Updated: Jul 22, 2021
Every feedback you get from others can greatly impact how you feel and perform in your job.
Sometimes, even the most wholesome piece of advice can have an unpredictable effect on productivity.
And that’s why so many people find feedback so difficult to give and receive.
The former because they think they will break something in others; the latter because they feel broken after they’ve received what they think was a judgement about their value as human beings.
But we the risk of being afraid of giving and receiving feedback is too high, and the reward is too low.
In business worlds (that is, by the way, a human world) there is such a thing called “ruinous empathy”.
If you focus too much on other’s feelings, you can overlook things that are potentially dangerous for your company (and the other person) in the medium and long term.
Moreover, by not giving them the chance to reflect on what they’re doing wrong, you’re effectively limiting another human being’s potential, while putting a useless cap on what your company can do to fulfill its mission.
No company is perfect; and even if now things are running smoothly, the world outside is constantly changing.
Different people adapt in different ways to an ever-changing environment, and so there always should be a mechanism that synchronizes the change in a direction that is not always easy to self-assess.
The problem is: how do you measure wrong-ness?
The question is difficult to answer, but we can try a short one: you can’t.
Opinions on other people hairstyle or a badly written document — even with many years of experience in that specific field — are just that: opinions.
They shift. They vary. They are affected by traffic, bad days, digestion problems, etc.
But there is a kind of feedback you can always surely give, without worrying about being wrong, and not worrying at all about its effects on others, since you’re always the most expert person in the room (and in the universe) about the specific argument.
That is: your feelings.
Or, to say it better: how does a certain behaviour hit you, and how do you feel because of what happened/did not happen.
You could be wrong with how well a marketing email is crafted, but you cannot be wrong by saying out loud if something that was made to you or in your presence doesn’t sound right to you.
Just by saying what happened, how did it make you feel, and what you’ll prefer to see next time, the world becomes a better place.
The article’s core idea and about 45% of its published words were written and thought by a machine, starting from the keywords: “radical candor, feedback, company culture, empathy”. About 9 iterations were made to find their final form. The remaining part was integrated by our business writers in order to give context to the algorithm peculiar insight.
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