Faulty feedback causes headaches.


Hearing unbridled opinions about your performance can make your head swell with pride or explode with anger. The popular TV reality show American Idolapplauds judgemental comments and hard hitting evaluations of contestants singing for stardom. The golden rule of “praise in public and critique in private” has been lost to the television Gods and, unfortunately, millions of viewers are learning by bad examples how to give proper feedback.

Negative Feedback

 Melodramic and sarcastic comments may play well on the boob tube and for studio audiences, but making personal attacks leads to tears and potential stalkers. Using nasty words only encourages a “potty mouth” response, which in turn promotes a verbal or physical confrontation. Then everyone will need some Tylenol.

Conversational conflicts hurt feelings and relationships – even when said with the best of intentions.

Constructive Feedback

Candid critiques are very important and can have a positive long term effect when presented with genuine praise.

1. Share something you liked about their performance and mean it.

2. Critique a specific behavoir and breifly tell how it affected you.

3. Suggest a solution describing the outcome you envision by this new action.

Keep criticism concise and treat the person with dignity. Additional discussions seeking clarification “Help me understand; your goal was…” and confirm understanding “So, what you’re saying is…” will successfully complete the feedback circuit.

Giving effective evaluations can be as tricky as removing the childproof cap on an aspirin bottle. But with a little practice and perspective, your critiques will keep them coming back for more.

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