How to Support a Team Member Who Fights Feedback

  • Anita Rajendran-See
  • 06 May 2022
  • 3 MIN READ


To create a culture where feedback is accepted, you must know how to support a team member who fights feedback. Often, people are uncomfortable with receiving feedback, but an effort has to be made for the organization and its employees to grow and improve.

1. Reinforce Feedback and Make It Meaningful

When you give someone feedback, make sure that you reinforce it with things they are doing well. It will allow the employee to feel more comfortable with receiving the negative feedback and will not put them on the defensive.

2. Make Sure the Feedback is Timed

Timing matters when you’re giving feedback. If you deliver the feedback in an informal setting, such as over lunch or coffee, it will become less formal and easier to receive. If you have to deliver the feedback in a formal setting, prepare for it and make sure that you have all of your points organized to be stated clearly and effectively.

3. Look For Progress, Not Perfection

When providing feedback, be on the lookout for progress and improvements that are being made rather than expecting perfection. It will allow employees to feel more comfortable looking at their progress instead of dwelling on their weaknesses.

4. Praise the Team Member’s Efforts

One of the most effective ways to facilitate a team member who fights feedback is to make sure that they know that the feedback is being given to support them. If you praise your team member for their efforts, it will show them that you want them to succeed and that you’re willing to help keep them on track.

5. Ask Open-Ended Questions About the Problem

When providing feedback, it’s essential to be open-ended rather than pointed. The latter approach makes it difficult for team members to receive feedback because they aren’t clear on what is said. However, when you ask open-ended questions, you create a safe environment where team members feel comfortable receiving the feedback and will respond in a way that they can apply the information to their work.

6. Ask the Team Member What They Would Like to Do Differently

The final step when providing feedback is asking your team member what they would like to do differently. It allows them to be fully engaged and to be able to learn from the feedback rather than shy away from it.  


Asking someone for feedback shouldn’t be painful, but it can be if you don’t make sure to prepare beforehand. The key is to be prepared and make sure that you are providing the feedback to allow the team member to have a safe environment to receive it.  

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