How to Solicit Negative Feedback When Your Manager Doesn’t Want to Give It

In my role as a leadership coach, I consistently hear my clients say that they crave negative feedback from their managers in order to improve in their jobs, grow their careers, and achieve better business results. However, when it comes to soliciting negative feedback, they find that their managers would rather dismiss, deny, or delay it rather than speak directly, truthfully, and immediately about what isn’t working and what needs to change.

That makes sense when you consider what may be at risk when giving (and receiving) negative feedback. In her article, “How to Give Negative Feedback When Your Organization is Nice”, my colleague Jennifer Porter cites barriers to giving negative feedback that include hurt feelings; a desire to maintain professionalism (rather than having things get “messy”); a lack of role models for giving negative feedback; the prospect of an emotional outburst; and not wanting to jeopardize the “nice” culture.

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