work

feedback and criticism at work

In its original sense in systems theory, feedback meant the exchange of data about how one part of a system is working, with the understanding that one part affects all others in the system., so that any part heading off course could be changed for the better.

In a company, in a school, in any structure everyone is part of the system, and so feedback is really the lifeblood of the organization – the exchange of information that lets people know if the job they are doing is going well or needs to be fine-tuned, upgraded , or redirected entirely. It is exactly this information that gives energy and makes things and people move. Without feedback people are in the dark; they have no idea how they stand with their boss, with their peers, or in terms of what is expected of them, and any problems will only get worse as time passes. In a sense, criticism is also one of the most important task a manager has. Yet it´s also one of the most dreaded and put off.  And too many managers have poorly mastered the crucial art of criticism and of feedback.

This deficiency has a great cost : the effectiveness, satisfaction, and productivity of people at work depend on how people are treated, the tone used to air out criticism, and also how they are told about nagging problems!

 

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