A feedback experience

Thank You For Telling Me

If we want feedback to be useful, we need to understand it, experience it and use it. When we truly start to listen to each other, we become more open as well as build trust and respect. We improve both our personal and professional relationships. Our engagement and motivation grows, and good results follow.


“Thank you for telling me” feedback training is also available online.



This training will explain:

What feedback is, why we need it, and when we use it
• How to express criticism
• How to “force” someone to tell you what they really think of you
• How to listen to unpleasant feedback and experience unpleasant feelings
• What to do after a feedback conversation


We will have practical experience in:

giving and receiving feedback personally and in groups
listening and recognising our own defence mechanisms and those of others
making feedback “work” so that it useful rather than defeating

…As I walked in, I was immediately put at ease by the chairs, which were placed in circle – as if to say that here we will be honest and try our best to improve ourselves and not just listen to a lecture. Even when it was over I wanted to stay, talk some more, analyse cases. Later on, meeting my colleagues who also attended the seminar, I wanted to wink at them, as if we were in on some sort of private secret…


…I enjoyed the slow pace – at first I wanted things to go faster so we could save some time, but looking at it now, the few minutes we might have saved wouldn’t have made any difference, and instead we had enough time to say what was on our minds and listen to others. The seminar flew by…


…For some reason I thought that if we had this kind of informal seminar (which gives us a chance not just to gain or improve knowledge, but get to know ourselves and others) at least twice a year, the atmosphere in our team would improve, and we’d have a chance to get away from work for a little while. It was quite relaxing…


…I’ve been to many seminars, but I’ve never listened and participated so actively, without a moment of boredom. It seemed we were speaking of simple things, which we have heard about before, but it just got more and more interesting…

…I was very happy with the connection we built. It was honest and quite personal, and I loved the way you looked at us when we opened up, supporting us, admitting that you have also felt (or still feel) this way. You were also very tactful in the way you did not pressure us into speaking but waited for us to explode with the need to talk. Your slides summed things up very well (it seemed there was nothing to add or take away), and I loved the tasks, which were very relevant and helped us immediately grasp the importance and impact of feedback…


…Yesterday I tried all things I learned at home, and today I’m going to test them at work!!!


…I especially enjoyed the task to draw our defence mechanisms. It was very deep and impactful, I was impressed… I believe in the power of feedback!


…The seminar was unexpectedly interesting, sensitive, instructive, and useful. I especially liked the creative practical tasks and your insightful, intriguing thoughts. I left feeling richer inside than before. During all these years at work I’ve had many seminars, but this one really touched me. Perhaps because it gave me the opportunity to look into myself…

How do I find the courage to give feedback? What if the person doesn’t accept it? What if they get offended?


If this habit – giving feedback – is not something you are used to in your relationship, it is likely they will not accept your opinion. Especially if no one asked for it. If they didn’t ask for it, how can you know they are ready to accept it? But if you really want to help, the best way is to start with yourself. Ask for feedback about something you do. Say thank you. Then ask again. In time, the person will see that you can listen and respect their opinion, and perhaps be encouraged to ask for your feedback as well. Then you can give it.



How do I thank someone for feedback?


“Thank you for telling me” is fine. Or “Thank you, I would like to think over what I heard, I need some time.” This will give you space to calm down if the feedback made you emotional. It will help you overcome the impulse to get defensive or get into explanations. When you relax and think about it, you might have some questions or even see that the feedback was actually a gift.

Should I give feedback to someone who has just given me feedback?


No, because that might lead to a long and winding discussion, so next time that person will probably decide it’s better to say nothing.



What should I do if I disagree with the feedback, be it good or bad? Should I object?


Even if the feedback is, in your opinion, 99 percent wrong, you should still thank the person and ask them to give you some time. Then, try to think about whether there was at least 1 percent of truth in it. Maybe the other person saw something you didn’t?

When you feel calmer, ask them to specify: “I thought about what you said, and I want to understand it better. What in my behaviour made you think so? Is it something I did once, or repeatedly?” Then patiently listen again.

Of course, you may come across malicious people who tell lies about you. Perhaps that person was in a bad mood, perhaps they wanted to offend you, or maybe just spoke without thinking… You can always check by asking others.

Most importantly, know that it is you – and no one else – who has to decide what to do next. To respond or not. To believe or not. To change – or not.



What should I do it the feedback exceeds expectations? That is, if I get undeserved praise and compliments? That happens too.


Yes, it does. The rules are the same. Thank them. If you feel uncomfortable and don’t want to listen, ALWAYS ask for some time. For example: “Thank you for your opinion, it has made me quite emotional, I need some time to think about this.”

When you do think about it, perhaps you will see it contains some truth? Or perhaps you should think about why you find it hard to accept a compliment?

If you can’t find the question you want to ask, or disagree with the answer, let me know:


I will send you a personal reply and, if you agree, add your question here.

Other organizational training

On-demand training


Why do you think you need training?


Do you: want to achieve better results? Experience conflict in your team? Need more creativity? Want to change your work culture? Need to strengthen teamwork? Have problems in period of change? Have trouble with time management or communication? Want to help your executives improve? Think that training, whatever it may be, is a good way to motivate and engage your employees?


In that case, I can arrange training according to your needs. But first I would like to hear you out.



If you are interested, please contact me at this address:


…during the very first hours of our seminar we built trust, which is very important for a group of people who don’t know each other. In some unwitting, even mystical way, the group was brought together by genuine honesty and sincere love for each of us – we were ready for a geesestyle leadership, rather than a buffalostyle leadership (as described in Flight of the Buffalo by J. A. Belasco and R. C. Stayer)…


…this gave me an answer to the question if leadership is innate or something that can be learned. It was one of the best seminars I’ve ever been to, as it helped me look deeper, wider, and further – and all this without a single slide!


…that very same day I sent a letter of motivation for a leadership position, and was very glad to use some of the ideas I picked up at your seminar – to me, they were pure gold…


…I attended your seminar with my manager, and I’m so sorry he hasn’t begun using your insights or advice… Meanwhile I can’t stop telling my colleagues about the experience I had. I’m trying to use feedback with everyone, and it works like magic!


…I read some of the books you recommended, and shared my thoughts with colleagues – we all thought them over and discussed them…

…the way you teach is perfect, and you do it very well – your honesty and ability to pick up signs the people give is a rare gift…


…a few thoughts I found especially useful: advice on how to help the most valued employees open up, and how to listen to them, during the annual performance review; the idea that a team cannot be monolithic (with everyone sharing the same ideas, putting in the same amount of effort, and so on), so it is no use wasting all your energy on the negative part…


…specifically, it was important for me to learn how to provide motivation and help find a path towards improvement when you’re dealing with a new team member whose selfregard outstrips his abilities…


…we had a lot of practical activities and discussions, and had the chance to open up. The exercise where we had to role-play a situation and then discuss the best and worst of the participants’ actions was especially useful. It showed us how difficult it is to apply theory to practice…