I believe feedback can inspire, motivate, activate, encourage, enthuse, stir, drive, propel, energize, and awaken confidence and performance. I have seen it occur. However it can also…
Dampen, dull, decrease, lessen, lower, diminish, reduce, suppress, smother, asphyxiate, and choke confidence and performance.
My research and experience show that there are a number of factors that influence the outcome. Here are a few of the big ones:
- The provider of the feedback: Why, how, when, and where are as important as the what. Many times the feedback they provide says more about themselves than the person they are providing it too.
- The receiver: History and experience with feedback play a specific role in how someone interprets feedback, as well as personality preferences.
- The relationship: The relationship between the people involved plays a role. People respond based on patterns. If there is a relationship pattern it will be difficult to break and they will have to work at it.
- Organizational Culture: Culture of the organization plays a significant role. If the culture is based on fear and distrust it can be difficult to inspire.
- Diversity: Cultural and generational differences impact how the message is received. With all of the best intent, positive attitudes, skills, and technique sometimes we are just unaware of customs, style, and cultural backgrounds.
However, all of these issues can be worked through, improved or overcome and the provider plays the biggest role. So providers of feedback…lets aspire to inspire!