Feedback is one of the hardest things I have to do. I say "have to" because I recognize the value of it and I think its an invaluable tool. I do want to do it.

My main problem is the response from my directs for positive feedback. I get quizzical looks and responses like, "where did that come from?".

My question to you all is if anyone else encountered this? Did your directs eventually get use to it?

I do understand that their responses are due to the fact that I haven't done it before and they don't see it as part of my personality. Personally, I see it as a failure on my part because I have not been providing feedback at all in the past. I recognized this and I am really focusing on changing this.


jhack's picture

They get used to it. If you don't change your behavior, they won't change. If nothing changes, your team's performance will stay where it is.


HMac's picture

Jeff - Does your behavior while you're giving feedback really show that you think this is important? Are you REALLY looking them in the eye, speaking with confidence, speaking slowly and clearly, even smiling where appropriate?

I have no way of knowing, so please - I could be way off base here.

Quizzical looks? So is your delivery giving them reason to be confused?


PS - it AIN'T easy, and they DO get used to it :lol:

tlhausmann's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Keep at it.

I have found that even though my team sometimes jokes about the feedback phrasing...they have the confidence that I pay attention.

JThorogood's picture

I believe that my behavior shows that its important. And I real do feel that it is.

The quizzical looks aren't of confusion but just them not expecting this feedback to come from me. Basically my fault for not doing it so they aren't use to it.

I thought about this more on the drive home. Unfortunately, I had adopted what my previous manager had done to me. He left me alone until I made a mistake. I let that dictate my behavior when I took over. I hate to admit that because I always thought of myself being different than the old manager.

With that said, I will continue on with the feedback. It will be interesting to look back on this in a few months to see how my team responds then.

Last item: Thank you. These forums are amazing. If I had never found this site, I would hate to think how my directs would have suffered. Yet another revelation while driving home....

cwatine's picture
Training Badge


Why do you say you are failing? Failing at fb would be : stopping them or giving them in an incorrect manner.

Getting reactions is normal.

Why not explain the main principles behind feedback when you get questions?
You give them feedback because you want to show them progressively what you expect from them. You dont want them to be let alone, guessing what is the right behaviour. You dont want to over-react when they have gone too far in the wrong direction because you did not give them any feedback before.
I think this is all positive things for them.

On the other hand, it must clear that you expect them to take feedback in consideration. This is an effort you make and you expect results from it.

It is also important they know feedback is not about their personality, it is about their behaviour. It is not about criticism, it is about FUTURE behaviour.

My directs also asked me many questions about this in the beginning. I gave them all the information I could, including written sumups of the feedback model (in french). Now they have perfectly integrated it.

It is all about repetition so keep doing it and you will not regret it.

PS: do you give more positive fb than negative? It was the more difficult for me.

HMac's picture

[quote="FistCheese"]The quizzical looks aren't of confusion but just them not expecting this feedback to come from me. Basically my fault for not doing it so they aren't use to it.[/quote]

Then keep at it - you'll be fine.

Congratulations on taking those first steps. You're helping your people!


AManagerTool's picture

If you keep at it, you will get quizzical looks when you DON'T give feedback.