Feedback causing more harm than good

190529 HBR FeedbackFeedback is often touted as the panacea of accountability … and yet current approaches often lead to real harm.

From The Feedback Fallacy by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall in Harvard Business Review

When assessing the three main theories driving current approaches to feedback, the one common denominator each has is “self-centeredness” … [or as I would label it — ego].

“They take our own expertise and what we are sure is our colleagues’ inexpertise as givens; they assume that ‘my way’ is necessarily your way.” [or in other words — ‘my way’ is the ‘one and only right way’]

And “Research reveals that none of these theories is true. The more we depend on them … the less learning and productivity we will get from others.”

The current approach to feedback is not only ineffective, it is harmful to our team (in healthcare leads to harm of our patients and families / in sports harms our players and families), and lends itself to the creation of toxic work and sports environments, bullying behaviors, burnout, turnover, and more.

“We humans … excel only when people who know us and care about us tell us what they experience and what they feel, and in particular when they see something within us that really works.”




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