I was in a client meeting with a colleague recently and the client complained of it taking him five weeks(!) to arrange a meeting with his line manager to talk about feedback as part of his senior leadership development.
My colleague suggested that a formal meeting comes with its own baggage. A meeting has to be scheduled in each others’ diaries; there will be an agenda, no doubt from each party; and the topic of feedback comes somewhere down that list.
Instead, he recommended looking for ‘coffee opportunities’, those moments where the meeting is much more casual and spontaneous, where the client can ask for the feedback immediately.
Sometimes our formality creates an overhead.
Our topic might just not bear the weight of that overhead in the perception of the other party. Far better if we are opportunistic and adaptive about these sorts of conversations.