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Are You Guilty Of Bad Feedback?

We have spoken of the need for multiple perspectives because we can be clouded by our own biases and lack of information. Sometimes, we may err because of misinformation. The virtue of feedback from different angles is something important, if we haven’t emphasised it enough. However, there comes a time when feedback can actually backfire — even when you think it won’t.

Feedback comes in a myriad of forms, the sole purpose of it at the end, however, is to give us an opinion that can help us improve our final product. Keeping this in mind, there are multiple forms of feedback that can seem to aid this goal, but have scientifically been proven to be counter-productive. Here’s what, and how you can enhance it.

1) The Personal Feedback

The human psyche comprises many factors, and amongst that is what we commonly know as an ego. When we elevate a person’s ego or do the opposite by bruising it, we risk either making the individual complacent or the person to ignore it. It is also common why we see many people act counter-intuitively and still persist on with their ways despite criticizing their behaviour. Feedback such as “You are so creative!” or “You are so lazy!” that move along the lines of a praise or critique of an individuals’ character has proven to be feedback that can backfire. The converse is also true, where if you flatter a person, they might loosen their drive and slow down their progress. In other situations, elevating a person forces them to keep up their pace as well, which puts unnecessary stress on them, and may eventually hurt their progress. Cancel out feedback that targets you as an individual, and avoid it at all cost.

2) Feedback That Does Not Align With The Original Vision

Feedback that does not align with an individual’s vision may destroy what could have been a better end product. The best minds don’t act on every feedback they receive, even when it is for esteemed individuals. Steve Jobs didn’t act on the belief that number pads were still an essential item before he transformed the iPhone to be an even more compact version of a desktop/laptop. Innovation works through a creative vision that may get stymied from feedback that does not align. Cancel out the noise from feedback that you think serves no purpose to the goal you have in mind, if not, you may just have it blow up in your face.

3) Vague Feedback

Non-direct feedback comes in many forms such as simple and vague comments like “Good”, “Bad” or even your A/B/C pass or fail comments. These are non-corrective in nature and does not show where you have done right or wrong. It is important to steer clear of these metrics because they mean nothing. Moreover, the people providing you such feedback may have different benchmarks for giving you that certain comment. It is important then to be clear about their requirements, and seek more clarity in your errors or in areas you have done well. Having a good/bad comment is tantamount to having empty affirmations. If you are giving such feedback, add more specific comments to the person’s project. It helps in solidifying the feedback and enhances the value of your comment.

Here at Brydan Group, our belief is in the pursuit of excellence. A simple philosophy that has taken us far, and is why we believe in the virtue of feedback. We understand the importance of specifics and quality. Like our page and spark a discussion in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!


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