Let’s stop thinking about what’s gone wrong in the past and start imagining things going right. A basketball player rarely makes a shot when he or she thinks only about past misses; the ball is more likely to go in when he visualizes it going through the hoop. Similarly, I remember hearing of a successful female pro golfer who, as she drove to the course, would listen over and over and over to a recording of the ball going into the cup.
As leaders, are we helping our people visualize success or are we reminding them of failure? It’s one thing to de-brief things can be improved, it’s another to send an employee into the fire with a negative thought. What changes in employee attitudes, in employee results, when we lead with the notion of “feedforward” rather than “feedback”?