Get permission before giving feedback. (It's for your sake, not just theirs.)

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Get permission before giving feedback

*THUD* goes the manager’s head against the wall.

“I keep giving my team members feedback. But not only aren’t they taking it, my 360 review says they want more feedback from me!”

When you get permission before giving feedback, two things happen:

1️⃣ They confirm that they’re ready to hear what future behavior you want to encourage.

2️⃣ They understand clearly that what you’re about to say next is indeed feedback.

Giving feedback without getting permission first is like tossing them a ball when they’re not looking and hoping they look up in time to catch it.

Getting permission can take many forms:

✅ “Can I give you some feedback?”

✅ “Is now a good time for some feedback?”

✅ “Are you open to some feedback right now?”

If they say, “No” it’s pointless to argue. If they’re not ready to hear it, then your feedback won’t land. It’s better to hold it until they’re ready. Many times they’ll come back to you later to ask what your feedback was going to be. When they do finally ask for it, your feedback is many times more likely to make a difference.

I first learned this concept from the Manager Tools podcast, a huge source of help for me during my management journey. Find the first in their four-part series on effective feedback at

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