Feedback (3) How leaders can overcome their fears of using this technique

What it’s all about

Vague fears about the impact of feedback often lead to it not being used. However, overcoming them is simple.

Signs of feedback anxiety

Are fears a barrier for you to act as a feedback giver?The following signs may indicate this: ‚

  • Avoidance Do you feel uncomfortable giving feedback and try to avoid such situations?
  • Negative self-belief Do you stop yourself by telling yourself that you won’t do well or that the conversations might have a negative impact?
  • Loss of control Do you fear that the feedback will affect your control over situations or relationships?
  • Self-doubt Are you generally unsure of how your feedback will be received?
  • Distorted beliefs Are you perhaps even guided by the belief that feedback will always and inevitably lead to conflict or uncomfortable situations, without any relevant experience?

Five steps to overcoming fear

To overcome this barrier, the following steps will help you:

  • Identify your fears

First, become aware of exactly and in detail what fears you have that prevent you from giving feedback.

  • Reflect on your experiences

It can be helpful to reflect on any past experiences where feedback has been successful or unsuccessful. What has worked in the past? What did not work? What can you learn from these experiences? How have you experienced feedback given by others?

  • Practice empathy

Try to put yourself in your employees‘ shoes and understand how your evaluations might affect them. By taking your employees‘ position and being empathetic, you can give feedback that is aligned with their needs and concerns.

  • Get training

Attend seminars or workshops to improve your feedback giving skills.

  • Practical application

Most importantly, make giving feedback a regular part of your work routine. The more often you do this, the more experience you will gain and the less anxiety you will experience. In this way, you can simultaneously improve your skills, increase your self-confidence and gain your staff’s trust for the method and your conversations.