You don’t need agreement when giving feedback

Remember the time you told your colleague that you are aware they are taking lots of Mondays as sick leave. And they replied with a heartfelt; “Thanks so much for pointing that out to me”. 

Or the time you let a colleague know they were coming across as passive aggressive and they graciously thanked you for letting them know.

Yeah nah.

Let’s be honest, when we have a challenging conversation, we really want the other person to see our point, agree with us and be reasonable. This is an unrealistic expectation. People don’t like hearing content that doesn’t put them in a favourable light. That’s not your fault. That’s their reaction.

Your role is to sow the seed. Not get a resolution in the first conversation. Or maybe ever. ‘What the?’ I hear you say. 

Most people are not great at reacting in the moment. So we work around this. We let people know ‘our truth’. Which is our perspective plus examples. Then we let it sit. And if they are not good in the moment, all good. We just make another time to talk. Simple.

Your role is to seed it, not solve it. Sometimes people need to hear things a few times, for them to truly land. You might be part of that journey but not the outcome.

Being honest with ourselves about our gaps and when we let others down is hard. Being honest with others is even harder. Know that you’ve played your role. Getting attached to the outcome is not your aim.

So seed it. Then wait. Chances are they will stop taking ‘sickies’ on Monday or start being less passive aggressive. That’s a great start. Take it.

If you want to hear more about giving and receiving feedback you should come to my next online event Embedding a Feedback Culture in 2023. Check it out here.