One responded. “My boss says he wants to help me get better by pointing out things that I need to improve on.”
Other comments continued along the same vein. But here is the problem. Contrary to popular opinion, focusing employees on their shortcomings actually impairs growth and development.
Negative feedback, according to researchers Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall, apparently triggers the “fight or flight” system in our brains causing us to focus only on survival. That explains why, in response to negative feedback, many employees get defensive and argumentative (fight). Others sulk and say little or nothing (flight.)
Curing weaknesses may get employees to adequate performances but will not likely result in exceptional performances. Managers who say, “I need to get you out of your comfort zone,” are likely to divert your brain power to “How do I survive?” and not to “How can I get better?”
By contrast, feedback that recognizes what employees do well encourages growth by creating mental and emotional openness. This stimulates connections in the brain that result in the ability to do better what you already do well.