Build Up or Tear Down? Maintain the Proper Balance

People feel negative feedback with 10 times the intensity that they receive positive feedback.

Here’s what that means:

Some supervisors/parents/colleagues/spouses believe that positive feedback isn’t essential. The concept is that if you are my friend, teammate or family member that there is a “given” that goodwill and appreciation exists. Thus, praise is limited. It isn’t communicated frequently and, sometimes, not at all.

On the other hand, criticism is often doled out. With the goal being to make the team, family, individual as good as it can be, feedback designed to correct and to improve flows freely. Again, the implied understanding is that because goodwill and appreciation are the underlying values, those criticisms are received with the “10 times” weight.

But, we each know that isn’t true. We all have suffered through the weight of criticism. While it may be true that it is good for us, it still carries a cost.

Stephen Covey shared the concept of the “emotional bank account”. He said that every effort to criticize or to correct was a withdrawal. He recommended that in every relationship you maintain that you endeavor to build an account with deposits of good words and service.

This means good will and appreciation are never a given. We assume it exists only when we have expressed them through deed and words.

What’s the status of the emotional bank accounts around you?



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Posted in: Communication, Improvement

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