Fast Track Recruitment

Being nice isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be

Posted by Mitch on 11th December 2013


Most people believe that receiving positive feedback is better (and more useful) than receiving negative feedback.

However, it seems that it’s not actually that straightforward, according to a recent research paper published by the Journal of Consumer Research.

The research seems to prove that negative feedback isn’t always bad and positive feedback isn’t always good – and that too often we forget the purpose of feedback – namely that it’s not to make people feel better, it’s to help them do better.

Novices tend to want positive feedback because it helps them stay committed to the job or task they’re trying to apply themselves to.

However, as people start to make the transition from novice to expert, they tend to focus more on negative feedback because they’re more interested in getting better at what they do and want to make faster progress.

More specifically, the study also calls into question the practice of giving negative feedback by inserting it between two pieces of praise and/or compliments – sometimes referred to as ‘The Feedback Sandwich’.

Apparently, what tends to happen is that most people only hear the praise and ignore the negative feedback.

You can read the full research study here.


By Louise Triance on Friday, 20 December 2013

I would say that for some ‘managers’ the MAIN advantage of the Feedback Sandwich is that they can say they’ve given negative feedback whilst knowing that the recipient only heard the positive stuff. Win win for a rubbish manager.

By Johnb692 on Thursday, 11 December 2014

Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I’ll send this information to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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