4 Guaranteed Ways to NOT Get Feedback in the Future

Posted by Jeff Allspaugh on Mar 30, 2022 10:19:17 AM

It’s probably never happened to you, but have you ever found that you don’t get good and useful feedback from your staff, teammates, leadership, and maybe even family or friends? You ask, then… crickets? It may be that you’ve trained them that way.

Wait, how am I shutting down communication? I’m here and available. Why won’t my staff or team talk to me? Here’s four destructive behaviors that ensure people won’t tell you what they think when you ask.

  1. Ignore the request, response, or issue
  2. Argue, dispute, or debate
  3. Make providing feedback painful for the provider
  4. Get defensive

Why don’t people provide feedback?

There are a few reasons; they could be:

  • Frightened of repercussions or ridicule.
  • Unsure if it is unique to them.
  • Concerned they’ll be perceived as an obstructionist rather than the loyal opposition.
  • Don’t view feedback loop as productive.

Avoiding pain and seeking pleasure are powerful and ingrained drivers. If you, as a leader, truly want the valuable information others possess, don’t drive them off. Build a reputation for listening and follow through. Here are a few tips to carry into your practice today.

  1. Don’t ignore the request, response, or feedback; instead, acknowledge that you’ve received the message. This can be done in conversation or via email. Let the messenger know that you got the message. Be timely in your response, and proactively ask for time and information to intelligently investigate the matter.
  2. Don’t argue, dispute, or debate the message at the point of entry. This is not the time for that. Take it in, get the facts as the messenger perceives it. Gather information, facts, any pertinent information, and THEN set a time to discuss the issue. You may be right but fighting at the point of entry only shuts down future opportunities.
  3. Don’t make providing feedback painful. How many times have we heard from a source, “Call me if you have any questions or need help or if you see a better way.”? Sounds good, until someone takes you up on it, only to be punished for speaking up. The messenger may be right, or wrong, or have a limited view but if you make the interaction miserable, there is a high probability they won’t seek you out again.
  4. Don’t get defensive. Easy to say, hard to do. If you truly seek others’ opinions and insight, there is a good chance it will vary from your view of today. Take a breath, listen, and come back with useful information.

Avoiding these knee-jerk reactions will help you and your reputation as a leader. It will also improve the reputation of your company and improve the communications up and down the chain. If you make it painful for people to come to you… they’ll find every reason not to. Then you lose great opportunities, information, respect… you just lose.

If you need help, IMEC and our team of experts are here to support you. Get in touch!

Jeff Allspaugh

Written by Jeff Allspaugh

Topics: employee engagement, workforce development, Leadership, communication

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