Care to give constructive feedback

By Albina Bardhi on Jun 26, 2023

"We don’t care enough to give you constructive feedback." - This often means ignoring problems, failing to acknowledge poor standards, and neglecting to recognize achievements. That is why a poor performance won’t improve, and good performance doesn’t get the praise it deserves. Because you don't care enough.
And if you don't care, why should I? If we don't care enough, why should others?

There are of course other reasons why we might avoid giving feedback. A reason lies in the concern that it may demotivate individuals who are already working diligently or facing external challenges at home. But, feedback should be framed as a means to inspire and enable improvement, rather than a way of addressing poor performance.

Another one is fearing their reaction. Fear of anger or emotional responses. Especially when, while asked for feedback, you notice problems, you say them out loud and suggest improvements. Sometimes it takes a lot to speak up. We might be rejected, or scolded, or made to feel dumb. And of course there's the risk that we'll get our hopes up that something will improve, only to see it revert to the status quo. Now, that is the worse. It can be disheartening.

Or, you might get redirected to a middle man with no significant power. Another way to show that you don't care as much as I do. And, again if you don't care, why should I?

So, most of the time we simply don't care enough to give constructive feedback. We choose not to bother.

And what happens when you care? What about when you care even more than I do? Then I must be lucky. When someone does bother, when someone does care enough, the play starts. You react. You can either point fingers and react defensively - this shows me you don't care enough to receive the feedback in a useful way,- or you can embrace the feedback with open arms.
Because, caring doesn't end with giving feedback; it extends to how we receive feedback as well. We aren’t always great at giving feedback and as a result we often don’t get the outcomes we’re looking for.

Consider this statistic: I've read somewhere that fewer than one in three employees are committed to the success of their organization and over half say they are disengaged and do nothing more than the minimum to keep their job. Then I got to prove this. At it's heart, my job is more about people than anything else. I got to understand that the key is to identify individuals that are not engagable. These are people that, for whatever reason, like to be the victim, are cynical, or simply stuck. But whatever I do, whatever you do, some people aren't going to change. Still, when we don't care enough to give constructive feedback, we perpetuate a cycle of disengagement. But if we do care, if we genuinely invest in the success of our organization and the development of our colleagues, we can break this cycle.

And I say this because I care. I care giving constructive feedback. At first I wasn't really sure what I was doing, I wasn't even really sure why I was doing it. I was unconsciously incompetent. And that's the first stage of learning.

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