Give feedback: less is more

Give feedback: less is more

People leave feedback formation armed with new skills and unfortunately sometimes use those skills as a weapon. She says something like this: “I need to have an honest conversation with you.” And then the person proceeds to download, download, download. This couldn’t be more wrong, wrong, wrong.

When you give someone negative feedback, you are essentially telling the person that they did something wrong. And who likes to be wrong? The ego gets hurt and people often start questioning. This normal reaction doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give feedback, you just need to do it judiciously.

Ask yourself these four questions when deciding whether or not to give someone feedback:

  • Do I have the report to provide feedback? Does the recipient trust me and my motives?
  • Am I allowed to provide feedback? If the recipient isn’t working for you, you need permission to provide feedback.
  • Is it something that the person can do something about? If it’s not a change the recipient can make, keep your thoughts to yourself.
  • Is the feedback helpful? Ultimately, the purpose of all feedback is to be helpful.

Let’s say you’re getting too much feedback. What should you do? It’s okay to say “no thanks” to the feedback. Here’s what you might say:

‚ÄúThank you for taking the time to bring this to my attention. I appreciate it. You gave me a lot of feedback today. I would like something to focus on that I can make an impact on right now. What’s the most important thing I should do? “You’ve validated the other person and shown openness and interest. You’ve also set boundaries and expectations about what you want and won’t do.

“Thank you for taking the time to share your inquiries about … We won’t make any changes and here’s why.” It’s okay not to act on all the feedback, just tell people why you won’t.

“I appreciate your concern. I’m not looking for feedback on this at this time.” Can you tell anyone? yes you should? Sometimes. To your boss – no. To someone offering unsolicited advice that is out of their lane, yes. They will get the message.

People can only take action and digest small amounts of feedback at a time. Be judicious and evaluate your motives. The purpose of feedback is to be helpful when feedback is requested and when you have the relationship to give it.

If you get too many unsolicited feedback or feedback, you can decline. You are not 7-11, even if you are not always open.

About Shari Harley

Shari Harley is the founder and president of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training company that is bringing back candor to the workplace by making it easier to give feedback on the job. Shari is the author of the book on corporate communication How to Tell Anyone Anything: A Guide to Building Business Relationships That Really Work. He is a keynote speaker at conferences and does training in the United States. Learn more about Shari Harley’s training programs and Candid Culture at

Tags: feedback training, giving feedback, giving negative feedback, negative feedback, too much feedback, virtual training