Cultivating Love at Work: Ditch the Feedback, Embrace the “Feedforward” Revolution

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Forget the cold, clinical language of “feedback” and delve into a world where workplace relationships thrive on love. Yes, love. But wait, before you dismiss this as sentimental fluff, hear me out. We’re not talking about roses and chocolates here but about a deeper, more transformative kind of love: the love of growth, empowerment, and genuine care for your colleagues.

Feel free to watch this 7-minute video of me talking about this valuable topic:

This love manifests in the form of feedforward, a communication technique from Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching® that ditches the rearview mirror of past performance and instead offers a GPS for future success. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, feedforward shines a light on what can go right, providing actionable insights and encouragement to help each other excel.

Why is this “love” shift so powerful? Because it fosters a safe space where vulnerability and honesty flourish. It allows people to share their authentic selves, knowing their ideas will be received with an open mind and a desire to support, not judge. This creates a foundation of trust and respect, the bedrock of any thriving relationship, professional or otherwise.

So, how does this “love in action” translate into practice? Here are three simple steps:

  1. Speak the language of possibility. Replace “feedback” with “feedforward” in your vocabulary. This subtle shift signals a focus on future potential and ignites a spark of excitement about what can be achieved.
  2. Ask, empower, don’t dictate. Ditch the one-sided lecture and embrace the power of open-ended questions. Ask your colleagues, “What are your aspirations for this project?” or “What resources could help you thrive in this role?” By inviting their perspectives, you empower them to take ownership of their growth.
  3. Celebrate the journey, not just the destination. Sure, acknowledge past successes, but don’t get stuck there. Feedforward focuses on the exciting road ahead. Offer specific, actionable suggestions for improvement, framed to encourage and motivate rather than criticize.

Remember, “love” in the workplace is a two-way street. Be receptive to receiving feedforward as well as giving it. Actively seek out opportunities to learn from your colleagues and express your genuine appreciation for their insights.

When you cultivate a culture of open communication, mutual respect, and genuine care for one another’s growth, you’re not just building stronger relationships. You’re building a workplace that hums with positive energy, productivity, and ultimately, success. And the best part? This transformation starts with you.

Craving that extra boost to propel your professional growth? Join us at the next Referral Network Club meeting on February 13! Network with like-minded professionals, and discover valuable connections- all fueled by the power of love.