But feedback is tricky to get right. A recent essay in the Harvard Business Review featured two business leaders’ musings on the subject: “The research is clear,” they wrote. “Telling people what we think of their performance doesn’t help them thrive and excel, and telling people how we think they should improve actually hinders learning.”
Where does this information leave managers, leaders, and employers? Workers crave growth – it’s so important to them, in fact, that many say they’d leave their jobs if threatened by stagnation. But how do employers foster growth if we can’t tell them where and how that growth should occur?
In defense of the comfort zone
The authors of the HBR essay had a couple of helpful answers to this question. They pointed to research delving into the learning process, findings showing that learning happens first and foremost in the positive. “Learning rests on our grasp of what we’re doing well, not on what we’re doing poorly, and certainly not on someone else’s sense of what we’re doing poorly,” the authors wrote. “…we learn most when someone else pays attention to what’s working within us and asks us to cultivate it intelligently.”
Growth and learning do not occur when workers are admonished with a vague command to “get out of your comfort zone” or “pick up a new skill.” Instead, workers learn the most when they’re encouraged to explore their strengths.
“It’s clear that we learn most in our comfort zones, because that’s where our neural pathways are most concentrated,” the pair wrote. “It’s where we’re most open to possibility, most creative, insightful, and productive. That’s where feedback must meet us — in our moments of flow.”
Create continual, consistent feedback
As you may have noticed in past blogs, I’m passionate about feedback. I truly believe that these moments should be done weekly, at a minimum. Share those “quick moments” with your people when their in their zones to improve feedback and trust. Don’t miss this opportunity to find out the ‘best’ in each of your team members!
At PeopleBest, our technology-forward approach to workplace psychology opens the door for employers to provide continual, consistent feedback hinging on employers’ strengths. With a roadmap to growth, your employees will be unstoppable. To find out how PeopleBest can serve your team, book a demo and set up a time to chat with one of our specialists.
PeopleBest is a revolutionary, simple and powerful way to capture the exact ‘DNA of success’ inside people, teams and companies.