|October 28, 2005
Vol. 2, No. 43
Published Weekly on Fridays
By Leadership University
From the Founder – Mike R. Jay, Master Business Coach
Leadership Disclosure vs. Feedback
Over the past few years, I’ve studied a lot of
developmental research from a variety of disciplines.
What I found was that feedback is often given without
permission, provided as fear, threat or
embarrassment—surely food for the amygdale—and that
feedback was poorly structured, in other words, not
I’m not going into how to give feedback appropriately,
I’ll save that for another time. However, I did want to
speak about a clear difference between feedback and
disclosure. I use disclosure as part of my ENGAGEMENT
model, that I write and speak about in my forthcoming
book CPR for the SOUL: Creating Personal Resilience by
In studying developmental research, I found three things
that are key to engagement: discovery, disclosure and
Contrary to feedback, which is almost always directed at
the person, disclosure is almost always directed “with”
the person as a part of a discovery process that they
participate in with permission. We can’t say enough
about getting permission. I believe it’s always best
done on the front-end, rather than forcing people to
accept feedback in the face of fear, threat or
The ENGAGEMENT process to me is much easier on people
and while people are allowed to enter that process
voluntarily, rather than by edit, I feel it makes it big
difference with people in terms of the safety and
quality of discovery, disclosure and acceptance.
The big difference between feedback and disclosure
processes is a shift in the fear, threat and
embarrassment level--the level that often triggers the
reptile brain. What most practitioners fail to take into
consideration is the fact that people are different.
Fully half the people out there are introverts, who 5
main differences lie along these continuums from
EXTRAVERSION – INTROVERSION:
INITIATING - RECEIVING
EXPRESSIVE - CONTAINED
GREGARIOUS - INTIMATE
ACTIVE - REFLECTIVE
ENTHUSIASTIC - QUIET
It becomes clear to me, that feedback given to someone
who by nature, or preference is “receiving, contained,
intimate, reflective and quiet” is going to be different
than one whose nature or preference is: “initiating,
expressive, gregarious, active and enthusiastic.”
If you don’t think this makes a huge difference, then
realize that ‘introverts’ work in the outer world with
their auxiliary function; which means that essentially,
they are working out in the world with “one-arm” tied
behind their back. Few people realize this when they
line everyone up for 360 degree feedback, or a group
debrief in meetings, strategy sessions and appraisals.
Yes, there is a big difference between feedback and
disclosure for just these reasons.
Yet, even bigger a reason is the fact that few people
even seek, want, or can hear feedback provided to them
by most people. And when they do hear it, it’s almost
always considered a threat, a fear or embarrassment. So
much for feedback as the breakfast of champions, unless
you consider throwing-up your food healthy.
Working with people in ENGAGEMENT requires a system of
iteration that identifies clear leverage around
discovery, disclosure and acceptance which is often
customized in terms of amount, intensity, timing and
Here’s to disclosure and ENGAGEMENT,
Mike R. Jay, Founder
P.S. Please visit my blog
http://www.integraleader.com/ to comment on this and
other articles about leadership.
P.P.S. Mike's private, member-only blog is available to
those who wish to join, at their own risk: http://www.ontheprofessionaledge.com/founder
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