Monday, February 3, 2020

Feedback Strategies: Be Like Winnie the Pooh

One of my favorite articles was Be a Mirror: Give Readers Feedback That Fosters a Growth Mindset by Gravity Goldberg. In the article, there were five qualities of feedback explained. The one that hits home with me was the second quality: "focus on what the reader is doing (not on what is missing)." When I give feedback, I always look for what's missing. There are usually a number of things that I think should be included in whatever I am giving feedback on, and I typically search for those things first and correct the other person if anything is missing. However, I have learned that this is wrong. Rather, I should look at the perspective the other has taken and the "story" they are trying to tell. In this way, I might learn that things were left out on purpose because it does not flow with what is trying to be told.

The second article that I have very much enjoyed was Why Do So Many Managers Avoid Giving Praise? by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. It is explained in the article that workers think that managers are more effective in giving feedback when positive reinforcements have been said. However, managers see themselves more effective at giving feedback when negative reinforcements have been said by them.  However, my question is: weren't managers at a lower ranking before? They must have had a boss or mentor at the beginning of their career. Therefore, I do not understand why the reports of workers versus managers are so contrarily different. Shouldn't managers know that they used to prefer managers who gave positive feedback? That is the only piece that I do not understand. It is good, however, that we are aware of this, so we can better analyze ourselves as workers, our own managers, and ourselves as we become managers.

For some reason, when I think of a leader who gives positive feedback to his peers and is well loved, I think of the one and only Winnie The Pooh. I think as one climbs up the positional hierarchy, we must remember our inner child and not loose what we learned before and that is that praise encourages us. My inner child loves Winnie the Pooh and will always remember him.

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