Giving and receiving positive feedback

Read a magazine article about giving feedback at work to practise and improve your reading skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Reading text

Your manager stops you and says she needs to have a word about your performance in the recent project. You worry about it all weekend, wondering what you might have done wrong. When you step into her office on Monday morning she begins by praising you for the good work you've done on the project, and you wonder if this is the obligatory praise that starts off the typical 'feedback sandwich'. You know how the feedback sandwich goes: say something nice, say what you really want to say, say something nice again.

In an attempt to inject some positivity into their feedback, many managers rely on sandwiching negative feedback between two positive comments. However, when feedback becomes such a routine, employees can start to perceive positive feedback as simply a form of sugarcoating the negatives, thus diminishing its value. Instead, positive feedback should not simply be seen as something to cushion the negative, but should be delivered so as to reinforce and encourage good performance. Below are three tips to help you make positive feedback count.

1. Don't always follow positive feedback with negative feedback

When positive and negative feedback always appear to go hand in hand, the positives can become devalued and ignored. Ensure there are times when positive feedback is given for its own sake and resist the temptation to offer constructive criticism.

2. Cultivate a 'growth mindset'

Psychologist and 'growth mindset' proponent Carol Dweck spoke of the plasticity of the brain and our ability to develop skills and talents that we might not have been good at to start with. Many of us tend to focus our praise on the end result and seemingly innate talents, e.g. 'You really have an eye for details' or 'You have a real talent for organising events'. However, research suggests that by focusing on the process of how things are done – praising effort, experimentation and problem-solving strategies – we can encourage the development of new skills and the continued honing of talents.

3. Create a culture of offering positive feedback

Make giving positive feedback part of your team/department/company culture. Don't just wait for special moments like appraisals to give feedback. Offer informal positive feedback when making small talk or when walking down a corridor. Feedback doesn't have to only come from the higher ranks either. Encourage peer feedback among team members and colleagues and actively ask them for positive comments on each other's performances on tasks. 

It might take time to counter the effects of an environment where there is a cynical view of positive feedback, but in the long run, by embracing positive feedback, you can not only enhance working performance but also enrich the quality of life in the workplace. 

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Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Tue, 26/10/2021 - 11:47


Giving feedback in postive is the most crucial in workplace and team building. Encourage team members and appreciate their work is the best for members.
A team member wants praise for their work hard and they want leader must do it.

Submitted by Hennadii on Tue, 29/06/2021 - 16:35

I think everyone wants to hear about how well we perform. It's important to know your work is worth something, that you don't waste the best part of your day on nothing. And I'm sure all the ways are perfect. You can encourage someone in private talk or in front of the whole team, you also can do it by messages or emails. If there are various possibilities - use each. Don't be greedy on praises. But - the important thing - all your praises must be sincere. It has to be from your heart not from a smooth-talking approach.

Submitted by Andrea Valencia on Fri, 28/05/2021 - 17:05

Sometimes people focus on negative feedback, but it is important to remember positive feedback, I think positive feedback is better and more humane.

Submitted by danisep on Mon, 19/04/2021 - 21:29

The sandwich method doesn't have to be reject it just is not the only way to give accurate feedback. If we create a culture of positive feedback I think that through time going to counter the effects because the employees gonna get used to receiving positive comments, and the idea is to give positive comments to increase working performance and the quality in the workplace. when it gonna give a negative remark it's not necessary sugarcoating it and I think is good to go directly to the point and let the employed give an explanation about it. And is important to remember that a good boss does not just give orders instead is part of the team and encourages their employees to successful results.

Submitted by Emy104 on Sun, 14/03/2021 - 11:10

Feedback is vital in the community of work as it helps in improving performance and therefore the productivity. but we should take care that exaggeration in anything spoils it so these are my tips. - We can use the sandwich theory in giving our negative feedback moderately, don't overuse it. - Embracing and giving constructive criticism is effective for employees as well, each one needs to be rewarded for his effort especially if it comes from your boss. - moderation in anything cushion it from failure. give your feedback whatever it is positive or negative if your employee deserves it, this will help in spreading positive vibes in the environment of work.

Submitted by Ehsan on Sun, 21/02/2021 - 07:56

I think it is better to manager be a leader, not a boss. In successful teamwork, the manager cooperates with his people. he is with his people and knows about their situation. A team that is mentally and technically in good condition will succeed. so the manager must provide the conditions for the development of his people. he gives positive feedback to his people. he creates a happy environment that people can have good behavior with each other and they give positive feedback to each other.

Submitted by theMostPoliteN… on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 11:09

just gonna add that dedication, hard work and all efforts should be rewarded, it will encourage you to maintain your work, all the criticism shouldn't be concidered as bad, both pisitive and negative feedback are for the better, just don't try to be tricky and to fool smn, people are smelling it from a mile.

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Wed, 13/05/2020 - 16:12

The essence is to enhance performance, highlighted below are the tips: - Don't always follow positive feedbacks with negative ones. - Cultivate as a growth mindset. - Create a culture of offering positive feedback.

Submitted by Angel e on Tue, 07/04/2020 - 05:14

Receiving positive feedback is something really pleasing, makes you feel competitive and eager to accomplish your commitments. On the other hand, negative feedbacks are very uncomfortable but wait here, it is not that devastating when negative feedbacks are impartial y trustworthy because of the faithfulness of your actions. Let's be honest, coping feedback is really touchy, as someone mentioned above, but when both parts are in the line at the moment of having a word, it does not have to be a cynical situation as long as there are real and clear motives. Feedback is something we all can hone striving regarding our brain plasticity.

Submitted by Steve Zarv on Sat, 11/01/2020 - 05:49

On the whole, giving feedback of any kind may end up being a sorepoint if the message isn't delivered in an assertive manner. Even the most pleasing message might be misread and interpreted as if it had an ulterior motive if we do not draw the line between actual positivism and flattering , as well as a negative feedback may not have the impact that we would want, going from encouraging to the reflection to bring about some ort of stir ultimately aim of retaliation against our persona. We want to be aware of the scope of the situation. The same way in which there's no harm in being direct and go straight to the point if we want the person to do a real change, a motivating message not always comes along with a positive message, a downer may sometimes be used as a tipping point in order for someone to change in a certain degree In terms of growth and progress both personal and professional.

Submitted by RobRoy on Sat, 30/03/2019 - 16:24

The article is written in an unbelievably pleasurable language. It gives comprehensive advice while supported by down to earth examples. Fantastic! )))