The Assumptions Employees Make When They Don’t Get Feedback - Deepstash
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Without helpful feedback, employees will make up stories

Without helpful feedback, employees will make up stories

Employees often make up their own stories when they don't get helpful feedback.

The stories they tell themselves are often a problem for them (and for the manager). By giving helpful feedback, you'll give your employees the data they need to do more of what's working, and give them less opportunities to make up their own stories.


210 reads

Story 1: “As long as I’m not creating trouble for my manager, I’m doing fine.”

Most professionals prefer to know what good and not-so-good impact they're having. If satisfactory performance is "not a problem employee", you will probably sit with "non-troublemakers" instead of high-performing, committed and engaged professionals.

Instead, let your employees know specifically what you appreciate and value when they meet expectations, and share your perspective on how they could improve if they fall short.


184 reads

Story 2: “My manager doesn’t think I can take feedback well.”

Story 2: “My manager doesn’t think I can take feedback well.”

It's the manager's job to create a psychologically safe environment where an employee won't be punished when they make a mistake. If you fear that feedback won't be well-received, it may be that you're falling short:

  • You're not helping your direct report to have more impact.
  • You're not modelling accountable behaviour if you don't give feedback because you fear how it will be taken.
  • You may be contributing to a lack of psychological safety.

Instead, consider why you fear your colleague won't receive feedback well. If you don't have a good reason, go ahead and give feedback. Just do it.


125 reads

Story 3: “My manager doesn’t think I can change.”

If you really believe your employee cannot change, you will not offer him resources or opportunities to change.

Instead, adopt a growth mindset for your employee and yourself. Employees with growth mindsets welcome challenges and work harder and more effectively, making them better contributors to their organisations. You will give more feedback because you believe they will rise to the challenge.


134 reads



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