How To Give Feedback

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 26th, 2010

Feedback should be given as per merit and must be constructive. Imagine a child who keeps on making mistakes in his studies. If we were to give only negative feedback, the child is supposed to be rebuked everytime he does something. No one will argue about the damage this does to a child's psychology. Instead if small mistakes are considered as a part of the child's development process and proper encouragement is given, we will have a constantly learning student with enthusisasm and confidence.

Feedback must be given as deserved. Consider an new artist who has just exhibited his first paintings. If critics -instead of appreciating the positive aspects of his work and giving him the impetus he needs- try to belittle him with negative feedback, find minute flaws, will only kill his interest in his work. If the same negative feedback is given in a positive way or constructive way, will help him avoid the same mistakes in the future. Who knows, the next Picasso might come up. Responding positively to someone's work generates good feeling and amity. It raises the levels of understanding. It helps in proper communication between the two parties. Negative vibes only serve in polarizing the two.

Negative feedback can create a feeling of discontent in the mind of the person. He/She may develop a hostility towards his critics. Instead of the two working together to develop the work better, they may only be busy figuring out ways to outwit each other. Here the primary objective is lost and forgotten. If a teacher scolds a kid in front of the entire class for failing in the Math test, the child will certainly develop hatred for the teacher. If the same negative feedback is given in the form of encouragement, even others may even get inspired. It happens with movies. Critics sometimes try their best to lambast the movie and in the process even are responsible for the movie's failure. This is a bad scenario. Same happens in the corporate environment. So many studies have covered the effects of positive feedback by the bosses towards their employees.

With negative feedback, one might be preventing the growth of an individual. Try giving feedback in an balanced manner that does not sound harsh or critical. Only point out what is going wrong. Differentiate between the work and the worker. Rather than saying that you are a shoddy worker, if we say that- this piece of work done by you seems shoddy. This approach may be of greater help in getting results. Giving negative feedback may make us feel superior, but does not help the recipient at all.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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