Positive Feedback Can Be a Bad Thing

Reading Time: 
2 min

Written by: Tobias Günther

Positive feedback can be a bad thing! 😳

I know because I used to be terrible at it: all the “Good jobs” and “Well dones” sounded like I was praising a dog for fetching the newspaper! 🐶

Here are 6 things I learnt on how to deliver positive feedback so that it’s also received positively.

#1 — BE SPECIFIC

🚫 “Good job!” sounds empty und arbitrary. You could say it about anyone and anything.

✅ Mention something concrete and specific that you noticed: “I loved your presentation! Especially how you managed to engage the whole team.”

#2 — AT EYE-LEVEL

🚫 The more you speak as someone’s “manager” the higher the risk of coming across as patronizing.

✅ “I was really impressed with how you dealt with that unhappy customer. You'll have to teach me how to do that someday…” People respond when you express genuine appreciation.

#3 — PICK THE RIGHT FORMAT AND THE RIGHT PLACE & TIME

🚫 Not everybody wants to be celebrated publicly…

✅ …some people want more private recognition. And for some, you show your appreciation best if you bring them a cup of coffee to their desk.

#4 — APPRECIATE THE SMALL THINGS

🚫 It’s not about the huge achievements that happen only once in a lifetime.

✅ Science hints at a 5:1 ratio between positive and negative interactions! We need to deliver much more positive feedback. The small things are absolutely worth mentioning.

#5 — DON’T WAIT TOO LONG

🚫 If we wait with our feedback until our next regular “performance review meeting”, the situation might just be a distant memory — for both of us.

✅ Mention it as soon as possible. Right on the spot, in passing.

#6 — BE AUTHENTIC

🚫 Don’t make up things because someone told you to give more positive feedback! 🙄

✅ The things you mention have to be true and noteworthy.

Positive Feedback Should Be a Gift, Not a Burden

Science confirms how powerful positive feedback can be: it increases productivity, reduces turnover, and provides a real boost to motivation and commitment.

Let’s not waste this potential by delivering it the wrong way!

Free 3-Month Training

Join Our Masterclass Program for Free —And Learn to Build a World-Class Team

"Building Better Teams" is a guided masterclass for founders and leaders who want to build healthy and successful teams. It combines a unique curriculum, lots of practical tools, and hands-on mentorship from successful CEOs and founders.

We now offer the first 3 months of this program for free. Learn more and apply for a chance to take part!

Learn More and Apply