How to Invite and Survive Feedback From a Group

Life is simpler without others in it. But, everything that matters includes people.

The more you work to control people the more troubling they become.

 steering wheel

Leaders fear feedback because they can’t control it.

7 negative responses to negative feedback:

  1. You don’t understand how hard I’m working.
  2. You have your own issues! (A personal favorite.)
  3. You don’t really know me.
  4. Why is your opinion more valuable than mine?
  5. You don’t get it.
  6. You might be right but it’s not important.
  7. I have more expertise than you so where do you get off telling me how to improve.

If you like all the feedback you get, you aren’t getting good feedback.

3 roots of resistance:

  1. They don’t care enough. “You don’t really care about me.”
  2. They don’t know enough. “I know more than you.” Or, “You don’t know the whole story.”
  3. They aren’t good enough. “You have selfish motives.”

How to ask for feedback from a group:


Always begin with an end. Don’t have a free-for-all.

  1. What am I doing that strengthen relationships?
  2. What am I doing that weakens relationships?
  3. What am I doing that motivates others?
  4. What am I doing that de-motivates others?
  5. What am I doing that moves projects forward?
  6. What am I doing that stalls progress?


  1. What specific behaviors will produce better results?
  2. What specific behaviors are roadblocks to reaching goals?
  3. How will others see and affirm improvements?


Always ask for illustrations.

If you can’t see it, it doesn’t matter, when it comes to feedback.

Feedback in groups:

  1. Begin with positives.
  2. Participation of the timid. When they see your receptive response, they find courage to speak.
  3. Clarify issues and options with discussion.
  4. Build cultures of growth through multiple participants.
  5. End with behavioral commitments.
  6. Invite participants to join you on the journey. Stay public.
  7. Invite someone from the outside to guide the process.

What negative responses to feedback have you seen?

What suggestions do you have receiving feedback from a group?

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