Tap Into Emotion for Better Feedback Conversations

Jun 29, 2020

Feedback is a gift when given and received appropriately. However, studies show 25% of employees dread their performance review. Not surprisingly, this dread is often rooted in fear.

The most common fears related to performance reviews are the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, and the fear of feedback itself.

Tap into emotion to get the most of feedback conversations and have the conversations regularly. Don’t wait six months or a year to have a discussion that can offer value now.

Sometimes we define feedback too narrowly. There are three basic kinds of feedback – evaluation, coaching, and appreciation. A simple way to the calm the fear of the unknown is to be clear about what kind of feedback is taking place. If you are the recipient and you don’t know, ask instead of fretting. Feedback is a two-way conversation and should be treated as such.

At the most primitive level, feedback taps the human fight, flight, or freeze response. Humans are hardwired to want to survive and thrive. Depending on how feedback is given and received, it can be a source of valuable information or a threat to our survival, so to speak, by confirming our worst fears about ourselves and affirming our fear of failure.

A good way to avoid the latter is to be aware of the emotions welling up inside of us. Feedback can incite any one of the follow types of emotional triggers in the giver or receiver of feedback: Truth Triggers, Identity Triggers, and Relationship Triggers.

I go into detail about each of these triggers in my on-demand course, “Triggers: Taking Charge of Your Emotions During Feedback Conversations,” teaching you how to recognize and respond to the various types of emotional triggers.

Suffice it to say, while emotional triggers can be barriers to productive and meaningful feedback conversations, they are also the keys to managing our emotions so that we can have more fruitful conversations.

It’s time to take the fear out of feedback. Feedback conversations that are never had or conversations gone bad are costing people and organizations way too much.

Take my on-demand course to learn how you can take charge of your emotions and have better feedback conversations.