The F Word


Regular readers might remember that I shared the COIN feedback model last month. Feedback continues to be an uneasy topic for leaders. A client last week actually gasped and fell silent when I suggested he give feedback to a direct report. With probing he uncovered one of the following reasons that stopped him and he figured out why it shouldn’t anymore.

Top Reasons People Don’t Give Negative/Constructive Feedback

  1. It will demotivate them and I need them motivated
  2. I don’t want to hurt their feelings
  3. I don’t know how to do it so I don’t. What if I get it wrong?
  4. I want people to like me
  5. I don’t have time to do it
  6. They should know better already
  7. I’ve got too many other things to do
  8. I meant to, just didn’t get around to it
  9. I figured it out for myself, they need to figure it out on their own
  10. I don’t know why they don’t get it, what could I say to change it?

Top Reasons People Don’t Give Positive Feedback

  1. I’d have to give them a raise and there’s no money in the budget
  2. I’d have to promote them and there’s no spots available
  3. They should do well, it’s their job, they are getting paid to do it
  4. It will go to their heads, we don’t need more divas working here
  5. No one ever praised me!
  6. I’m British, we don’t do that
  7. They know they’ve done well
  8. I don’t know how to do it
  9. What if I get it wrong?
  10. I said ‘great job’ and ‘thanks’, isn’t that enough?

What’s stopping you from giving more feedback (positive or constructive) professionally or personally?