Feedback Avoidance Defies Logic
Updated: Nov 3
But, there is missing information While electronic information about technology and finance is streaming in at warp speed, human feedback to help you communicate and learn to improve at your job is missing. How can you change how you build and market products or serve customers if you don’t know what bosses, employees, and customers notice, think, prefer, hate, and expect from you?
How can you improve your way of leading if you don’t know what the people you lead need from you? Also, there are workplace dynamics today that make feedback even more necessary. Younger workers, it turns out, want way more feedback, coaching, and transparency from their leaders than any other generation before them could imagine possible. They are used to getting constant feedback from technology, and they demand it from their bosses.
The absence of feedback is emotional, not logical Feedback avoidance stems from negative emotions and not wanting to hurt or judge others. It has to do with leaders’ discomfort with these honest conversations. How do you open up sensitive topics and talk about them with people who may have already been reporting to you for quite a while?
It’s all about our brains and beliefs Until I researched the psychology of giving feedback, I had underestimated the brain science and belief systems that explain people’s negative reactions to giving feedback. I hadn’t fully accounted for the fight-or-flight responses and fears that hold people back from offering helpful feedback—based on their style, personality, and normal reluctance to inflict what they imagine as pain on other people. In this emotional swirl, who would want to give feedback?
Fixing feedback failure If we humans want to overcome our feedback avoidance, we must address these fears in our primal, reptilian brains and we must become aware of our unique beliefs about how the other person will “take” the feedback. The journey towards great, useful feedback will require that we rethink feedback as helpful, beneficial, and even welcome. It will require us to calm down and see that it’s not only safe, but motivating and positive.
Read The Feedback Imperative for more information on how to give great feedback!