Quote of the Week – People say I don’t take criticism very well, but I say, “What the hell do they know?” Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx was a famous comedian who appeared in movies and early television shows. While this “joke” was intended to get a laugh, “What the hell do they know?” is a common knee jerk response when criticized.
LaMountain & Associates was one of the first consulting firms that specialized in training people how to receive feedback effectively. We have identified a number of specific responses to criticism that decrease the likelihood that others will continue to offer feedback. First and foremost, ANY response to feedback that feels like “pushback” reduces a person’s willingness to provide additional or future feedback. Though “constructive” feedback is meant to be helpful, it often does not “feel” constructive to the person who is being asked to change their behaviors! We like to categorize feedback as either “reinforcing” or “redirecting” a person’s behaviors.
Redirecting vs. Reinforcing Feedback:
- Reinforcing Feedback suggests that you like what the other person has done and want to see MORE of this behavior. Giving Reinforcing Feedback helps to build your Emotional Bank Account with others! Give it freely and often!
- Redirecting Feedback suggests that the other person’s behavior is ineffective or inappropriate and you would like them to do LESS of it. People are more likely to be receptive to Redirecting Feedback if you have often given them Reinforcing Feedback.
Questions for Reflection:
- How do you know when the timing is right to give Redirecting Feedback?
- How do you initiate a discussion in which you give Redirecting Feedback?
- Do you sometimes feel “punished” when you deliver Redirecting Feedback?
- How should you respond if you get immediate “pushback” when you give Redirecting Feedback?
- Is it easier or harder to provide Redirecting Feedback to family members and friends, as opposed to providing it to fellow employees or others?
You might also like:
360 Feedback– 360 Feedback can be implemented in workplace, organization, or other group settings to obtain broad feedback about employees’ or others’ performance.