Organizations need to tap into the ideas and opportunities for growth that can be initiated by any employee. Therefore, giving feedback should not be only a leader’s role. Ideally, non-leaders should give feedback to their peers and leaders as well.

Feedback generally falls into two categories:

  1. Positive feedback.
  2. Developmental feedback.

Positive feedback is given to reinforce a person’s effectiveness at work.

People typically enjoy receiving positive feedback, as it meets the common, personal need to be valued and appreciated. Meeting others’ personal needs is a key way to maintain or enhance self-esteem, as well as build good working relationships. And more than that, when a person receives positive feedback about what he or she did well, it helps that person know what behavior to repeat in the future.

Developmental feedback also is critical for helping people build good working relationships, apply more effective approaches, and achieve positive results at work. 

It helps people to develop and grow professionally, as well as correct less effective approaches. This directly contributes to their job success and career advancement.

In order to use developmental feedback as a productive technique, specialized skills for giving and receiving feedback are needed. Both the feedback giver and receiver must learn to minimize common negative or defensive feelings that arise when hearing feedback for development.

In the next post, we will describe how to check for understanding and avoid wrong assumptions.

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