Withholding Feedback

Vani Kola
3 min readJan 19, 2022


Critical constructive feedback plays an essential part in our growth. It allows us to improve ourselves, become more confident, and develop as individuals.

Research shows that companies that implement regular employee feedback have a 14.9% lower employee turnover rate. 78% of employees felt that getting feedback — whether positive or negative — motivates them to perform better as it provides a sense of recognition.

I recently conducted a poll on whether we receive honest feedback from our managers.

The results really surprised me. 80% of the responses highlighted a distinct lack of feedback in today’s work culture! Most respondents were surprised to learn that their managers held an unfavourable opinion of them while never expressing it explicitly.

Whether it’s a professional or a personal relationship, withholding feedback is just choosing comfort over progress. It says that you don’t value the relationship enough to brave the discomfort together.

And the bigger problem is that if you’re worried about hurting the other person’s feelings, you’ve either not earned their trust or you don’t care. In today’s workplaces, this can be fatal.

The poll provided some interesting insights.

Several responses highlighted the importance of keeping the feedback constructive, and not making it personal or demeaning. Feedback should come from a place of mutual respect and trust, and genuinely wanting to make a positive difference to the other person’s growth and development.

Incorporating regular two-way feedback should be a part of every organization’s culture. It ensures that no employee is tricked into a false sense of security, and there is a constant feedback loop within the company.

Another interesting insight I received was the importance of proactively seeking feedback. Even if your managers are not providing adequate feedback, you must take the initiative to start that conversation and get their thoughts.

While many responses focused on the desire to receive constructive critical feedback, some highlighted the importance of providing positive feedback as well. Managers and leaders should also show appreciation and recognize their employee’s contributions, as this will boost their overall morale and motivation.

I’ve seen that the most innovative and forward-thinking companies are those where constructive critical feedback is seen as an expression of care. Their culture of open, immediate, and thoughtful feedback helps them grow together as an organization.



Vani Kola

VC @Kalaari. Committed to entrepreneurship in India. Yoga enthusiast, Daily Meditator, Occasional runner & mom of two girls.