I found here a funny analogy with performance feedback:
Question: What’s the difference between performance feedback and a root canal?
During performance reviews, I’ve noticed two dominant reactions when receiving negative feedback:
- Constructive – The receiver listens to the sender’s arguments (if the case, also bringing counter arguments) and he/she provides alternative scenarios, in order to ensure a complete understanding of the issue (if I were to do this differently, than the results would be better). To sum up, the focus is on improvement (finding the path from the current situation to the desired one).
- Defensive – the receiver brings excuses for his/her failures, finding external factors to blame without taking any personal responsibility. The focus is now not on what he/she can do better but on what others should do in order for him to provide better results. Basically, you play a round of the blame game.
Premise: feedback, as a communication process involves two parties: the sender and the receiver.
Not only is it in the interest of both parties for the reaction to be a constructive one, but it also is in their power to achieve it.
To this effect I will focus on the role of each side in future posts.