Business Communication · Employee Coaching · Leadership · Mentoring · Organizational Development

10 Employee Feedback Statements: FACT or MYTH?

To get a downloadable and printable copy of this article, send in an email request at >REQUEST FEEDBACK FACT MYTH ANSWER SHEET

Employee feedback systems are central to any organization’s culture in terms of having employees feel valued and respected.

In a recent training I facilitated on High-Impact Feedback and Listening, this Development Dimensions International activity worked great for getting everyone involved at the beginning of the training.  I was happy to see the company document on using social media to gain interest in these concepts.

Please leave comments: what was some of your most useful feedback and what made it useful?

Do you have a feedback horror story to share? What made the feedback so awful?

Let’s get to the activity: FACT or MYTH? Which ones will you get correct?

  1. People generally receive regular, useful feedback about their job performance.
    1. MYTH: people report that they either don’t get enough feedback about their job performance or, when they do, it’s not clear and actionable.
  2. Publicly delivered developmental feedback usually increases the feedback recipient’s anxiety.
    1. FACT: don’t offer constructive coaching in front of an employee’s peer group.
  3. It’s best if people get feedback only from their supervisor or manager.
    1. MYTH: multiple feedback sources improve the quality and range of feedback. Subscribe to the Relatable Leader podcast on iTunes to learn more.
  4. Seeking feedback is a sign of low skills.
    1. MYTH: seeking feedback is a sign of effective learning orientation and healthy self-esteem…unless it’s daily about the same topics wrapped in needy attention-getting ploys, but that’s a whole other blog post! Or, you can go to and email me a request for coaching on how to deal with those employees.
  5. Prior success in a task can reduce the tendency to seek feedback.
    1. FACT: yep, it’s true that success can lead us to thinking improvement isn’t needed or even possible. Keep evolving people!
  6. A person who reacts defensively when hearing developmental feedback is typically a low performer.
    1. MYTH: even rock star employees can get sensitive in those first few moments of developmental coaching. I find the most passionate contributors to sometimes be highly sensitive because they are hard on themselves and get disappointed in themselves quickly. With effective communication skills, the feedback giver and receiver will get over the speed bump within a few minutes and move into a productive discussion. Want to learn the formula for effective feedback? Email your request at

Hint: it’s not the tired “sandwich formula”!

  1. Exceptional organization have higher levels of feedback and debate than mediocre organizations.
    1. FACT: open communication about differences, alternatives, and improvement opportunities leads to greater innovation, better team work, and enhanced performance. A company I work with read the book, Candor and Curiosity, as their leadership team book group read and it helped them navigate healthy debate. I created a tool for them which they enlarged to hang on the wall of their conference room as a quick reference to the guidelines in the book.
  2. People more naturally provide constructive criticism than they do positive feedback.
    1. MYTH: though many employees might feel that’s the case with their supervisors, many people shy away from offering developmental feedback because they are fearful of negative reactions. Sometimes leads and supervisors aren’t even clear if this responsibility is in their wheelhouse – check the job description!
  3. High performers don’t need feedback about what they are doing well because they already know they are good employees.
    1. MYTH: so often the low performers suck the energy and time from your day while the high performers carry on with little to no feedback or praise. It’s important to tell them why what they are doing is effective and appreciated so they keep doing it! It’s up to you to know your individual team members, though, so you know which type of recognition will be most meaningful to your high performers.
  4. The most pervasive barrier to listening is the compulsion to prepare a response to what the other person is saying.
    1. FACT: Since the ages of Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato, the ability to state your “argument” has been a valued skill. People naturally tend to defend their ideas. Listen all the way through to what the other person is saying; ask open-ended questions to learn more about why they hold their view. “Tell me more…” is a good tool for being non-defensive and engaging your critical thinking skills before interrupting to defend or justify your behaviors.

Are you interested in scheduling the High-Impact Feedback and Listening training for your employees? Butte County employers can schedule an on-site training. Outside of Butte County, we can schedule a customized webinar for your employees. You can contact me through the Butte College Training Place or email me from my website:

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