We can only be as effective as the feedback we receive from others, especially our leaders/managers. Of course, we give ourselves constant feedback usually in the negative form. Everyone struggles with doubt, uncertainty, and fear when it comes to our perception of how well we perform.
Three Kinds of Feedback
Negative Feedback– Sadly, negative feedback is overused and only slightly effective in certain situations. The person receiving feedback certainly knows where they missed the mark and where they failed their team. Most leaders think it is more effective to give criticism and less effective to give encouragement and reinforcement. Why? Emotionally speaking, negative feedback, correction and redirection feels more important and substantial. While positive affirmation feels light and wimpy.
Positive Feedback – Studies show positive feedback produces significantly higher impact in effectiveness of subordinates. This is especially true for those leaders who focus on giving only positive feedback. Here’s why, you can’t energize a person and beat them down at the same time. Positive feedback is easy to give, but doesn’t feel weighty because the positive energy is going into the receiver. Rather than the leader feeling important, the receiver feels appreciated, respected and significant. It’s no surprise that with such motivation, a person performs better and promotes the same with others.
No Feedback– Many leaders offer no feedback (41%). The results from lack of feedback are the same as from negative feedback. Without some input people feel unnoticed and unappreciated.
Imagine a place where the ratio of positive versus negative feedback was at least 3:1 or more. The interactions are genuine. The atmosphere of being known and noticed energizes people. Enjoyment and energy at work outweigh complaining about work. Leaders and managers have the opportunity to change the culture of work if they learn the art of affirmation.
“A culture of affirmation treats people like human beings and not tools for productivity.”
3 Ways to Provide Positive Energy
- In private ask what they thought they did well. Reinforce this with affirmation and your own observation of this behavior and comment on its effect on the project.
- In team meetings ask everyone to brag about others in tangible ways, i.e., “I see you doing your best when you…”
- Make sure to honor hard work and effort and not just results. Remember, you don’t get a hit every time you get up to bat, but you give it your best.
- If you aren’t the leader, you can practice the same ideas with your peers. You’ll build strength from within the team that makes it unstoppable.
Positive affirmation multiplies energy in your life, family, friends and work.
Let’s make the world a better place together!