Negative Feedback and Performance: Can You Handle the Truth?

Underpinning the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz, is the concept of Kaizen. It is embedded in the chat that we are invested in improving our own performance as well as the performance of our businesses and/or divisions (or departments) of organizations. I’ve asked this questions before,

Simply, how do you examine, discuss and implement processes that support each individual in the organization to be more effective?

When I saw the post, “Sometimes Negative Feedback is Best” on HBR, it seemed that adding nuances to feedback could help someone continuously improve their performance. But not everyone can take feedback in and put it to work for them and negative feedback…well, that brings its own dynamics.

Basically, negative feedback isn’t for everyone

The research cited in the post written by Heidi Grant Halvorson starts off with a truism.

“Feedback is essential to for individuals pursuing their goals. Without it, individuals would not know whether, what and how much to invest in their goals.”

Certainly in the context of kaizen, continuously striving to improve does need some kind of structure. However, the research noted that the types of feedback that are most effective depends on whether the receiver is a novice or an expert. According to Stacey Finkelstein of Columbia University and Ayelet Fishbach of University of Chicago, novices responded to feedback that pointed out their strengths and experts responded to feedback that pointed out where they failed.

But there are other things to keep in mind

As anyone who has given, or for that matter, received feedback, it isn’t always done well. And some of us just don’t handle critiques of our performance well either.Think about the high achiever who aims for excellence and expects it to occur in all aspects of his/her life. Anything that is expressed critically gets hyper-scrutiny and the below-par behavior is justified.

But this isn’t really just someone being oversensitive. According to recent research, we react to negative feedback as a threat so we trigger the parts of our brains that manage emotion.While many of us can manage our reactions most of the time, it isn’t that far fetched that we might also react defensively, angrily or resentfully.

So, if we don’t like to hear how our performance is not meeting standards…

There is a reaction to make negative feedback as “nice” as possible. We sandwich our criticism, use words that dilute the meaning of our message or focus on what the person did well and exclude everything else.. We find (or create) extenuating circumstances to excuse ourselves. This undermines our opportunity to learn and grow. Maybe one of our areas we continuously learn is how manage the disappointment and upset that comes from someone rating our performance negatively. How do we examine, discuss and implement processes that support each individual in the organization to be more effective?

How do non-US cultures offer negative feedback in the workplace?

What happens within role of beginner that makes negative feedback so counter-indicated?

What supports the belief that all feedback is useful and desirable?

What makes negative feedback more usable?

If not negative feedback, what alternatives exist to communicate to someone how they can perform more effectively?

 

 

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Is It Time To Check Out Of Social Media?

There isocial media, engagement, reducing use of social medias a plethora of social media sites we can use. You could literally spend all day on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and there would still be more sites you didn’t even get close to engaging. So, why cut your time spent when this is where the action is?

Join us for the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz on Friday, January 25, 2013 at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT and discuss “Is It Time To Check Out Of Social Media?”. Not sure how to participate? Please click here for tips and advice.

Is social media passé? Continue reading

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What’s All the Fuss About Innovation?

Why are there so many posts about innovation? Perhaps it is due to the new year. Or maybe even because it is touted as the answer to rebooting the economy. Or maybe it is because we don’t understand innovation. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, in Nine Rules For Stifling Innovation, sums up the fuss,

Innovation has become the holy grail. Finding innovation is almost a sacred quest for the solution that will create growth, and open new eras of prosperity and well-being.
Unfortunately, like many things called holy, the concept of innovation is invoked ritually and ceremonially more than it is embraced in practice.

Basic definition

According to BusinessDictionary.com, the definition of innovation is “the process of translating an idea or invention to a good or service that creates value for which customers will pay.”

Join us for the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT and discuss what we make such a fuss about innovation. Not sure how to participate? Please click here for tips and advice.

The $1,000,000 (approximately €748,223) question

Continue reading

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Behavioral Economics and Our Emotional Decision-Making

behavioral economics Economics often depends on people doing logical and rational things with their money so the markets perform in a predictable way. According to the Library of Economics and Liberty, “traditional economics conceptualizes a world populated by calculating, unemotional maximizers…” If only! If you have ever observed a bubble or other consumer behavior, you might wonder about the calculating and unemotional part.

*Please join us Friday, January 4th at 5pm BST/12pm ET/9am PT for the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz as take a look at the business trends of 2012 and what might come in 2013. Not sure how to participate? Please click here for tips and advice.

Quick primer Continue reading

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Business Trends of 2012 and What Will We See In 2013

Business trends of 2012 and 2013About a year ago, we took a look at the business trends of 2011 and what was emerging for 2012. Well, now we’ve ushered in 2013 and it’s time to take a look to see what actually emerged as trends.

In the post from last year, we noted that influence sites like Klout, gamification and the shift from ownership to access to goods and/or services were supposed to be the trends of 2012.While Zipcar and AirBnB are examples of how access to goods and/or services is thrumming along, influence sites and gamification seems to have fallen off people’s radars.

*Please join us Friday, January 4th at 5pm BST/12pm ET/9am PT for the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz as take a look at the business trends of 2012 and what might come in 2013. Not sure how to participate? Please click here for tips and advice.

Okay, so what did happen in 2012? Continue reading

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