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Avoid being the subject of “personal feedback”

Everyone has a story like this. The colleague who wolfs down his lunch, talking as he/she eats, spraying everyone with bits of food. The colleague who had terrible body odour. The colleague who would turn up for client meetings smelling as he/she had eaten handfuls of garlic for lunch. The colleague who just did not understand that there actually was a dress code for the office or chose to ignore it.

I have a friend who is the HR Manager in a large company. She says that one of the very worst things she has to do is tell an employee that there have been complaints about his/ her bodyodour, or that the employee to dress better for work. It is a conversation she dreads having and it is surprising how often she has to do it. The person’s immediate colleagues will whisper about it amoung themselves, when it comes to the attention of the Manager, the Manager flips it into the H. R department’s lap. Anything…… to avoid having that kind of conversation

Most of the time, people will do anything to avoid having to have this kind of conversation. The person who has terrible table manners will find themselves excluded from meals with colleagues/clients. The person who does not present well will find themselves pushed into the back office when clients visit. They will see others being promoted and wonder why they weren’t.

And the worst thing is- they will never know why.

Sometimes take a step back, and look at way your actions affect others. It would be a terrible thing to be on the receiving end of feedback like this. But think of the person who is forced to give this kind of personal feedback- I think it is actually worse for them

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