Positive feedback equals recognition, reward, motivation and satisfaction.

On the other hand, negative feedback means something’s wrong.  The current method or strategy isn’t working.  The plan isn’t rolling out.  A new course needs to be charted.

One hears a lot about positive feedback and the need to feel “loved”.  Articles abound that theorise the need for positive reinforcement as a route to engaged staff and teams.

That’s true, of course, however one hears far less about negative feedback, which is possibly because it’s a tougher subject.  It’s shakier ground, especially in a close, organisational context.  Employees don’t like to hear negative feedback.

The fact is though that while both are absolutely vital for achieving success, only negative feedback has the ability to interrupt a process and wave a red flag.  No amount of positive feedback will ever change a course (although excessive positive feedback in itself can be a strong signal that something’s wrong).

A strong organisation of engaged individuals should be capable of responding to both positive and negative feedback with equal enthusiasm.  In fact, properly managed conflict is a key component of driving groups forward.

Both negative and positive feedback are required to get and keep you on the right track.  The main challenge is recognising which, how and when.

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