πŸ“‘ Why Feedback Rarely Does What It’s Meant To

Bookmarked Why Feedback Rarely Does What It’s Meant To (Harvard Business Review)

We humans do not do well when someone whose intentions are unclear tells us where we stand, how good we β€œreally” are, and what we must do to fix ourselves. We excel only when people who know us and care about us tell us what they experience and what they feel, and in particular when they see something within us that really works.

Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall dive into the world of feedback. They argue that in many respects, it fails to achieve the intended outcome.

Focusing people on their shortcomings doesn’t enable learning; it impairs it.

Buckingham and Goodall highlight three theories that those who believe in feedback as often accepts as true:

  • That other people are more aware than you are of your weaknesses, and that the best way to help you, therefore, is for them to show you what you cannot see for yourself.
  • That the process of learning is like filling up an empty vessel: You lack certain abilities you need to acquire, so your colleagues should teach them to you.
  • That great performance is universal, analyzable, and describable, and that once defined, it can be transferred from one person to another, regardless of who each individual is.

In response, they propose a number of strategies to support the development of others, including:

  • Look for outcomes
  • Replay your instinctive reactions
  • Explore the present, past, and future

This is something I have written about too, discussing the problem of feedback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *