Mark or Mike - Do you know about "Feedfoward"? I just went through a 1-day coaching workshop with Marshall Goldsmith and he showed me how effective feedforward is vs. feedback. I think Horstman's feedback model is more like feedforward, but not exactly.

Feedforward focuses on the promise of the future rather than the mistakes of the past.

Even constructively delivered feedback is often seen as negative as involves a discussion of mistakes, shortfalls, and problems. Feedforward cannot involve a personal critique, since it is discussing something that has not yet happened.


Mark's picture


Great post! Glad to hear you're learning from someone as good as Goldsmith (no pun intended).

I do know about feedforward, and like it a great deal. I considered it in developing my four step process, and it is the reason there's that last question (or reinforcement) in the the last step.

When I first tried it, I discovered that so many people were so starved for actual feedback that they inferred what I meant about their past performance even though I didn't bring it up. I found myself answering, "So, what you're saying is that I messed up here and here..."

I realized that I needed both to address the past and to talk about how to do things in the future... and thus the model I recommend.

I also found that by being relaxed about the feedBACK portion, I reduced the issues people had with it, while addressing their desire for it even when they were afraid it stung.

Hope this helps!


US101's picture

"...being relaxed about the feedBACK portion..." that's a key point. I think your model is more relevant for everyday use.