Berger Leadership Blog

Jan 25, 2019
Categories: Communication

7 feedback pitfalls

B. Dan BergerFeedback is necessary for growth and development. Without it, how do we know what we're doing well or what we can improve on? As a leader in your organization, being able to effectively communicate your comments can make all the difference in how they are received – and acted upon.

Leadership guru Lolly Daskal writes that "the job of a great leader, manager and boss is to give feedback in a way that comes across as a gift – something useful, not something that makes the recipient feel bad about who they are and what they do."

To that end, Daskal offers seven phrases leaders should avoid when providing feedback:

  1. If only you…It's almost impossible to turn this phrase into something positive, and as soon as you say it the recipient will likely tune out whatever comes next.

  2. To be honest…Providing constructive feedback should always be honest. This phrase makes it seem as though you might be holding some opinions back.

  3. No offense…When you say this, it indicates that whatever you're about to say will likely be taken offensively. Daskal recommends eliminating this from all conversations.

  4. You should…This phrase implies judgement. Instead, use language that will help the recipient reflect on what they could have done differently and come to their own conclusion.

  5. If I were you…Unless directly asked, "it's best to keep this opinion to yourself," Daskal writes.

  6. Try to be more like…Direct comparisons to a peer won't improve any situation, but being clear about what the issue is and collaborating on solutions will.

  7. If you want to succeed…This comes across intimidating. As a leader, you should work with your employees to identify what success looks like to them and then build goals to help them achieve it.

The quality of your communication is directly related to your effectiveness as a leader. When having difficult conversations, it's important to stay focused on addressing the issue at hand without making the recipient feel bad. These phrases from Daskal will help keep you on the right path.

Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).

About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

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