What Do Leaders Love To Give But Hate To Receive?

THIS WEEK’S BLOG -> What Do Leaders Love To Give But Hate To Receive?

READ -> If you don’t want to regret your life in 30 years, make this one choice right now. Really good article

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VIDEO-> What I learned This Week – Feedback

What Do Leaders Love To Give But Hate To Receive?

For the first 7-8 years of my 11-year coaching career, I was not very good at receiving feedback. I loved giving feedback but struggled at receiving feedback.

I had the mindset that I knew what areas I needed to improve in. I didn’t need other people telling me how to get better. Or so I thought.

On one hand, I was a person who desired to grow and progress and would seek out ways to get better. But on another hand, I don’t think I had a growth mindset because I was always hesitant to receive feedback.

Maybe not hesitant to receive feedback from everybody, but almost everybody. There was just a select few that I was open to feedback from. At the time, those people were not close enough to me to see where I needed to improve.

I wasn’t as open to feedback from the people who actually could give me accurate feedback.

Pride? For sure!

Did it hold me back? Yep!

Leaders love to give feedback but struggle to receive it. Just like me, they want to grow but deep down they don’t like to hear where they are in need of improvements.

If you are a leader and can’t receive feedback, you will put a lid on your growth as a leader.

I want to talk about both giving and receiving feedback.


Let’s start with giving. There are a few rules for giving feedback.

  • Make it specific. “Atta boy” is not specific. “Great job boxing your man out” that is specific.
  • Give it with energy. When you give feedback, even critical feedback, it should propel the person forward and not crush his/her spirit.
  • Make sure it is well thought out. I don’t necessarily mean the off the cuff feedback given in practice. I mean the feedback at the end of the month or the end of the season. As a leader, your words carry more power than you probably realize. Measure your words carefully.


Now let’s talk about receiving feedback.

First, let’s talk about why we avoid it. It stings to hear someone say you need to get better in an area. Especially when you are the leader/coach.

I have found the longer you are in a role, the less willing we are to invite feedback.

Second, I think it can be a sign of insecurity and a lack of growth mindset. (It pains me to write both of those reasons!)

So how do we do it?

We embrace it!

We look forward to it!

We relish it!

And we have to create consistent time to receive feedback from your athletes as well as your staff.

One coach I know has feedback Friday with all of his athletes. He will (generally) hand out a sheet of paper and the athletes can give feedback on that paper.

He will then read them and handle each appropriately. Sometimes it hurts but he needs to hear it. Sometimes the feedback is a communication issue. And sometimes he disagrees with it.

But he invites and doesn’t shame the giver of the feedback or get defensive.

Week after week he does this. He said it has been the biggest catalyst for his growth.

Back to giving feedback. As you give feedback appropriately, you are modeling for your athletes and staff how to give feedback properly.

It is so important that you create a culture of honest and consistent feedback in your program. Your athletes and staff will feel valued and you and your program will get better.

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Travis Wyckoff

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