Top Ten Reasons Leaders Ignore Feedback

When YOU give others feedback, it’s brilliant, caring, and helpful. When THEY give you feedback, it’s irrelevant, uncaring, and unhelpful.

It’s interesting that your feedback is right, but their feedback is off base. 

Top ten reason leaders ignore feedback:

  1. Others don’t really understand the pressures and stresses you feel.
  2. You’re too busy to care what others think.
  3. People are trying to change who your really are.
  4. Years of experience have made you smarter than everyone else.
  5. People giving feedback are trying to make their own lives easier.
  6. You’re more successful than the people giving you feedback.
  7. The people giving feedback have too many issues of their own.
  8. You’re older and wiser.
  9. Your position means you don’t need feedback anymore.
  10. They don’t give feedback the “right” way.

Most people aren’t qualified to give feedback. At least it seems that way.

Nine ways to receive feedback like a leader:

  1. Assume there’s a grain of truth in the uncomfortable feedback you receive.
  2. The two word response to feedback is always, “Thank you.” (Even if it’s obviously off base.)
  3. Don’t say,  “Yes, but.”
  4. Lean in and say, “Tell me more. Go with, not against.”
  5. Don’t make excuses or offer explanations.
  6. Ask, “Could I have some time to think this over?” (If it’s hard to take.)
  7. Ask for examples.
  8. Invite feedback in the moment. “When you see me engaging in this ineffective behavior, would you point it out in the moment?”
  9. Turn toward the future. “What behaviors would reflect progress?”

Seek clarity:

Feedback often includes interpretation. “You’re angry, aggressive, uncaring, or dragging your feet.”

Useful feedback requires observation.

If someone gives you judgement, ask for observation. “What am I doing, that makes you think I’m detached?”

What makes feedback hard to take?

How can leaders give effective feedback?