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Teams: Feedback lovers vs. feedback avoiders

Feedback lovers vs. feedback avoiders

Feedback lovers are continuously working on growth and self-improvement — and feedback is one of their most important tools. They actively seek it out because it helps them assess their progress and understand where to focus their attention. When they’re paired with feedback avoiders, who can be reluctant to both give and receive feedback, tensions can result. Because it takes the second type longer to process feedback and because it feels more loaded, they want it less often, and only under specific conditions. On the other hand, if the first type is starved of feedback, they start to misinterpret behavior, and can fall into a destructive, anxiety-ridden spiral.

Try these tips to get the team in sync:

  • Set up rules of engagement before anything goes wrong. Make sure you know how each person you work with feels about feedback. Discuss some potential scenarios and agree on how you’ll approach giving and receiving feedback with each other.
  • Expand your feedback comfort zone. If you thrive on feedback, try to slow yourself down so you’re OK getting feedback less often than you’re used to. For those with a slow feedback metabolism, pace yourself with scheduled feedback sessions at regular intervals to help build tolerance.
  • As a manager, customize your approach so everyone is getting feedback at a pace that’s compatible with their feedback metabolism. A one-size-fits-all approach will inevitably leave someone feeling exhausted from too much feedback or depleted from too little.
Meiko SeymourComment