Management Tip of the Day: Praise as much as you criticize

Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:23pm EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - Human performance is never completely consistent. Everyone has bad days. But most managers zero in on their employees' shortcomings when providing feedback, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (http:\\www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Human performance is inconsistent -- even world-class athletes have off days. Yet, most managers focus on their employees' shortcomings when coaching and providing feedback.

Sure we all have 'opportunities for improvement,' but research shows that identifying and building strengths produces better results than focusing on faults.

Next time you're evaluating someone, remember that your goal is to raise their average performance, not critique a particularly good or bad day. Don't hold back the praise because of a few missteps.

It's just as important to recognize and reinforce strengths as it is to point out where people fall short."

-Today's management tip was adapted from "Why Does Criticism Seem More Effective than Praise?" by Linda Hill and Kent Lineback.

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<p>Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) gets a pat on the back from Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) after their presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool</p>