Taking the Fear out of Feedback: Top Phrases to Foster Trust, Respect and Safety

While many would agree that feedback is necessary and essential as a way of growing and developing people, it’s oftentimes a really unpleasant experience.

I’m Esther Weinberg and I’m the Chief Leadership Development Officer and the Founder of The Ready Zone.

There was an article in the Harvard Business Review called “The Feedback Fallacy” that illustrated perfectly the struggles with giving feedback. “Humans are unreliable raters of other humans.” They go on to say that, “our evaluations are deeply colored by our own understanding of what we’re rating others on, our own sense of what good looks like for a particular competency, our harshness or leniency as raters, and our own inherent and unconscious biases.”

In the article what they say that’s practical and helpful is “We can tell someone whether his voice grates on us; whether he’s persuasive to us; whether his presentation is boring to us. We may not be able to tell him where he stands, but we can tell him where he stands with us. Those are our truths, not his. This is a humbler claim, but at least it’s accurate.”

Feedback is an integral part of developing others and you want to always do it in a way that is thoughtful, respectful, and that the person can understand the feedback and be receptive to it. Check out the video for more…


There is an old adage that feedback is a gift. Well that depends on who is giving it and who is receiving it. Always make sure your feedback has intention and engenders trust, respect and safety. That will build the environment for them to be more receptive to your input.

If you are interested in digging deeper in what we talked about, the best next step is to fill out our Needs Assessment. I’ll be happy to connect with you. And remember…Better Leaders, Better People, Better Results.