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Most people are unsatisfied with the frequency and type of feedback they receive. Many claim the only time they get feedback is when something goes wrong. As the saying goes, “When I’m right, no one remembers, when I’m wrong, no one forgets~”
Constructive feedback certainly outpaces positive recognition in most organizations. I believe this lack of positive feedback contributes to acknowledgement deprived workplaces which lower motivation and diminish engagement.
In my experience, be it constructive or positive, most feedback is not delivered in the most effective, meaningful manner for those receiving it.
Allow me to put the spotlight on Acknowledgement.
While we remain reluctant to acknowledge others, we underestimate the power in it. With ongoing change and relentless focus on quality improvement and performance, it is common to fall into the trap of focusing only on what is not working. In the meantime, we forget to recognize the progress and positive contributions of our people.
The stress of change and unending demands can produce self-doubt, fear and pressure, all of which get in the way of performance.
One of the reasons that positive reinforcement is so effective is that it calms the mind and allows people to feel more grounded so they can focus in on the job at hand.
Meaningful recognition endorses positive contributions, behaviors or learning. The best messages are delivered in a way that zero in on the specific behavior and the impact of that behavior on others.
For example: “Good job on the presentation Jim, while better than nothing isn’t as impactful as: “Jim, I would like to acknowledge you for presenting your well thought out plan to the team about this new project. You have taken a complex process and broken it down into workable steps we can all get our head around.” Good job!
We rarely get to hear how our behaviors impact others in a positive way– this is so validating and uplifting for people–As leaders, we need to get into the habit~ the positive feedback conversations habit!