Feedback? No thanks!

mission. vision. values roles and responsibilities the board/ceo partnership Mar 06, 2023
Feedback? No thanks!


This blog post on feedback is relevant for the Chair/Chief Executive Officer partnership but also for the Chair/Board member relationship, and indeed any situation. Most people say they want feedback (yes, praise me!) but not necessarily suggestions for improvement (oh no!). Here is how you can make it work for both parties.


Why are we so reluctant to give (and receive!) feedback when the goal is improvement through working together?


We say we want the outcome but not necessarily the pain of self-reflection.


Here are a few suggestions for you, especially if you are the Chair – enhancing your partnership with your Chief Executive Officer and your colleagues around the Board table.


Reframe the feedback. “Advice” is much more acceptable. The focus is on support and help, not potentially negative feedback. “Might I give you some advice” (helpful!)? Or “Might I give you some feedback” (oh, oh, here it comes!).


Make it immediate. Who remembers a week from now how they handled a situation?


Remove the fear and sense of doom. This can be done most easily by providing regular positive feedback. Too often our feedback is only negative and brings concern and dread with it.


Be specific. Generalizations are fraught, especially if the examples are a blur. Provide regular concrete advice and positive feedback whenever helpful – and positive feedback, when warranted of course, is always helpful for building relationships.

Share this article with your friends and colleagues!



While you may think that this is unnecessary, ask for confirmation (repeating) of what you had to say so you each have the same understanding.


Keep a record. If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen. Plain and simple. Especially if a pattern is developing.


What are your main “pain points” dealing with orientation and onboarding?

What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.


Is Feedback the Only Way Your Board Can Improve?

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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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