We now shift our focus to the other side of the coin; the beleaguered manager who withholds feedback because of a resistant employee population that prefers gold stars to criticism.
Social Media Has Trained Us to Ignore Criticism
To appreciate the feedback challenge that managers now face, consider your own experience as a consumer where you may have been deputized as a marketing agent. The setup will likely be familiar to you. A cashier, waiter, or hotel manager boldly asks you to post a glowing review on Google or TripAdvisor without asking you for direct feedback about their services. If you comply, without offering candid constructive feedback to the provider of the service, then you are complicit in what I call a “skip-level endorsement”. This increasingly common dynamic exists because society has cut out the middleman (or middleperson) on the way to advancement. The narcissism of social media that only values what can be publicly curated, asks itself, “Why bother to ask for personal feedback when you can take a shortcut and lobby for an endorsement instead?”
Social media narcissism prompts the same question in the workplace as well, challenging managers in the form of these scenarios:
- An employee who does not ask for feedback asks you for an endorsement or introduction to someone in your network on LinkedIn
- Your employee wants you to advocate on their behalf for a promotion or raise despite the fact that they do not prompt you for thorough performance reviews or your candid observations
- Your employee challenges your constructive feedback citing others who are happy with their performance
These expressions of entitlement are causing a growing number of managers to take the path of least resistance by avoiding candid feedback; a dangerous implication for employees who have no idea of their workplace strengths or hindrances. It is a slow and steady career killer.
If you are a manager who seeks a simple approach that you can use to take the fear and guesswork out of providing feedback, keep reading.How to Give Feedback to Resistant Employees