Using feedback for good with Jim Moore


Feedback can be a double-edged sword: the giver usually intends to be helpful but often comes across downright crushing. On the other hand, many leaders are locked in a cycle of making the same mistakes over and over while struggling to get anyone to give them the honest feedback they need to improve. In this episode, Diana talks with Marshall Goldsmith’s own coach, Jim Moore, about how givers and receivers can turn feedback into the vital tool for growth it was always meant to be.

You can connect with Jim on LinkedIn.


Feedback lessons from episode 20

  • Feedback is a set of comments about a person's performance or behavior in the past that is intended to help the receiver improve in the future. When feedback is delivered properly, it can sometimes lead to improved behavior. However, when it's delivered improperly, it can cause real damage to both the recipient and the giver. Feedback has gotten a negative connotation because people associate it with being criticized.
  • Feed forward takes those negative comments about the past and turns them into positive suggestions for the future. It's the difference between telling someone, "What you did wasn't effective because of X, Y, and Z," versus "Next time you could do X, Y, and Z differently in order to be even more effective."
  • You can use feed forward when asking for feedback from direct reports and peers by starting with the area you're working on and asking for specific suggestions about how you can improve in that area.
  • When someone gives you feedback, simply say thank you. Don't immediately evaluate the ideas in front of the giver—even if you love the suggestion. By remaining neutral and grateful, you'll foster an environment that encourages people to continue giving you feedback in the future.
  • When evaluating 360 instruments, keep it simple. No one can change 80 things, but a few targeted questions coupled with an open-ended response section can help to surface one or two key changes that will create lasting impact. Customize the 360 to ensure it fits your culture and objectives.
  • And finally, some great advice for talent champions: build relationships with executives across the business, getting to know their language and what they care about so you can help them make changes with an edge. Change what you can change and make peace with what you can't, and use metrics that help boost the credibility of the changes you're making.


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Unconscious biases are hard to identify, much less know their true impact. Before you can take steps to operate more fairly and effectively at work, you need to get your bearings. Download our latest guide: Seven Misconceptions About Unconscious Bias. 

About the Author

Diana Thomas

As a proven successful executive, Diana brings decades of experience, expertise and education to her coaching with business executives, teams and learning/talent leaders to increase their impact, inspire committed followership and engagement, and build strong diverse teams that pull together to achieve Winning Results. In addition to coaching, Diana is a partner and trainer with Clean Language for Coaches Resource Center. She is the co-author of the 2018 strategic leadership book, Be More Strategic in Business: How to win through Stronger Leadership and Smarter Decisions. Diana began her career as a McDonald’s restaurant crew member in 1979, and rose to become Vice President of Training, Learning & Development for McDonald’s USA. In this role, she led all aspects of training and development including the restaurant training curriculum at Hamburger University, McDonald’s global training center of excellence.

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