Hearing the words, “Hey, can I give you some feedback?” can be frightening and worrisome. When a manager or co-worker wants to offer feedback, we fear the feedback. “Did I do something wrong? I thought I was doing a good job. What’s wrong now?” We conjure up a strained smile and reply, “Uh, sure, I guess you can give me some feedback.”

Why do we respond this way? Blame it on your brain. Receiving feedback triggers a threat response in the emotional center of our brains, and we respond in a negative, fearful state.

Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of day-to-day interaction at work. It’s also an important part of any performance review conversation, and it improves employee engagement.

Here’s some good news: We can learn how to dampen those fearful emotions so we can hear the feedback message and minimize our negative response.

And here’s more good news. We can make it easy to give and receive feedback. There are simple ways to create and deliver feedback, like a gift, so it doesn’t trigger an immediate negative response in the receiver.

I’ve been training leaders and employees to craft feedback like a gift the recipient wants instead of fears – and how to receive useful meaningful feedback. Let’s bring “The GIFT of Feedback: A Brain-Based Approach to Giving and Receiving Feedback” to the people in your organization and improve accountability, performance and engagement!