The most common reason why people avoid giving feedback or telling someone how they really feel is ‘I don’t want to hurt them’. Now this is a good thing. If you wanted to hurt another you would be a sociopath or someone in a lot of pain, wanting to transfer that to another.
When can hurting another be a good thing? And just to clarify I am talking about with your words, not physically.
When we receive feedback that is challenging it’s very easy to become triggered by it. Then we react. We get angry or upset, shut down or ark up, cry or yell. Our reactions mean that others avoid giving us feedback. Because they don’t want to hurt our feelings.
So we keep it to ourselves because we want to be kind. Well I don’t reckon it’s that kind. Holding on to information that could make someone better, more self-aware and give them a chance to change – when done well is an amazing gift.
Yes feedback can be hard to hear and can hurt. Like:
- Getting feedback that your communication style is verbose. Tough to hear. Yep. Worthwhile knowing. Damn sure.
- Hearing that some people are getting frustrated by your lax timeliness when you are trying your best. Hard to hear. Yep.
- Learning that your silence is coming across as a lack of interest.
- Your kids telling you that you seem to care about yourself more than them. OUCH!
Just some examples of feedback that may be hard to hear. But what if no one tells you? Your blind spots stay the same and you don’t have data/examples to help you evolve.
Feedback can be painful. But with pain, there is gain. When feedback is given with good content (lots of examples) and great intent (being prepared to hear their side and not defend) then at worst your relationship stays the same. But most of the time it will grow. Become better.
People hear your content and smell your intent.
Know that your intention is loud. So lean into that and GROW your relationships by having the conversations that matter.
PS – If you loved this then you might just be super keen to learn about our kickarse culture program ‘Working as One’. Send me a note if you’d like to have a chat or click HERE to register for one of our Working as One online events.