8Common Questions and Resistance to Feedback

How Does It Sound?

Positive and negative feedback sound identical. If this statement surprises you, go back and look at the feedback graphic in Figure 7.1. Our purpose sits on the right, and it's a positive future. That purpose is the same whether it's positive or negative feedback.

Mike once told me, “I only give (negative) feedback when I can chuckle about it.” That's a perfect attitude. He knows that if he can't chuckle about it, there's a chance he's going to deliver it with some negativity, perhaps even with some judgment or mild anger. He's learned that, while it may feel good to vent, in the long run, it's ineffective. This is a lesson I am personally still learning also. I still catch myself wanting to give negative feedback because I'm angry about a mistake. The anger is what's driving my desire, not my direct's effective future behavior. So I wait, like Mike.

Mike's approach reminds me of a manager who was really struggling with the Manager Tools Feedback Model. He had had incredible success with One On Ones. He was surprised to hear what his directs shared with him in the MTO3s. He was getting to know what made them tick much better. He was also stunned that, even though he was worried about the time the O3s would take out of his calendar, he seemed to have even more free time than he thought.

However, what came next was disappointing. The manager told us how he was really struggling with giving feedback. He said, “They ...

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