Don’t Hold Back On Giving or Receiving Feedback


by Kevin Watson



Which do you consider to be more important, giving or receiving feedback?

I’d like to invite you to take part in a short exercise.

Are you sitting at a table?

Get yourself comfortable…are you ready? Good.

Now, I’d like you to hold both of your hands over the table, around two inches above the top and with your palms facing down. 

Considering the feedback you’ve received in the past week and using your right hand only, place one finger down onto the top of the table for every valuable piece of feedback you’ve received. 

Done that?

Next, using your left hand, put one finger down for every piece of valuable feedback you’ve given to someone else. 

What do you notice?

Which hand has the most fingers down on the desk? 

Is this an acceptable ratio for giving and receiving feedback?

Call to Action

Time to put this into practice.

Don’t wait until your annual review…what’s the one thing you could possibly do this week to get a piece of valuable feedback from someone in your team or a colleague?

Don’t invite criticism with a big, unfocused question like “Do you have any feedback for me?” Make it more focused by asking a colleague or one of your team, “What’s one thing you see me doing (or failing to do) that holds me back?

That person may say the first thing that comes to mind or the most important to them. Either way, you’ll get tangible information and can tease out more specifics at your own pace.

Next, and take time to really think this one through, what one, valuable piece of feedback can you provide to them?

Important to seek permission to give it to them, first!

Finally, what can you possibly do now that would make this become a great habit?


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About the Author

Kevin Watson

Kevin is a highly experienced Leadership Coach and acts as Consultant to several boards of global organisations, as well as local business owners. He is passionate about making a difference by enabling and encouraging leaders who want to create and sustain meaningful change in themselves and the organisation.



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