A-Head for Success

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Why is Feedback so Stressful?

It is Ken Blanchard who said that feedback is the breakfast of champions.  But it always seems so stressful.  Whether you’re giving it or receiving it, few people are comfortable around it.  It has got to the point where organisations are questioning the validity of appraisals and one company, GE, are calling feedback Insights so people feel less antsy about it.  Why?

Possibly the primary reason is fear of consequences.  Most people don’t want to offend.  Or to be misunderstood.  Or to encounter conflict of any kind.  But there is no getting around the fact that leaders need to lead.  And, whatever you choose to call feedback and whatever mechanism you use, it is essential to help your employees be at their best.  For you and for them.  It can be useful for suppliers, colleagues, friends and family too.

As long as the intention is to help, not to harm, effective feedback can have a hugely positive impact and is a skill which can be learned.  A starting point is having an outcome centered approach (I will go into this in another newsletter).  This can make all the difference in how your feedback lands and the results you get.

In receiving feedback, nobody wants to feel like they did something wrong or that they fell short of expectations in some way.  But, without feedback, how are we to learn and grow?  The only people who never make a mistake are those who don’t do anything important.

Yes, feedback can be stressful but not giving it, and not receiving it can have ongoing stressful consequences.  The choice between short-term pain and long-term gain.  So I guess the decision is:  to grow or retreat?

For help in how to make your feedback get the results you want, call 0345 130 0854.  You’ll be glad you did.