BLUFA study involving almost 500 leaders found that the impact on leaders after delivering negative feedback depended on how empathetic the leaders were; high-empathy leaders became less effective, while low-empathy leaders became more effective.
Writing for Harvard Business Review, the study’s authors offer strategies for organizations to support both low and high-empathy leaders better. Key points:
- Empathetic leaders should be encouraged to take breaks after giving negative feedback.
- Training should be offered to less-empathetic leaders on delivering feedback more compassionately.
- The research found empathetic leaders are better at giving negative feedback in a compassionate and helpful way.
- The more upset the feedback recipients were, the worse high-empathy leaders performed afterwards.
- Providing negative feedback can be a stressful, energy-depleting experience for empathetic leaders.
- Less empathetic leaders reported higher energy levels and, in some cases, improved performance after giving negative feedback. For these leaders, giving negative feedback can be an energizing experience.
Recent Runway Posts related to this topic:
- HOW NOT TO SUCK AT GATHERING FEEDBACK AS AN ARMY LEADER | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- Giving Directions and Feedback - The Delicate Art of Giving Feedback | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
References from the Web:
- MAR 2021 How To Give Negative Feedback: Steps and Tips—Indeed
- MAR 2021 How To Give Negative Feedback To Direct Reports—Forbes
- APR 2021 Balancing Criticism And Praise: 13 Tips For Company Leaders—Forbes
- DEC 2021 How to Get a Positive Reaction from Negative Feedback—Psychology Today
Source Information HBR:
- Article Source: Harvard Business Review
- Media Check: Harvard Business Review - Media Bias Fact Check (mediabiasfactcheck.com)
- LEARNING OUTCOMES—RUNWAY | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)