Withholding Feedback Can Cost You Your Next Promotion!

Margaret Ryan, Wonderworks 

Guest Blogger

Do you believe you can be authentic at work? Or do you have the thought that if you gave your boss direct feedback, that shortly afterwards; you would be looking for a new job? The challenge is, if you choose to withhold, the consequences can be damaging and effect your ability to build trusting relationships, which effects how you engage with your teammates and might end up costing you your next promotion.

Let me explain, I am not telling you to run into work and unconsciously blurt out every thought you are experiencing. However, I am suggesting that you start noticing when you are withholding and the stories you have attached to why you withhold. The key is to break the pattern of this unhealthy behavior. Once you notice that you are withholding from a colleague or your boss ask yourself, “What am I most afraid of?” Once you understand your own motivation you can begin to build a commitment to reveal instead of conceal.

Here are three questions to help you explore your relationship with feedback:

1. “Do I want to be known as trustworthy?”

2. “Would I want to be given honest and timely feedback from my colleagues and boss?”

3. “Would I want to give honest and timely feedback to my colleagues/boss?”

I suggest you set yourself a goal or make a new commitment. For example; “I commitment to be honest with those I want to build a deeper relationship with.” Share your new commitment with those close to you at work and at home.

With any new behavior change, it is important to practice it daily for 28 days in a row. Create a reminder in your calendar to check in each day and see if you have withheld information, facts or feelings from an important colleague or your boss. If you have withheld, take action on your new commitment and speak directly to that person. Be aware that you are not speaking from a judgment space, instead take a 100% responsibility for your observations and thoughts, and simply state what is true for you without adding drama.


At the end of the 28 days of practice take time to celebrate your successes and get curious about any on-going impulse to withhold. I have used this practice for many years and it has supported me in creating wonderful professional and personal relationships.

You can contact me at Margaret@yWonderWorks.com if you have any questions or comments

Margaret Ryan

WonderWorks Leadership Consulting


About SF Bay Biorecruiter

I help small to mid-sized biopharm, biotech, pharmaceutical, life science and biofuel companies find the right people for their mission critical open positions economically. And professionals in these fields find jobs.
This entry was posted in Job Search Strategy, Networking, Tips for Job Search and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Withholding Feedback Can Cost You Your Next Promotion!

  1. Negotiator says:

    Great post – with a lot of good points. I have recently written a post about the positive aspect of conflicts at work, and the need for being assertive and reasonable when conflicts arise:

    Your post draws upon some very interesting aspect of behaviour change and commitment through honest communication and feedback. Very inspiring!

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