Mining other’s gold: Appreciation Feedback

Source: Creative Commons

In today’s fast-paced world, feedback has become essential for growth and development. Whether it’s in the workplace, personal relationships, or any other aspect of life, feedback plays a crucial role in helping individuals and teams improve. 

There are different types of feedback; performance-based, self-assessment and peer feedback to name a few. One of the key types of feedback that drives performance and builds a sense of collective energy and commitment is appreciation feedback.

In 2005 psychologists Marcial Losada and Barbara Fredrickson researched the exact ratio of positive to negative emotions which distinguishes “flourishing” people from “languishing” people. This resulted in the creation of the Losada line, also known as the Critical Positivity Ratio.

For a team to flourish, it needs a ratio of around 6 positive to 1 negative emotion. That means appreciation feedback needs to far outweigh the negative. This doesn’t mean we bury our heads in the sand and pretend things are all rosy. Nor do we give unwarranted or disingenuous feedback just to get our ratio up. It does however mean that we communicate mindfully.

One way of getting mindful around your appreciation feedback is to listen for whether you give performance-based feedback or person-based feedback. The difference may sound a little like this:

Thank you for getting that in on time. It’s great you met that deadline.


Thank you for your diligence and timeliness in meeting that deadline.

The first example is about the Human-Doing, whereas the second is about the Human-Being. Who is the human being as they are doing the doing?

I have experienced this first-hand with a very astute leader I work alongside. The emails of appreciation I receive from them speak to the human qualities I have shown as I have done the mahi. The outcome of receiving this feedback is that I just want to be even more of that next time! 

It’s very easy for us to get caught up in the Doing, and thanking people for this, but how might you be acknowledging others for the qualities they are showing… them as Humans and how they are Being?

I encourage you to look for the qualities in others and begin to acknowledge these. Notice how they respond to this feedback.

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