Skip to content
November 28, 2022

4 Key Issues That Can Get in the Way of Giving Effective Feedback


Giving feedback can be one of the most difficult things to do as a leader, which is why so many leaders avoid it.

Some leaders may hesitate to avoid hurting any feelings. Others are nervous about how the employee will take the feedback. Still, others wonder whether the outcome sought is achievable in the first place.

All speak to the need to master how to effectively give feedback to achieve the behavior change you seek. We've shared a helpful framework in the past with you – The Four Fs of Feedback – which helps you be planful and purposeful, and increase your chances of success ten-fold.

Still, there are four issues that can often get in the way, which you want to avoid when giving feedback. These derailers spell EATS … so if any of these are “eating” at you – find another time to give feedback.

Issues to Avoid Before Giving Feedback

Here are four key issues that can get in the way of giving effective feedback:

  1. Emotion. Feeling or being emotional can affect the delivery of your message and might cause your listener to shut down.
  2. Ambiguity. A lack of clarity and specificity often causes others to make assumptions and may lead to unnecessary fear or worry.
  3. Time. Feeling pressed for time might mean that you go too fast when giving feedback, may not listen well, or you might mishear important details – all of which can lead to ineffective communication or misunderstanding.
  4. Stress. Being stressed can affect your ability to deliver your message in a direct, non-threatening, and helpful way.

Consider the Receiver’s Perspective

Falling into one or more of these four traps might prevent your employee from embracing your feedback and understanding your motivation and intent. By avoiding these pitfalls, your employee will be in a better position to be open to feedback and to avoid misinterpretation and overreaction.

Being timely and direct are essential for success. Add a little humanity and caring, and you have a recipe for successfully giving feedback that will build valued, trusting relationships.

Which of the four common issues is most likely to get in your way, and how can you avoid it in the future?

—David Grossman

Find out how building more trust in your organization will lead to better business outcomes. Click below to download your free copy of the eBook—7 Critical Traits for Building Trust Inside Companies—to get practical, strategic answers on how leaders and companies can become more trustworthy today.

Click to download the 7 Critical Traits for Building Trust Inside Companies ebook

Tag(s): Leadership, Featured

Comments on this post

Other posts you might be interested in

View All Posts