Feed-Forward Positive Feedback with the FFF Feed-Forward Formula

Feed-Forward Positive Feedback with the FFF Feed-Forward Formula

When we think of feedbacking, we tend to just do “corrective feedbacking”; i.e. feedbacking on things to improve. Don’t do this, do that better.

We know from Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology that “positive feedbacking” is much more effective for personal growth and learning.

Coach Su Chern Teo at Aesara Partners and I were coaching 50 executives on a three month journey, and while we were on the feedbacking topic, we wanted to focus on building strengths and habits in positive feedbacking.

We struggled to find a suiting model for positive feedbacking, so we developed one. We named it FFF – Feed-Forwarding Formula:

  • Praise: Genuine praise is specific, and personal. Plain vanilla praises are tasty but not memorable.
  • Explore: Tell me more, how did you come up with.., what else..?
  • Stretch Critique: Beyond.., how about.., if..?
  • Co-create: How might we/you..?
  • Support Action: When, how soon, how can we/you find an opportunity to..?

As you can see, it’s not just about praising.

Also note:

  • FFF does not have to be done in sequence, nor all points need to be covered.
  • Adjust praising to your style, and the recipient’s. Some like it overt, others subtle.
  • Likewise, critique as you find right. Positive feedback doesn’t mean that you can’t critique.