Friday, February 1, 2013
According to a posting on the Harvard Business Review blog by Heidi Grant Halvorson, positive feedback often may be best for rookies and negative feedback may be best for those with experience:
It's important to begin by understanding the function that positive and negative feedback serve. Positive feedback (e.g., Here's what you did really well....) increases commitment to the work you do, by enhancing both your experience and your confidence. Negative feedback (e.g., Here's where you went wrong....), on the other hand, is informative — it tells you where you need to spend your effort, and offers insight into how you might improve.
Given these two different functions, positive and negative feedback should be more effective (and more motivating) for different people at different times. For instance, when you don't really know what you are doing, positive feedback helps you to stay optimistic and feel more at ease with the challenges you are facing — something novices tend to need. But when you are an expert, and you already more or less know what you are doing, it's negative feedback that can help you do what it takes to get to the top of your game.