Why Do We Need Negative Feedback?

Feedback is either given or requested. Or completely accidental sometimes. So the point of this post: do we need it professionally speaking? Yes, we do! But how often? It depends…

Pinky and the Brain

I was recently asked a lot about feedback. Whether I need it or request it in order to keep going. Yep, once in a while, at least once a year I do. It also depends on the position and the entourage that provides you with it.

And if I don’t request it, it’s because I am left with auto-feedback which works fine as far as I am concerned. I do not particularly bask in the glory of positive feedback because that’s pretty inherent: you know when you’re doing things right. You don’t need to have an echo of it.

But what about negative feedback? I need that far more because you get to build on it and advance. With positive feedback you may get stuck and sleep on it. Negative feedback pushes you forth.

About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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13 Responses to Why Do We Need Negative Feedback?

  1. Negative feedback is like a 360 review. It has to be considered with an open mind I think

  2. ledrakenoir says:

    Very interesting theme of this post – while I was in a 20-25 year term was employed as a manager in large international companies – this meant at least six-monthly evaluations – where employees, leaders, partners and clients evaluated you – I did fine with this – love constructive criticism – but both when I get praised and criticized, so I ask myself the question why do they do it – there is an ulterior motive.

    Negative feed back only negative – if the sender has a hidden agenda in his criticism – and then I’ll put off the kid gloves and do the battle… “hahaha”

    The last 8-9 years I have been an independent business consultant
    – a mixture of freedom and responsibility that suits my personality… 🙂

    • ledrakenoir says:

      # – “maybe there is an ulterior motive”… ;-).

      • Well, not constant negative feedback because then you’re in trouble. But, seen from my perspective negative feedback is constructive in itself. Ok, if it’s always negative, then there’s obviously a problem on one or the other side. If you’re working independently which is great, then you have to do your own feedback, positive or negative, but sometimes you might miss some aspects. If it’s someone else who gives it, you might have another perspective. Of course, it always depends on the person and those “ulterior” motives 🙂

    • ledrakenoir says:

      Yes agree that it depends on “ulterior” motives – and the word “negative” – I have seen many times that “if you don’t agree so you are negative” – and that’s, in my eyes, so wrong as it could be… 🙂

      • I completely agree. Feedback (negative or positive) should be devoid of subjectivity in order to be constructive for the person receiving it. Well, this would be ideally the case.

      • ledrakenoir says:

        Both negative or positive feed back always be subjective – and I find it fair that way, very fair – we all are subjective – the “worst nightmare” is people who think they are objective… “big smile”

      • It’s a tricky topic…

  3. The problem with too much positive feedback is that one not only basks in it but becomes dependent on it. This is no good for a person’s critical faculties. It can be hard to accept constructive criticism sometimes but in the end it might provide the jolt necessary to open the eyes, ears and mind so that perception clears up and one can begin to correct the errors and make improvements. Or, sometimes, plot a new course.

    • That is correct. I have seen quite a few examples when addiction to positive feedback in some way or the other affects one’s own perception about his/her actual capacity in playing a certain role in daily life. So yes, constructive criticism is needed to assess oneself in a particular situation.

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