May 03, 2012
The Power of Positive Feedback

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Most high level executives do not expect a lot of recognition from others. Neither do they give a lot of recognition to others.

Many managers are like the classic husband who, when his wife complains that he doesn't tell her he loves her any more, responds that he told her he loved her when he married her -- and would have let her know if anything had changed.

Similarly, most managers act as if the act of hiring an employee is recognition enough -- this in spite of the fact that every one of these managers wants to be valued and appreciated by their superiors, and is regularly disappointed by the lack of appreciation coming their way.

In today's workplace, there is a great fear that only the most extraordinary achievements warrant recognition and that all "just good" performance is merely what should be expected and does not require any special recognition.

The fear most manager's have? That "excessive" recognition will dilute the praise they give and reduce future motivation for outstanding performance.

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The data, of course, indicates otherwise.

Acknowledgment of good performance increases the probability of more good performance. And specificity of feedback -- telling people exactly what you liked about what they did and why you liked it -- dramatically increases the likelihood of that performance occurring again.

The bottom line?

If we can get to a place where we are more generous and specific in the expression of our positive feedback, we will notice, in time, a dramatic increase in the quality of employees' performance and their overall satisfaction with work.

-- Barry Gruenberg

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at May 3, 2012 08:47 AM

Comments

I liked this. As a demanding leader who is always looking beyond best practice I learned early to say thank you but it took me longer to get specific with feedback. That's the real artI believe - as you need to strike the balance between gratitude and meaningful input that helps others grow including tackling blind spots (mine and others). I've just found this site but it's a real winner for me. Thank you.

Posted by: Dionne Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 2, 2012 09:16 PM

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