Last week I received an email from one of my readers with feedback on my weekly newsletter. She was kind enough to point me to a failing link in one of the linked articles, which I thankfully corrected. This feedback highlighted for me that the weekly column serves a purpose. It gave this reader a push to read about a subject that is relevant for alliance management: “Inspire to Aspire”.
Feedback is a powerful tool in a difficult limelight. Often it is perceived as negative and many people have difficulties receiving feedback. Don’t take feedback as a personal attack, but view it as a treasure chest instead. Turn feedback into feedforward and proactively use it as a powerful tool for future improvements.
Feedforward is a simple process. Ask your stakeholders one question on a regular basis: “Based on my performance in the past, what do you suggest I do differently in the future to improve?” Don’t judge or debate the answer, simply thank the stakeholder for his/her input.
Based on the combined input of your stakeholders, draw and implement your action plan for improvement. After a month or so, go back to the same set of stakeholders and repeat the process. Now you can change the question a little referring to the improvement process you are in and ask for their input. Again, don’t debate, just thank them and continue with your improvement process.
You can use feedforward for your personal improvement and also for improvements in your team and alliances. Try it, and enjoy the journey of continuous improvement!
PPS: Read more about feedforward and engaging your stakeholders here!