Oh uh! Feedback - how hard can it be

Posted on: Friday 02, February 2018

All too often, managers and leaders struggle with how to deal with the hard task of developmental or constructive feedback. So, this blog tackles the tricky skills of giving and taking critical feedback.

The good, the bad and the ugly

It's probably fair to state that on the one hand feedback gives us all unique opportunities as individuals to healthily mature, grow in self-awareness and develop as a person. That is because we cannot honestly see ourselves as others see us. I believe this holds true in teams as well, where good quality feedback helps teams to trust one another, cohere and develop. It’s a prerequisite too for high performance.

But, on the other hand, people find it very hard to give or take constructive, developmental feedback. For a lot of people, it's a tricky skill to master. That is because our brains are hardwired with built-in survival traits to defend ourselves from threat, protect us from harm and to avoid danger.

So, as a default, being on the receiving end of feedback often sparks off a very visceral chain-reaction of auto-response behaviours – it’s all part of our genetic makeup. 

The feedback reaction curve

The above diagram shows the reason why critical feedback packs such a punch setting off a chain of emotional reactions. (you may recognise similarities to Kubler-Ross’ grief curve).

Let’s go through the stages of the reaction curve one at a time...

Click here to read the full blog.

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