One of the main reasons we don’t give feedback is that we are worried about hurting the other person. This is a good thing. Not actually hurting the other person, but worrying you might. This makes you human and one with empathy. If you don’t worry, that’s when you should start.
The other reason is having to manage their emotional reactions when you do pluck up the courage to give it. When we are hurt, we react. And usually in a way that is not helpful – for us or the other person.
Feedback can be hard to hear. Der Captain Obvious I hear you say.
What makes it really hard is the feelings that sit with it. The feeling of disappointment. That what they are saying could be true. The feeling of letting others down. Of not being perfect. Of being inadequate. We don’t like the feelings that come with the feedback.
Feedback is just data. It’s what we do with the data and how we use it against ourselves that’s more of the issue.
I like the author of Atomic Habits, James Clear’s, take on feedback. ‘The trick with feedback is to be more concerned with having blind spots than hearing about them’.
I’ll leave you with that.
If you like the sound of this, then you should seriously consider coming to my half day workshop Creating a kickarse workplace culture, on July 19th. Check it out here.