Why feedforward instead of Feedback?
In the end, participants experience many feedback instruments – that are intended to be positive – as negative and as a threat. This means that the instrument has less of an impact than hoped for.
Leading research on how our brain influences our leadership qualities shows that it is very difficult, for example, for our brain to receive feedback. This is certainly true concerning feedback on our less positive characteristics, qualities and conduct. Your brain perceives a threat much stronger than it perceives pleasure. Fear has an immediate effect on people, even if they are able to hide this. The feeling of a threat is perceived faster, stronger and more directly, and is difficult to ignore. Once awakened, it is also not that easy to put at ease. It prevents people from being creative, from working together, from making balanced decisions and from listening to feedback openly with the objective to learn.
Whether or not you are able to manage people well is mostly a matter of self-knowledge and self-reflection. It starts with knowing yourself well and understanding how the fear button in your brain works, and knowing how you respond to attention and compliments. Like Somerset Maugham already said: people ask you for criticism, but they only want praise. If you want to change behaviour, it would be best to consider the options available to you, to reinforce behaviour by way of compliments.
‘The main idea is that people need a safe basis, in order to deactivate the defensive nature of the brain, so we don’t allow ourselves to be driven by fears and threats, but instead allow ourselves to be inspired by opportunities and possibilities.’
George Kohlrieser – IMD Business School
People who know themselves well and convey a consistent image to others, come across as authentic people. These individuals are easy to read and understand, and therefore gain trust more easily. With these individuals, the other person’s brain is not set to the ‘fear alert’ ahead of time.
Complimenting others also seems like the best way to inspire people to grow and learn new skills. The brain is elastic and is able to create new neural connections, and in so doing, learn new behaviour. The brain is more inclined to do so in a positive environment, where attention is paid to training the new skills.
You will take a positive first step by opting for feedforward analysis™. You will ask your environment to provide feedback on your behaviour and attitude, in a positive sense, instead of feedback on points in need of attention. This will provide you with a better understanding of your leadership strengths and how to further reinforce and utilize these strengths for yourself, your people, your team and your organization. You will discover how, with your qualities, you can make an even bigger difference in your organization.