Positive vs. Negative Feedback
Feedback isn't necessarily evil. I've always thought there isn't enough positive feedback going around. We don't have to wait until there's something to shout about. We need to make more positive comments about the little things as well as the big.
Many managers are too willing to criticize, yet stingy with praise. A partnership’s or team’s emotional health depends on how well individuals can air their grievances. People are more receptive to negative feedback when they’re used to receiving plenty of positive comments.
Therapist John Gottman’s extensive research on successful marriages reveals there should be at least a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative comments. Similarly, organizational psychologists Marcial Losada and Barbara Fredrickson found that business teams function best with a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback.
What are your positive to negative ratios?
Across industries, most employees believe they don’t receive enough positive feedback. Problems are compounded when negative feedback is delayed — often because a manager is queasy about delivering it. Most problems start out small. When they’re allowed to fester, they escalate. By the time many managers decide to give feedback, there’s a backlog of frustration and anger that makes any conversation more difficult.
How often do you hold back out of fear to confront?
Do you believe that you would have better results if you stepped into the challenge earlier?
Early criticism allows people to correct problems, and it prevents a bad situation from boiling over. Managers should avoid giving feedback when they’re angry or inclined to be sarcastic, as the recipient will become defensive and resist change.
Can you control yourself to not engage when you are emotional?
Remember our encouragement from the Lord is: “In your anger do not sin!” Ephesians 4:26a
How to Receive Feedback
As a member of any group, team or partnership, you must learn to accept responsibility for your actions and accept that there’s always room for improvement. View constructive criticism as valuable information that helps you perform your job better — not as a personal attack. Feedback is beneficial because it facilitates teamwork and personal growth.
When you deliver feedback how good at you at remembering how you felt when receiving feedback?
Avoid the impulse toward defensiveness, which each of us innately has. Being defensive closes the door to receiving important information that can improve your work relationships and make your tasks easier. If you become upset, take a break; resume your meeting later.
Remember the ratio of positive to negative. Always start with a positive statement. State that you are “for” those you lead. State that you want their best and you are seeking a path towards your mutual success.
Remember the Lords example in Jeremiah “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Remember: Criticism is an opportunity to resolve a problem. It’s not meant to create an adversarial relationship.
Learning to be effective in delivering feedback is an essential leadership skill. What are your blind spots around how you deliver feedback? What impact would you have on your company and in your relationships if you made improvements in this area of communication.
If you are working on leadership skills, feedback is one of many. If you are ready to grow your leadership let’s connect. Here is my calendar: MARC’S SCHEDULE
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