Corrective Leadership: How Should Managers Use Praise and Criticism to Improve Performance?


Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this CFA Magazine article by Lori Pizzani. It was originally posted here.

Which would you rather hear from your boss: praise or criticism? Now ask yourself: Which has more impact on your job and career? Does criticism or a compliment resonate longer with you and teach you more?

The results of a survey of more than 2,500 employees from various companies around the globe found that 57% of participants preferred negative feedback from their bosses and 43% preferred positive feedback. For the purposes of the survey, negative feedback included suggestions for improvement, exploration of new and better ways to do things, and pointing out something that was done in a less-than-optimal way. Positive feedback included praise, reinforcement, and congratulatory comments.

Professional services firm Zenger Folkman in Salt Lake City released the results in February 2014. Why would employees prefer to hear negative comments from their manager? A significant number of respondents, 72% expected their performance to improve if they were given corrective feedback.

The perception that bosses are eager to point out what's wrong is false. The survey found that giving negative or corrective feedback is something that most managers frequently avoid.

"People believe constructive criticism is essential to their career development, " says Zenger Folkman CEO Jack Zenger. "They want to hear it from their leaders, but their leaders don't feel comfortable offering it up." Thus, he concludes, "The ability to give corrective feedback constructively is one of the critical keys to leadership."

To read the full article, click here.

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