Reasons Leaders Might be Wise to Avoid Giving Feedback

Feedback from leaders drives engagement and performance, yet workers report that feedback is lacking.

Leaders even know this truth, but still avoid giving feedback.

Last week we explored five common reasons leaders can be uncomfortable giving feedback, with reasons to do it anyway.

This week – two reasons why it might be wise to delay giving feedback:

“I’ve been piling on – everything I tell this person has been critical lately; I feel badly about that” – This is an important realization – look in the mirror. If you’ve been focusing on the negative and avoiding the positive, then make an effort to find ways this person has contributed, and acknowledge them with positive feedback. Once you achieve balance again, give the corrective feedback.

Another possibility, though, is this; there is truly nothing to give positive feedback about. In that case, it’s time to ditch the casual feedback and get formal. Have the serious crucial conversation, develop plans, and begin intensive coaching.

Is there a middle ground between those two options? Perhaps not. This is either a big, tough moment for you, or for them. Something needs to change.

“I’m in a bad mood, and I’m going to come across grumpy.” – Good move. Give no critical feedback if you will end up seeming even slightly more “mad” than you actually are. The receiver of feedback exaggerates that emotion on their end, and will end up feeling far more “corrected” than you intend. There are two ways to deal with this:

1) Wait until you are in a better state of mind.

2) Give a lot of appreciative or positive feedback to people around you. It will improve your mood.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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