Thumbs down on feedback

I work with a lot of people around creating a feedback culture in their organizations, which, of course, includes how to give great feedback. I’m a believer that when you learn what to do, you also need to learn what not to do.

Here are my Top 10 ways to fail at giving great feedback, in no order of importance:

  1. Don’t ask the individual for permission to give feedback Just give it to them. You know what is best for them.
  2. Provide feedback in front of other people especially when delivering difficult feedback. People learn better when it is witnessed by others and they feel embarrassed.
  3. Don’t provide any context of the feedback, just hit them with it. Most people like to figure things out for themselves. It makes them feel like problem solvers.
  4. Give feedback in the moment especially if you are feeling angry, triggered or want to strike back. It will make you feel much, much better.
  5. Doubt that the individual can change the behavior and tell them so.
  6. Be brutally honest and don’t choose your words wisely, just let them flow. Flow is freeing.
  7. Don’t let them provide any contrary proof. It’s feedback; you are feeding back to them, not them to you.
  8. Be sure to sound threatening. Threat increases cortisol, which in turn, increases stress and anxiety. People work better under pressure.
  9. Be very general in your feedback. Let them work really hard at connecting the dots.
  10. Always have them look at it from your perspective. You’re right. Right?

And if you do any of the above, contact me. You seriously need a coach.

Written by Pat Obuchowski