The Dreaded “F-Word”


By Tamara Carrillo McLeod April 17, 2024

Feedback – it’s a word that often sends shivers down the spines of both givers and receivers alike. We’ve all been there, facing those dreaded “tough talks” or preparing ourselves for constructive criticism. But what if we told you that feedback doesn’t have to be synonymous with negativity? What if, instead, it could be a powerful tool for driving individual and team success?

Positive feedback, often overlooked in favor of its more critical counterpart, has the potential to revolutionize team dynamics and enhance performance in ways we may not fully appreciate. Research reveals that not only does positive feedback boost morale, but it also significantly increases productivity and engagement among employees.

According to a Gallup study, regular recognition and praise can lead to a remarkable 31% increase in productivity and a staggering 37% surge in sales. These statistics underscore the transformative impact of acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of team members.

So, why does positive feedback often take a backseat in our interactions? Perhaps it’s the misconception that feedback equals criticism, or maybe it’s simply a lack of awareness of its profound benefits. Whatever the reason, it’s time to challenge ourselves to rethink feedback and embrace its positive potential.

By incorporating positive feedback into our coaching conversations, we not only uplift spirits and motivation but also foster a culture of openness and trust within our teams. When individuals feel valued and appreciated for their contributions, they are more likely to engage in meaningful dialogue and collaborate effectively. Positive reinforcement acts as a catalyst for growth, encouraging team members to strive for excellence and continually improve.

Now, the question remains: How do we ensure that positive feedback becomes an integral part of our team culture? Here are three practical tips for leaders to implement:

  1. Be Intentional: Make a conscious effort to seek out opportunities for positive feedback. Whether it’s acknowledging a job well done in a team meeting or sending a quick note of appreciation, be proactive in recognizing and celebrating the efforts of your team members.
  2. Be Specific: Generic praise can lack sincerity and impact. Instead, be specific about what you’re praising and why it matters. Highlighting the specific behaviors or actions that led to success not only reinforces desired behaviors but also provides valuable insights for future growth.
  3. Be Consistent: Positive feedback should be a regular occurrence, not just a once-in-a-while occurrence. Set a cadence for feedback sessions and commit to recognizing achievements on a consistent basis. Consistency builds trust and reinforces the importance of feedback within the team culture.

Now, it’s your turn:

¬†Take a moment to give genuine, specific positive feedback to someone on your team. Whether it’s a colleague who went above and beyond on a project or a team member who demonstrated exceptional teamwork, your acknowledgment today could be the catalyst for someone’s continued excellence tomorrow. Let’s harness the power of positive feedback to transform our teams and drive success together.

Learn more about the Power of Positive by visiting ELEVATE – our signature and award winning leadership development program.