Which type of feedback is best for your team?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 By Jack Nevison

This blog has dedicated several post to the concept of feedback. As we have written previously, it is important for project managers to foster an environment in which feedback is welcome and encouraged. When it comes to successful projects, candid discussions are crucial.

Of course, not all feedback is created equal. It can be positive or negative.

Which method should you use? As one recent article on the Harvard Business Review found, it depends on the circumstances.

A survey of 2,500 people revealed that they were almost evenly split on this issue: 52.5 percent said negative feedback was more helpful to them, while 47.5 percent said they preferred positive feedback.

Obviously, this is of only so much help to project managers. How do you know which type of employee you are dealing with? The news source claims that those who prefer negative feedback tend to see it as helpful for correcting their mistakes.

"All in all, many people in this group seemed to have an internal fear they may be doing something stupid that is ruining their careers—something everyone else is aware of and no one, including the boss, is willing to speak about plainly," the news source read.

Meanwhile, those who prefer positive feedback seemed to believe that criticism was harmful, and that praise was ultimately more effective.

The only way for a manager to know for sure which tactic works best on their teams is to meet regularly with their employees and determine their feelings on the matter.

At New Leaf Project Management, we teach the ins and outs of managing projects. Our training programs and QPM games offer plenty of opportunities to earn affordable PDU credits for PMP recertification.

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