Even with the best intentions, feedback can easily backfire. The praise you give doesn’t lead to greater confidence. Your expert advice seems to take the wind right out of his sails. You decide to “go easy” on her, only to find her growing more anxious by the minute. And you are far from alone if you’ve had a hard time figuring out why.
Fortunately, scientific studies of motivation have identified clear, principled reasons why some types of feedback work, and others don’t. It is neither mysterious nor random. If you’ve gotten it wrong in the past (and who hasn’t?), then you can do a better job giving feedback from now on by sticking to a few simple rules.
Giving good feedback to team members is quite possibly the most important – and most difficult – part of any leader’s job. Here’s the problem: very often, the feedback that we end up giving doesn’t seem to be all that effective.
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