Recapping ATD 2019: 5 Reasons Feedback Fails

I had the pleasure of presenting ideas about offering “in the moment” feedback at the ATD 2019 conference in Washington, D.C. this year. If you didn’t get to attend the ATD conference, here’s a quick recap of one of the concepts I presented: reasons why feedback fails.

5 Reasons Feedback Fails

1. We Lump it All Together

When we lump all types of feedback together, it can become a convoluted and confusing conversation. Instead, differentiate the different types of feedback—appreciative, remedial and developmental—in different conversations. Offer developmental feedback by inserting it into coaching conversations.

2. It’s for the Wrong Person

When you’re in a conversation of offering feedback, the focus is likely on the wrong person—yourself. Instead, appreciate the other person’s worldview and look through the eyes of others to understand how they are interpreting your feedback.

3. Asking, “What’s Wrong?”

Asking, “What’s wrong?” will likely get you in a sticky situation of fixing the other person’s problems. Instead, focus on: “What’s possible?” (read more about this question in this blog.) That will turn the conversation to help people envision the benefit from doing something differently.

4. We Don’t Know What to Do with It

Have you ever noticed a limiting behavior in someone, and then ignored it because you feel so intimidated by giving feedback? When you insert this feedback into a coaching conversation, you build the skills and confidence to offer feedback to anyone, at any time.

5. We View it as an Evaluative Event

Rather than viewing it as a one-time event, Cylient believes in offering feedback anytime, anywhere in day-to-day conversations. In order to truly master giving feedback, make offering feedback and coaching a way of life for you and your organization.

Feedback is essential if you want to make organizations’ cultures as meaningful and productive as possible. Let’s commit to learning with and from each other.

If you want to learn more or you have questions, you can visit this link to find more resources. Or, reach out at any time at

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