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No News isn't Good News
What people think if they don't get your feedback
The key to giving effective feedback—positive or negative—is to tailor it to the recipient so that they are MORE LIKELY to do it EVEN BETTER next time.
The problem is that many people don’t know how to give people the right type of feedback for them. And it doesn’t help that different people make different assumptions when they DON’T hear from you.
For example, if an introvert turns in an assignment and gets no feedback on it, the introvert is likely to think, “It must be fine, then.”
However, if someone high on the “warm” personality variable (friendly, kind, supportive people—e.g., people who like to hug other people) turns in an assignment and gets no feedback on it, the warm person is likely to think, “OMG—they hate it! I must have really messed up and they don’t want to tell me!”
As leaders, people need our feedback. The “it must be fine” people will have validation of their assumption, or they will receive a more accurate status update. And the warm folks will no longer be assuming the worst.