Influence of positive feedback

Influence of positive feedback


Can you think of a time when some good timely feedback made the difference in your career? Can you remember a few times when feedback steered you in the right direction and improved your performance, but was delivered with the precision of a sledge hammer. Not only did it damage your relationship with your  manager it affected your confidence when dealing with customers. It’s not that you didn’t appreciate the feedback but it was not delivered strategically.

Many times performance feedback is not given at all and we tend to find out about it when a project fails or a customer or employees leaves or when we lose a big deal. There are clear strategies to provide feedback in a precise timely strategic manner that will both engage and develop the employee and not make them ashamed or embarrassed causing disengagement.

Positive Feedback

Great managers give regular feedback as part of their daily work. Great managers know which type of feedback to give according to the individual and the situation. One method for providing feedback is positive feedback. When someone is given positive feedback from a great performance they are more likely to repeat that behavior again and again. Positive feedback:

  1.       Indicates what aspects of your performance is most important.
  2.       Gives employees and sense of control and achievement.
  3.       Helps employees set future performance goals.
  4.        Supercharges engagement and learning


Richard Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobsen conducted an experiment in an elementary school in the 1960’s. They gave students a mick IQ test and chose students at random and gave them the following feedback. They identified a random group and labeled them as intellectual bloomers. This group who was randomly selected proved to constantly score higher on future exams. This is known as the Pygmalion Effect.  This theory states that positive expectations are directly related to positive performance outcomes. Positive expectations need to be provided to both over performing, average and underperforming employees as well. Positive employees produce positive results.