Would you like some feedback?”

Depending on the context, and who is asking that question, that could be an emotionally charged question for us to answer.

Although feedback can be very valuable, I absolutely love the concept of “Feed Forward” developed by one of the best coaches in the world, and best-selling author, Marshall Goldsmith.


Here is Marshall’s Feed Forward exercise:

Pick one behavior that they would like to change. Change in this behavior should make a significant, positive difference in their lives.

  • Describe this behavior to randomly selected fellow participants. This is done in one-on-one dialogues. It can be done quite simply, such as, “I want to be a better listener.”
  • Ask for feedforward—for two suggestions for the future that might help them achieve a positive change in their selected behavior. If participants have worked together in the past, they are not allowed to give ANY feedback about the past. They are only allowed to give ideas for the future.
  • Listen attentively to the suggestions and take notes. Participants are not allowed to comment on the suggestions in any way. They are not allowed to critique the suggestions or even to make positive judgmental statements, such as, “That’s a good idea.”
  • Thank the other participants for their suggestions.
  • Ask the other persons what they would like to change.
  • Provide feedforward – two suggestions aimed at helping the other person change.
  • Say, “You are welcome.” when thanked for the suggestions. The entire process of both giving and receiving feedforward usually takes about two minutes.
  • Find another participant and keep repeating the process until the exercise is stopped.


“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 can increase their chances of success.”

― Marshall Goldsmith