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Monday, March 25, 2013

Heard on the radio, March 6th talking about positive vs. negative feedback (my paraphrase):

Use positive feedback to build commitment from others toward the mutual goal.  But once the other has ‘bought in’ to the goal, positive feedback has diminishing returns – how much more committed can one get?  At this point, shift to negative feedback.  Negative feedback is more effective at influencing the behaviors of experienced and/or committed stakeholders in a shared goal.

I find this to be true for me – I want to be encouraged as I start a new endeavor, or if I’m unsure whether I’m ‘part of the team’.  But once I’m firmly established in a team, additional encouragement loses its effectiveness.  It feels forced or fake.  Occasional encouragement is nice, but not too much.  However, if I’m called out on a mistake, I become quite determined to prevent that from happening again – I work more diligently to make sure I don’t ‘let down’ the team.

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