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Avoid the Tension. State your Intention!



Wanting to share critical feedback without demotivating employees is one of the most common concerns we hear about when training or coaching managers and IC’s. Their apprehension is both a sign of compassion and an obstacle to sharing meaningful feedback. 


That concern, however, is often unfounded. 


In studying engagement in hybrid and remote teams, Gallup found that 80% of people who received meaningful feedback in the past week were fully engaged in their work – a factor that was far more important than the number of days in the office. 


The question then shouldn’t be, “Should I share my feedback?” but, rather, How should I share my feedback?”


One of the most powerful ways to share feedback without damaging a relationship or demotivating someone is to state your intentions at the outset.


Research shows that stating intentions sets the tone for the conversation while positively impacting how the other person feels about the conversation. 


Here’s an example:


“I’d like to share some feedback with you about how we’ve been working together. I know it’s important to both of us to land this client, so my intention in sharing this is to make sure we both feel heard in the process.”

By sharing intentions, you ensure the other person knows you care, which always leads to more impactful communication. For even greater impact, the example above also identifies a common goal: “I know it’s important to both of us to land this client.”


So the next time you need to share a difficult message with someone, remember: Avoid the tension. State your intention!

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