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Managers as Mentors, 3rd Edition by Marshall Goldsmith, Chip R. Bell

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The Power of Feedforward

Providing feedback has long been considered an essential skill for mentors. But there is a fundamental problem with all types of feedback: it focuses on the past, on what has already occurred—not on the infinite variety of opportunities that can happen in the future. As such, feedback can be limited and static, as opposed to expansive and dynamic.

Over the past several years, I have observed more than thirty thousand leaders as they participated in a fascinating experiential exercise. In the exercise, participants are each asked to play two roles. In one role, they are asked to provide feedforward—that is, to give someone else suggestions for the future and help as much as they can. In the second role, they are asked ...

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