"Nothing good ever happens when feedback is missing," Steve Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Kelly Services is quoted as saying. Feedback should be a gift, a tonic for productivity and work efficiency. One of the most important instruments for successful development, learning and change processes.

fear feedback

In the scary cabinet of feedback

Giving feedback is not difficult. Accept feedback even more. There is a nice quote from Henry David Thoreau that illustrates the problem of receiving feedback: "Truth always takes two people, one who says it and one who understands it."

And yet there are many Company, in which topics such as feedback or recognition rated low in employee surveys. I keep meeting Executiveswho are uncomfortable giving feedback feel…and again and again Employeesthat almost already Anxiety before have feedback.

Horror stories about critical discussions

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Real horror stories are told, e.g. of employees who come to the annual employee appraisal and only ask: "Where should I sign?" because they are already so frustrated that they need a feedbackConversation don't want to lead at all.

Or from a single parent Mother and marketing manager who is not doing so well professionally and privately, who has reached her breaking point and who, without being asked, gives feedback from the boss: she should put on better make-up.

Feedback is a challenge

In a professional environment constructive Giving and receiving feedback is still a challenge for the most part. Both when leading employees, in dealing with colleagues and in the Communication with superiors.

Too often it is considered difficult in the Implementation experienced, both by the feedback giver and the feedback recipient, and therefore avoided or postponed until it gets lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday work.

Why is feedback avoided?

It starts with that already Definition of feedback is unclear. She ranges from: “Everything between People takes place in communication” to: “What takes place in the annual employee appraisal is feedback”. One speaks of positive feedback, of constructive one Criticism and negative feedback.

Why is there no constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback does not usually occur in practice because it

Feedback on side warriors

The consequences are that you do not give feedback or switch to side war sites and, for safety reasons, address non-critical issues. "You have a nice smile!"

Often the feedbackMethod not known or not applied cleanly enough. This can then lead to personal injuries for the recipient, especially if they have happily opened up beforehand.

Then "give feedback" is simply misused as a cover term to unload frustration. Anyone who has experienced this as a recipient will shy away Future back again and again when he hears "feedback".

What is not feedback?

It is easy to start with the demarcation:

What is feedback?

Feedback is feedback on Behavior, processes or outcomes in which the chance of positive change, growth, development and expanded self-awareness lies.

Why is feedback important?

Constructive feedback - giving and taking - is valuable and important for a variety of reasons. It

Open feedback yes, but it needs to be learned

Yes, an open and effective exchange of feedback is key Success for development, growth and change situations.

But it needs to be learned. Without uniform and well-known "feedback rules", it remains vague for donors and recipients and therefore unpredictable. This unsettles all parties and can lead to unpleasant experiences.


Therefore, the setting / framework as well as a guideline should be shared in advance in the Team or be coordinated or developed in the company. What is needed is a framework and a common set of guidelines that are known to all involved.

Then everyone knows how it goes and what he gets into! Under these conditions, feedback can really benefit the individual, the team, and the company.

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