On Giving and Receiving Negative Feedback


Paul Green on Giving Negative Feedback :

It doesn’t provide the sustenance we need to maintain a positive view of ourselves. And that’s the ultimate irony. The idea behind performance appraisals, and feedback in general, is that to grow and improve, we must have a light shined on the things we can’t see about ourselves. We need the brutal truth. There’s an assumption that what motivates people to improve is the realization that they’re not as good as they think they are. But in fact, it just makes them go and people who will not shine that light on them. It may not be having the intended effect at all.

I’m not completely agree with Paul Green on the piece that Negative Feedback is not going to improve you. I think its about framing the right questions so the feedback (even negative one), would be put into positive mindset.

In the last 4-5 months one thing that really work for me when I have one on one discussion with my direct report is to ask them :

  • What do you wish to see me start doing that you think would be really useful for the company?
  • What do you wish to see me stop doing?
  • What the thing that you see me doing in the last few weeks that you want me to keep doing?


Interweb enthusiast from Yogyakarta. Love trees, typography, running and single origin. Slightly blurry vision, five foot six, curly black hair. Lion at Mario Kart, chicken at party.

SoftwareSeni Director.

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