I am an avid manager tools follower and have been giving feedback regularly for the last 2-3 years.  The first year was a little rocky, but would say by now I'm reasonably comfortable with giving feedback and do a decent job delivering it. I'd give myself a solid B...could always be better!

Until now, I haven't heard any complaints from my directs regarding feedback and they seem to respond well to it and appreciate it.  I have one direct however, who is very defensive.  She'll stop and grab a pen and write down any negative feedback I give her (which is relatively rare- 90% + I give is positive).  Recently she was extremely defensive to some negative feedback I gave her regarding intrapersonal skills and now says she feels like she is being "picked on," and doesn't even like me giving her a lot positive feedback, especially on "little things"...she "doesn't need it."  She claims she still wants feedback, but not as much, and only in one-on-one's. She doesn't want to be approached any other time. I explained to her how I don't find that effective to wait until O3's- depending on the timing, it could be days in between something happens, she'll forget the details, I'll forget the details of what happened, etc.  Any suggestions?  I probably give this direct 3-7 bits of feedback per week.

WayneHodder's picture

Perhaps you could open up the subject of listening to the O3 casts in the next O3 with the direct, to gauge the willingness to listen to the feedback casts.

Are you able to highlight where the feedback for the direct has allowed this direct to demonstrate improvement, how it is improving their yearly performance reviews?

edzaun's picture


 Hi LindaS82,

Like doing O3's, feedback is your choice and not that of the direct. To be sure, you have the obligation to deliver feedback properly and if the majority of your directs are accepting it and appreciative of it, it sounds like you have that part.

Some people are resistant to feedback and that indicates insecurity in their own abilities. It sounds like you are dealing with a High D. I know I do not like negative feedback and my first reaction is to defend my position. I also do not like small bits of positive feedback. I already know I am doing a good job and do not need shallow praise. That is my natural reaction. Since becoming an MT adept, I have changed my attitudes towards feedback, much to my benefit. I appreciate when my bosses acknowledge my performance simply because I have come to understand why it works.

So far as her taking notes about negative feedback; let her. It certainly takes away any excuse for not acting on that feedback.

In the next O3, I would take my 10 minutes and explain what feedback is, why it is given in the formula it has, that the direct is expected to act on it,  that you are not stopping it , and how a direct does not manage you nor your management style. If she still resists, it may be time for a shot across the bow to make your point.

Are you keeping track of feedback to include in quarterly and annual reviews? If not, I would start simply to document your position if it comes down to discipline.

Ed Zaun

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