Most employees dread annual performance appraisals, when they are evaluated by their managers.

The session generally focuses on feedback and fault-finding on what went wrong. Feedback tends to be problem-focused on past behaviours or actions which ironically, cannot be changed. Employees will usually turn defensive, feel criticised and start shifting blame.

Feedforward takes a different perspective and approach to optimise solutions and initiate change. It is more future-oriented and focus is on solution rather than problem. It is a shift from “what happened” to “what could be.”

It is more forward looking and less stressful to communicate and more will be inspired to talk about dreams and hopes. They will also be more motivated and empowered to take ownership to work towards desired goals and outcomes. This approach will encourage innovative behaviour in future situations.

In your next performance appraisal, if you are tired of asking “what went wrong?”, try asking “how will you do it differently when you are at your best?


The above excerpt is our weekly compilation of ideas for business leaders in the areas of people management, leadership, and workplace happiness.

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