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Jul 9, 201501:23 PMForward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

Stop the mind reading — give candid feedback

(page 1 of 2)

Providing feedback (positive and constructive) is Management 101. Giving feedback to direct reports, coworkers, or team members is essential to success. Providing upward feedback, while sometimes tricky, helps contribute to a transparent environment focused on growth and development.

If feedback is essential, why do we see so many situations where employees don’t know where they stand? Why do some employees only get feedback once a year during their performance review?

Which of the following situations sound familiar?

  • You notice that sales aren’t where they need to be so you make a sarcastic comment during a sales meeting hoping the team catches on that you aren’t happy.
  • You’re leading a project that is behind schedule and you jokingly laugh about how all of your jobs may be in jeopardy if everyone can’t get things on track.
  • You avoid giving feedback to a team member hoping they will self-correct the situation. When they don’t, you lose your cool and provide feedback that is emotionally driven and less fact-based.

We all know that feedback is important, yet we often fail to communicate this useful information on a regular basis. We expect people to read our mind and figure things out based on innuendoes. Managers will often tell me that they do not want to “beat people up” by providing constructive feedback. And, while this should be Management 101, I see leaders at all levels guilty of this. Executive team members who aren’t direct with one of their senior team members. Mid-level managers or frontline supervisors who avoid confronting an issue hoping it will go away. Coworkers who talk behind someone’s back instead of giving feedback directly to the other party.


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About This Blog

 Diane Hamilton, PCC, SPHR, is the owner and founder of Calibra, a coaching and consulting firm focused on maximizing leadership potential. Nilesh Patel is the principal attorney of the Mahadev Law Group, LLC, which focuses on human resources and employment law issues for organizations. He can be reached at Both bloggers are members of Wisconsin SHRM, which is dedicated to being the state leader in HR management and the premier source for HR expertise and resources. More information can be found at You can follow the WI SHRM blog at



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