Why Feedback Fails

There’s an insidious practice that’s been snaking its way through organizations in the past years; and it’s called Feedback. We’ve all been told that we need to get better at delivering feedback, accepting feedback, and improving ourselves because of it.  We’ve even been told that feedback is the best – sometimes the only­ – way to improve ourselves and grow. Feedback might stop you from making mistakes, but it will never help you excel. Click To Tweet

But if you’ve read my article with Ashley Goodall in this month’s issue of Harvard Business Review, you know that’s a myth. Feedback might stop you from making mistakes, but it will never help you excel. And it’s high time we stopped pretending that it does.

Read the Article



  1. Dan Scott March 5, 2019 at 5:20 AM - Reply

    This video helps to capsulize your HBR article. Looking forward to the book and learning some practical applications of these concepts to help our company. I’m in a Fortune 100 company and we’re currently overhauling our performance management system. I’m hearing that ‘avalanche’ of feedback mantra and hoping to interject the concept into the conversation that ‘feedback is only good in a coaching context’. Keep the episodes coming!

  2. Garrett Bozylinsky May 16, 2019 at 10:42 AM - Reply

    I think the article is excellent, but I have one point of disagreement. I think the article treats going outside one’s comfort zone too broadly when it states, “Take us very far out of our comfort zones, and our brains stop paying attention to anything other than surviving the experience.”

    In my personal and managerial experience, going outside your _strength_ comfort zone actually enhances growth in that strength area. I would agree, however, that taking someone outside their comfort zone in a non-strength area is detrimental to increasing learning.

    Challenging oneself and others in their “strength” zones by going beyond the strength comfort zone seems a positive way to build that strength. Otherwise, the strength could easily atrophy, especially in technology.

  3. Julie November 27, 2019 at 8:19 AM - Reply

    Aww, big bummer – I love the message he’s saying and I was going to use this in a senior leadership presentation to build a business case for building a better team culture in my company but the music in this video is too busy/distracting from the deep thoughts he’s speaking in this message… I don’t mind the graphics – those are helpful, but the music isn’t a good fit in my opinion.

    I’ll try to find another similar video….any suggestions?

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