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2 min read

Surprising insight into performance reviews

It’s annual performance review season! (Groans from around the room…) Many team leaders hate giving negative feedback to their team members. Thus, they hate annual performance reviews. Negative feedback is no fun for either party. (No surprises there!)

But, did you know that more than a THIRD of managers also AVOID giving positive feedback?!

A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, called “Why Do So Many Managers Avoid Giving Praise?” reports that 37% of team leaders believe that negative feedback is the only kind required to be an effective manager.

Research demonstrates that this belief is just dead wrong.

The study argues that “giving only negative feedback diminishes a leader’s effectiveness in the eyes of others and does not have the effect they believe it has.”

In other words, team members want and need positive feedback from their leaders, especially if we expect them to gratefully receive our negative feedback.

Serving up the right blend of both negative and positive feedback is essential for helpful and effective performance reviews, both formal and informal.

So, how do you make sure you’re giving enough negative and positive feedback?

Like anything else in business, you must measure your leadership behaviors if you want to manage them. With our proprietary 360-degree instrument, the Teamalytics 360 Report, we can use input from your team members to measure how you’re doing on the 13 leadership behaviors that correlate to high-performing leaders and teams.

The tendency to give negative feedback can be measured using the Criticality scale in our profile. We’ve found that the optimal level for Criticality is 4.6 to 6.6 on our 10-point scale.

If your Criticality behavior is above target, your team may feel like they can’t please you and they won’t share insights that could create additional value or drive better results. Have you ever complained, “We just don’t innovate!” Maybe you’re the one stopping the innovation. On the other hand, if your Criticality is too low, your team probably doesn’t know what’s expected of them and will likely underperform their goals.

Here’s the flip side.  

The tendency to give positive feedback can also be measured using the Nurturing scale in our profile. We’ve found that the optimal level for Nurturing is 6.0 to 7.8 on our 10-point scale.

If your Nurturing behavior is above target, your team will love you, right up until you all get fired for missing targets or failing to get results. If your Nurturing is too low, you’ll fail to inspire loyalty and valuable discretionary effort.  

Your habit of giving both negative and positive feedback can be measured precisely, and you can use this information to close your gaps as you give performance reviews, both formal and informal!

So, what are you doing to make sure you’re giving both negative and positive feedback in the right amounts?

With the Teamalytics 360 Report, we can help you and your team build an actionable plan to achieve your business goals.

Are you ready to win the war by creating a high-development culture? Contact us!


3 ways we can help you overcome the obstacles holding your team back:  

1. Learn how the Fortune 500 (e.g. LinkedIn, McKesson, Procter & Gamble) are using our behavioral analytics and coaching to optimize their teams for competition-busting results HERE.

2. Download our report “Solving the 5 Pervasive Team Challenges” and experience the power of our Teamalytics 360 Report for yourself or a team member at no charge HERE.

3. Grab a free Consultation to discuss the challenges on your team and how to leverage the power of behavioral analytics to solve them HERE.

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