Providing Candid Feedback…Why Your Mother Told You Never to Lie

Providing Candid Feedback…Why Your Mother Told You Never to Lie

“Always tell the truth.”

Words of wisdom from my Mom and, likely, yours too.

I apply Mom’s advice to my daughter. When she asks me to review a school essay or listen to a presentation, I tell her the truth—what she has done well, what needs to be improved, and how to do so.

My daughter appreciates the truth. Why? Because the truth, good or bad or in between, can help her to achieve her full potential. Telling her everything’s perfect when it isn’t won’t help her write a better essay. Candid and constructive feedback that’s delivered in a caring manner will.

Likewise, great leaders and coaches provide honest feedback, because they want their team members to perform at their best.

Is your feedback candid, so your team members understand their growth potential, or is it so sugar-coated that you are inhibiting their development?

Remember Mom’s advice.

Your thoughts?

Julie Freeman is Regional Director for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Cohen Brown Management Group is the internally recognized leader in sales-and-service cultural and behavioral change, specializing in consulting and training processes for management, front-line, support/customer service units and call centers. Performance Grapevine provides thought leadership insights on sales training, sales management, leadership training, time management, consultative selling, behavior change, organization change, and culture change.


  1. I agree with providing candid feedback only when the other person is truly interested in candid feedback. Sometimes, people just want to tell their story and feel like they are being heard. There are other people who say they are interested in feedback, but once you start a few sentences of feedback they launch into a paragraph of rationalization.

  2. Neda Bayat 11 years ago

    This is such an important point in any form of development either in business or our personal lives. Thanks for reminding us to always tell the truth!

  3. Golden nuggets like this are building blocks in creating, promoting a solid and reprutable character in ones professional and personal life! Thanks for the share!

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