Emotional Feedback - Chronic Fear (2) - Resolutions (Cassette)
Related Topics: Interpersonal skillsFeedbackHiring and recruitmentEmployee performance managementManagement stylesManagement skills. Newsletter Promo Summaries and excerpts of the latest books, special offers, and more from Harvard Business Review Press. Sign up. This Product Also Appears In. Buy Together. Related Products. HBR Digital Article. By Pankaj Ghemawat. View Details. HBR Forethought Article.
Below are some examples of how you might turn negative emotions into more positive, productive thoughts. Jane, for example, received feedback indicating that the quality of her work was excellent but that her public presentations were boring.
Then she undertook to teach herself to present more effectively by observing several effective speakers and taking an introductory course in public speaking.
It was important for Jane to start with the easiest task—in this case, observing good speakers. She noted their gestures, the organization of their speeches, their intonation, timing, use of humor, and so forth.
Once she felt she understood what good speaking entailed, she was ready to take the introductory speaking course. These endeavors allowed her to improve her presentations. Pat yourself on the back as you make adaptive changes.
That may seem like unusual advice, given that feedback situations can rouse us to self-punishment and few of us are in the Emotional Feedback - Chronic Fear (2) - Resolutions (Cassette) of Emotional Feedback - Chronic Fear (2) - Resolutions (Cassette) ourselves.
Nevertheless, nowhere is it written that the feedback process must be a wholly negative experience. Just as a salary raise or a bonus provides incentive to improve performance, rewarding yourself whenever you take an important step in the process will help you to persevere in your efforts. The incentive should be commensurate with the achievement. For example, an appropriate reward for completing a self-assessment might be an uninterrupted afternoon watching ESPN or, for a meeting with the boss, a fine dinner out.
The proactive feedback process we recommend consists of four manageable steps: self-assessment, external feedback, absorbing the feedback, and taking action toward change. The story of Bob, a vice president of human resources, illustrates how one executive used the four-step process to take charge of his work life.
When we first met Bob, he had been on the job for three years and felt he was in a feedback vacuum. Once a year, toward the end of December, Harry—the gruff, evasive CEO to whom he reported—would call Bob in, tell him what a fine job he had been doing, announce his salary for the following year, and give him a small bonus. But this year, Bob had been dealing with thorny issues—including complaints from senior female executives about unfair compensation—and needed some Emotional Feedback - Chronic Fear (2) - Resolutions (Cassette) feedback.
Bob wondered how Harry viewed his work. Did Harry intend to retain Bob in his current position? We encouraged Bob to begin by assessing his own performance. Self-assessment can be a tough assignment, particularly if one has never received useful feedback to begin with.
The first task in self-assessment was for Bob to determine which elements of his job were most important. The second was to recall informal feedback he had received from coworkers, subordinates, and customers—not only words, but facial expressions, body language, and silences.
Bob took several weeks to do his self-assessment. Once we helped him realize that he was procrastinating with the assessment, he enlisted a support system—his wife and an old college buddy—who encouraged him to finish his tally of recollections.
At the end of Emotional Feedback - Chronic Fear (2) - Resolutions (Cassette) process, he recognized that he had received a good deal of positive informal feedback from many of the people with whom he interacted. But he also realized that he was too eager to please and needed to be more assertive in expressing his opinions. We helped him reframe these uncomfortable insights so that he could see them as areas for potential growth. The next phase of the proactive process—asking for feedback—is generally a two-part task: The first involves speaking to a few trusted colleagues to collect information that supports or revises your self-assessment.
The second involves directly asking your boss for feedback. By speaking confidentially with people you genuinely trust, you can keep some of the fear associated with feedback at bay. Trusted colleagues can also help you identify your own emotional and possibly maladaptive responses to criticism, which is particularly beneficial prior to your meeting with your superior. Additionally, feedback conversations with colleagues can often serve as a form of dress rehearsal for the real thing.
Bob asked for feedback from two trusted colleagues, Sheila and Paul, at meetings that he specifically scheduled for this purpose. Primary stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and nonadrenaline are released Resistance: Homeostasis begins restoring balance and a period of recovery for repair and renewal takes place. Stress hormones may return to normal, but there may be reduced defenses and adaptive energy left. Exhaustion: At this phase, the stress has continued for some time.
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Psychol Bull. In an office setting however, our negativity bias and fight or flight reaction can actually work against us. Even when receiving mostly positive feedback, it tends to be the constructive feedback that we recall most acutely. For this reason, constructive feedback can sometimes trigger our fear of being excluded.
A study by Dr. Carla Jefferies of the University of Southern Queensland discovered that a failure to give constructive feedback may actually be more about protecting ourselves than others. In her experiment, participants were told to give feedback on an essay either face to face, anonymously or to give feedback that would not be shared with the author.
She found that participants with lower self-esteem gave more positive feedback face to face and more critical feedback Emotional Feedback - Chronic Fear (2) - Resolutions (Cassette) the other two situations. People with high self-esteem gave the same feedback in all situations.
According to a researcher on her team, "If one accepts that people with relatively low self-esteem are expected to place greater emphasis on wanting to be perceived as likeable or attractive to others, then this lends support for the self-protection motive. In fact, in their previous research they found that a majority of employees actually want constructive feedback.
They suggest that the best way to give constructive feedback is to first give the other person the chance to explain the situation and what they think went wrong. Before sharing feedback, allow people to formulate their own plan of action.
If you listen carefully up to this point, when you give your own feedback, it is much more likely to be well received. Finally, offer to check in over the following weeks so you can lend further advice if needed.
Read our article on how to give constructive feedback for more examples. According to her research, people with fixed mindsets view their skills as personal traits, while people with growth mindsets view their skills as malleable abilities which can be improved.
When we associate abilities with a part of our identity, receiving constructive criticism can feel more like a personal attack.
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