the future rather than the mistakes of the past.