Simple Wisdom Tip #132: Practice Feed Forward

Recently, I looked through an old book by Martin Goldsmith entitled, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.  It’s a terrific read chocked of lots of useful ideas.  Goldsmith coins a new term, Feedforward, and recommends it over the traditional Feedback.  People often resist the latter because it talks about one’s shortcomings in the past – and few of us like being criticized.  Here’s how Feedforward works.


1.    Pick on behavior you’d like to change, which would make a significant, positive difference in your life.  Example:  I want to be a better listener.

2.    Describe this objective in one-on-one dialogue with anyone you know, family, colleagues, boss, etc.

3.    Ask the person for two suggestions for the future that might help you.  The only ground rule is that there can be no mention of the past.  It’s only for the future.

4.    Listen attentively to the suggestion and only say, “Thank you.”  Don’t rate the answer.  Don’t even say “good idea.”