If you experienced distress with a person in a position of power, it is very common to think that they won’t listen to feedback with an open heart. Maybe you even tried to give feedback before and didn’t go well. Based on past interactions, or on the core need to protect yourself from being dismissed, you convince yourself that feedback will be worthless or even damaging to you.
Common thoughts people have towards the person who caused them distress:
- “They are not interested enough in listening to my experience”
- “They will be defensive, justify their actions, or turn it against me”
- “They will not take any responsibility for their actions”
- “They will not take any steps to repair the harm caused”
- “Maybe they are willing to listen to other people but not to me”
- “Maybe their peers are willing to be accountable but not the one who I have a problem with”
Maybe your assumptions are true. Maybe they were once true but things have shifted. And we are here to double-check that for you now. You might be surprised that, in many cases, when we approach the counterparty, they show up with a desire to listen and be accountable. Our experience shows that, by adding a neutral intermediary, defenses drop and give space to more understanding and willingness to restore the harm.