3 Excuses Good Managers Use to Avoid Giving Feedback
Elizabeth Heron is an HR manager who oversees the execution of the company’s internal strategy. She helps employees to find their career goals and motivates them through the process of reaching the ideal job.
Managers avoiding feedback are like fish that avoid water. One of a manager’s main roles at a company is to provide employees with both negative and positive feedback when appropriate. Yet so many managers avoid giving feedback and will go to great lengths to avoid telling their employees how they are doing.

Offering consistent feedback to employees has many benefits. This type of managing can help employees:

– Understand what skills they need to improve upon

– Feel confident about the skills they have mastered

– Gain the knowledge they need to do a good job

– Use their skills to work toward a common goal

– Understand how they have improved over time

When a manager fails to provide feedback for an employee, it sets up a poor setting for growth and accomplishment. Employees need constant feedback to learn how they can improve at their jobs and to feel accomplished about their successes.

The most successful managers are the ones who can provide plenty of feedback in a positive manner. Anyone who wants to know how to apply for a managing position should consider learning this skill. If you need more tips and ideas regarding this matter, you can go to iResumeCoverLetter.

Yet, many managers still fear feedback. Some of the most common reasons managers are afraid of feedback include:

– Lack of confidence

– Fear of confrontation

– Fear of seeming weak

Lack of Confidence

The number one reason that managers don’t want to give their employees feedback is because they lack the confidence to do so. Many managers simply don’t know how to give feedback. Fear is something that holds most of us back in life, but managers experience this trifold when it comes to feedback.

There are two main reasons managers might lack confidence when it comes to feedback:

– They were never trained to give feedback

– They have no experience giving feedback

Most of our fears come from the unknown. What will happen when I tell an employee that he or she needs to change actions or behavior in the workplace? Will the employee act out in anger? Will the employee threaten to quit? What will the other employees think of this? Will they hate me because they’ll think I’m mean?

This lack of self-confidence can hold a manager back. Giving feedback is an important part of the job, so it’s imperative the manager start practicing as soon as possible.

Managers should start by giving detailed feedback to employees in a scheduled routine. Employees will be prepared for the feedback when they know they’ll be evaluated.

The easiest way to do this is to schedule performance evaluations on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. This way, employees should also have some idea of the feedback they’re going to receive. They shouldn’t feel blindsided by a huge amount of feedback at the end of the year because they’ll be receiving a small bit of feedback throughout the year.

Many managers were also never trained in giving feedback. Many managers simply don’t know the appropriate way to offer feedback, so they go about giving feedback in all the wrong ways. This is a sure setup for failure.

Companies that offer management training programs tend to be more successful than companies that allow their managers to simply “wing it” when it comes to feedback. Management training programs can help show managers that not all feedback is “bad” and how successful good feedback can be.

Managers can even practice giving feedback to employees through these training programs. They are more likely to be successful if they have the support they need during the process. They can also talk with their mentors regarding any doubts or fears regarding the process.

The best way to help someone build confidence is to show the person he or she has all the tools needed to complete the task.

The number one reason that managers don’t want to give their employees feedback is that they lack the confidence to do so.

Fear of Confrontation

Fear of confrontation is extremely common in our society. As children, we were taught to “be polite,” “never talk back” and “treat others the way we want to be treated.” All of these ideas are extremely conflicting when it comes to feedback.

Fears of confrontation are directly related to a fear of not being liked. Let’s face it: no one actually wants feedback. This is why many managers will avoid feedback at all costs. Many managers also fear that their employees will “hate” them or ostracize them if they don’t like the feedback they receive.

Unfortunately, sometimes being a manager means that you’ll need to deliver bad news to someone at some point. This is why consistent feedback is helpful. If the employees have consistent feedback, they’ll have some idea what type of feedback they’ll receive at their next progress meeting.

Confrontation doesn’t need to be something managers fear. In fact, they can take control of the situation by turning a “confrontational” situation into a simple conversation. Feedback doesn’t need to be negative or confrontational. Managers need to know that they can change the tone of the conversation by offering a positive narrative to help employees feel as though they have the power to change the current circumstances.

Many managers are also afraid of how employees will react to feedback. At one point in a manager’s career, he or she probably gave an employee feedback that the employee was not ready to hear. The employee probably reacted in a way that prevented the manager from ever wanting to give feedback again.

Unfortunately, the manager may not have given the feedback to the employee in an appropriate manner. Or, the employee may not have understood why he or she was receiving such a negative review if the review felt as though it was out of the blue.

Many employees often feel blindsided by this type of feedback, and managers can avoid such negative reactions by offering plenty of feedback at regular intervals. It also helps to have a clear understanding of the proper ways in which to offer employees feedback. Ultimately, there’s no need to be afraid of how employees will react when you know how to handle their reactions.

Fear of Appearing Weak

Another problem that arises when managers fear giving feedback is the fear of appearing weak. Though this issue is often less of an issue than the other reasons cited above, it does happen. Managers often fear that offering praise or positive feedback might make them look weak or too full of praise.

Yet offering employees praise is just as important as offering them negative feedback. In fact, one of the best ways to offer negative feedback is with a little praise. Many managers find that employees are more likely to take their negative feedback better when they have a “spoonful of sugar” to help wash the negative news down.

Offering employees praise isn’t something that makes managers look weak. In fact, it makes them look like strong leaders. Look at some of the strongest leaders in society. People such as Oprah, Richard Branson, and Barack Obama all consistently give their peers and employees consistent positive feedback. They often even give their employees the majority of the credit when it comes to their successes. This isn’t a mistake.


Managers who focus on the positive are more likely to curb negative results and actions than the managers who consistently focus on “bad news.” Yet it’s also important to learn how to tell employees the truth when it comes to feedback. Sugar coating a situation can make the situation even worse. The important thing to remember is to offer concise, correct and kind feedback.

Managers need not fear feedback when it comes to dealing with employees. There are plenty of ways to offer feedback without seeming mean, unkind—or weak. In fact, feedback is one of the most important skills a manager can master. Anyone who wants to know how to apply for a managing position should consider taking a class that teaches how to provide feedback in an effective manner.

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