Sometimes it’s not.
When you don’t have something intelligent or productive to say, don’t provide feedback. It’s bad for the recipient and it’s bad for you.
I understand we live in a time where feedback is a gift and in the era of 360’s, performance appraisals, constant coaching and mentoring, and a healthy environment of job insecurity where we seek feedback as a form of validation that we’re not getting canned there is a tremendous amount of pressure to give and ask for feedback.
But just because someone asks you for feedback or you’re directed to provide feedback, it doesn’t mean you should. Yes – I know some HR manager’s head is exploding right now and a touchy feely executive coach is having an embolism but someone has to put a stop to the stupidity. I figure if I see it, I own it (which is one of my personal leadership maxims I explain in this post and in my book). If I see a problem, it’s my responsibility as a leader to point it out and work toward a solution. This post is part of that solution.
Yep. I’m ranty today. That’s because I’ve seen too much poor and lazy feedback lately and the negative effects it can have are tremendous. Allow me to explain.