Marshall Goldsmith has a technique you may have heard of called Feedforward. Not feedback, feedFORWARD. Feedforward means getting ideas for how you might accomplish a goal, versus getting advice about how you have botched things in the past. You can read Marshall's article on feedforward here. Feedforward works very well for two reasons:
1. Feedforward is easier to offer than feedback. Many of us are uncomfortable telling people what they botched in a manner that will be helpful - which is basically impossible anyway. Because the input is focused in the future, offering feedforward is easier.
2. Receiving feedforward is also easier than being told how we botched things in the past. Feedforward does not carry the stigma or meaning of being wrong before. Feedforward is just ideas and suggestions - all productive and future oriented.
So here's a great way to get some velocity on a goal you are striving to achieve. Create a few "I want to..." statements that communicate your intent. Then ask for feedforward - ask 3-4 people per day for a few ideas for how you can meet your goal. Here are a few examples of ripe "I want to...." statements:
- I have been thinking about starting an online business that sells green products and I want to understand the current market and potential for this idea.
- I want to better utilize my time because I seem to get sucked into meetings and fire fighting every day.
- I want to figure out what I need to do to write a book and get it published.
- I want to run a business - be president or COO for a small to medium sized firm.
- I love solving pesky problems and investigating potential new business ideas - these are areas of strength. I want to tap into my strengths more at work.
What do you want to do? Ask for feedforward this week to collect great ideas and potentially enlist evangelists.