Ever been on the receiving end of someone who is always telling you how awesome you are? It sounds like; “You’re amazing!”; ‘Thanks, you legend”; “Love working with you”; “This this great. You are great!”. This is what we call praise. Praise is about acknowledging another person. That’s good right?! Yep. But over time it can become annoying and grating. We stop believing its authenticity.
I can hear myself doing it with my kids; “So proud of you” or “You’re the best” or with my team; “Love your work!”.
The reason why we find praise grating over time is, not the intent behind it but, the lack of depth. Praise is nice but ineffective. It doesn’t tell us why we are amazing or why someone likes working with you or why you’re good at your job. There’s nothing in there to replicate or build on. These words are nice and come from a place of encouragement and support but there is nothing of substance to learn from.
So we need to move into giving ‘positive constructive’ feedback. Giving examples are key. It might sounds like; “I love working with you because when you say you’ll do something, it gets done” or “I’m so proud of how you keep pushing yourself, even when you don’t understand the task. You keep asking questions until you do”. By doing this we are offering the opportunity for someone to keep repeating a pattern already within the person. So the person can understand, replicate, rewire and improve.
And the cool thing is that when we focus on giving more positive feedback than gap-based conversations – people grow, improve and feel more engaged with the person giving it and the work they are doing.
Gap conversations have a place but they shouldn’t be the focus. In fact, brain science tells us that focusing on people’s weakness does not develop them. It hinders them.
Your brain grows its strongest when it focuses on the things that it does best. It’s how we are wired genetically and your early childhood environment. Put simply – nature and nurture. This is unique to you. I love the new data that Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall are sharing with us. They tell us that;
‘It’s clear that we learn most in our comfort zones, because that’s where our neural pathways are most concentrated. It’s where we’re most open to possibility, most creative, insightful, and productive. That’s where feedback must meet us—in our moments of flow’.
We are in flow when we are doing things well. So let’s jump on these moments and give feedback then.
We excel when others know us, see us and tell us we are doing well because. Get out of deficit conversations and amplify your positive ones. You’ll get a better result and it’s truckloads easier.
Now you’re the person that others want to be around.
Wanna know more about growing a feedback culture or your skills, you’ll love our webinar – click here to find out more about our ‘Feedback that doesn’t suck!’ Webinar series