‘If you were doing something that was upsetting or irritating your colleagues or manager would you want to know?’
When I ask this question during training workshops nearly everyone says yes.
And yet when I ask the same people:
‘So if a colleague at work is doing something that is upsetting or irritating you do you always tell them?’
The answer is invariably no.
This highlights the lack of confidence most people have about their ability to give feedback in an appropriate way.
Over the last few years I have run many workshops designed to help people give feedback and raise difficult issues with others. Although these have been positively received I have been aware that participants often leave feeling consciously incompetent – they know what they are not doing but still do not feel confident to do it.
I guess that is not surprising – many of us were brought up to be ‘polite’ and ‘not make a fuss’ and if those were the behaviours that were rewarded as a child they are the ones we will often repeat in our adult lives.
However, it doesn’t mean they can’t be changed it just takes a lot of practice, positive reinforcement and good training!