SOS–I’m Stuck & Can’t Give Feedback That’s Desperately Needed
Updated: Nov 4
You want to get your projects moving and you realize one or more of the people you deal with are desperately in need of feedback to re-direct the way they they do the work.
Emotions in the way…
But you feel hijacked by emotions the more you try to figure out what to say to some of the co-workers you need to steer differently. The more you worry, the more you avoid giving the feedback, and this makes you worry even more…
You need help. But not just anybody will be the right coach for you.
Advice from within the company
If you’re thinking about a colleague in the same company, it can be tricky. You want to maintain confidentiality for your co-workers, avoid gossip, and maintain a positive work climate. You want to select someone who is not emotionally invested in the issues you need to talk about. You need someone who’s trustworthy enough to keep your confidence. Your boss would be glad to help, but may already be overly opinionated about what to say in the feedback conversation. That’s not to say that a colleague or boss can’t help you, but think about it cautiously and plan carefully before you broach the subject.
Advice from a friend
Pick someone who deals with similar dynamics in their workplace. Pick someone who has a track record of giving helpful, honest feedback. Ask them to coach you through a productive coaching conversation. Better yet, try out an approach you’ve thought of, and ask for their feedback and improvement ideas.
Advice from a professional coach
Many leadership coaches are experienced with clients’ barriers to giving feedback. They may be able to listen deeply and ask you helpful questions that help you pinpoint your fear or reluctance and plan your path forward. The downside to coaching is that you may want the help instantaneously and can’t get the help fast enough. You may need to self-fund the first one or two sessions as your boss may think feedback is a frivolous topic to need coaching on and not help you with the fees.
However you do it, getting the help you need to get unstuck is so worth it. Once you feel more comfortable giving feedback, you’ll be willing to do it more and you’ll be laughing about how you once felt so hijacked by your emotions.