Team Activity: Marshall Goldsmith’s Feed-Forward Exercise

Posted by Kristin Arnold on November 14, 2023


I was recently facilitating a conference where Marshall Goldsmith was explaining his “Feed-Forward” Exercise. I have seen him do this before, but I forgot just how powerful it is.  In fact, I was working with a client this past week during their strategic planning session.  We had finished putting the plan together, and then we did this activity to help each other with a skill or behavior they needed to change in order to execute the plan better.  Worked like a charm!

So here’s how you Feed-Forward:

  1. Pick one behavior that you would like to change, such as “I want to be a better listener.”
  2. Stand up and share the behavior with a teammate and ask for Feed Forward – one or two suggestions to achieve a positive change in the selected behavior – with no feedback about the past. (nobody cares – it’s in the past!)
  3. Actively listen to the suggestions and take notes – without commenting.  Just say, “Thank you” after receiving the suggestions.  (You can ask questions to get clarification, but that’s all!)
  4. Now ask the other person what they would like to change.
  5. Provide Feed-Forward suggestions aimed at helping the other person change.
  6. Find another teammate and repeat the process until time is called.

Feed Forward is a fun and collaborative way to identify ways to get better!


If you like this activity, check out my book, Team Energizers, for 49 other team activities!

Related Articles:

Active Listening: The Key to Enhance Teamwork

Ensure Teamwork Among Multinational Teams

How to Give and Receive Friendly Feedback

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.

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