Why You Mustn’t Be Afraid Of Giving Negative Feedback (3)

Why You Mustn’t Be Afraid Of Giving Negative Feedback (3)

December 12, 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Now in this part of the article series I want to give you concrete tips for your next feedback meetings.

As we could see in the in the other articles there are many things that have to be considered to create the environment for a successful feedback meeting.

Can you remember them? What were the most important ones?

Yes, exactly. Taking your folks seriously and distancing yourself emotionally from the specific situation were the crucial points.

Believe me, beating your folks is always the worst decision wink

All the other points that we have talked about are popular mistakes that you should avoid as a professional holistic leader.

But what do you have to bear in mind during the conversation with your employee?

The Magic Triangle Of Feedback Meetings


Perception – Impression – Desire. That’s all smiley

These 3 words are everthing you must know to have a good feedback meeting.
But before we go into the details please take care of a positive introduction.

You should start with some positive aspects. Talk about the following questions:

What went right with your employee in the last weeks?
What did he or she do what had a really positive impact on the team?
Which strenghts do you see and what do you think who else recognizes them within the company?
What are you thankful for? What do you appreciate?

These are questions that help a lot to identify subjects you can mention at first in a feedback meeting in order to create a good basis for the following criticism.

Then you should come to the point.


Explain how you perceived what happened. Don’t say “You did that….” or “This was wrong…” or “That was bad…”
Just explain objectively and without any emotions what you perceived.
(You can do this now because you’ve distanced yourself emotionally before, do you remember smiley ?)

Use as many facts as you have and always emphasize that this is just your personal point of view.
This takes pressure from your employee. It’s really not your goal to criticize the personality of an employee. Always get this clear.

After some practice this is becoming more and more fun to you. You will feel like a consultant who is paid for an objective an professional assessment of a complex situation.

Always remember that leadership is a craft.

This aspect of leadership always had a very motivating, inspiring and stimulating impact on me.

What do you feel while reading these sentences? What inspires you most?


In the second step you tell something about you impressions. Now you can bring your emotions into play.
But don’t get this wrong: Don’t argument emotionally. Bring your emotions into play. That’s not the same.

Tell your employee what your interpretation of the situation was and which emotions this interpretation affected within you.
Noticed what? There’s still no reason for your counterpart to feel personally criticized.

That’s really great art of holistic leadership!

You create understanding for your point of view by explaning what you’ve perceived and what this perception affected within you.

This doesn’t adjudge anybody. It doesn’t even accuse someone of anything.
It just creates understanding on both sides. And this understanding isn’t just based on facts. It’s based upon an honest exchange of human feelings. How does that sound to you?


Last point now is to formulate your clear and concise desire for the future.
What exactly do you want to be different in a few weeks from now? How can you support your employee on this way? What would be the great benefit for the team when things change as discussed?

Involve your employee by asking the following questions:

- What do you think what we could do now?
- Please make a suggestion: how can we change the situation?
- What can I do to help you?

Don’t deliver the solutions. Just create space for solutions. That’s the way you get your folks to self-imposed comittments.
But please keep in mind that things don’t change instantly.
The self-imposed comittments are the first step. Next step isn’t really a step, it is an ongoing process:

Observe the development, make review meetings at regular intervals and keep on asking your employee by the way how he or she feels about the new situation. And don’t forget to forgive mistakes if something doesn’t work like it should.

So you see negative feedback is something great. It’s a great holistic leadership tool to learn something about your folks, their attitudes, fears and desires.

But your folks also learn something about you and your inner life. And that’s the point:

Holistic leadership means connecting with each other on an emotional basis.

Understanding, openess and trust have the power to change our world.

 I hope you enjoyed this articel series!

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Posted in Feedback on Dec 12th, 2010, 20:27 by haukeborow