January 26, 2018


Credit: AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill

Whether it's at home or at the office, we're always facing criticism. And while feedback isn't always a bad thing, it can affect your relationships. We talk with Paul Green, a doctoral candidate at Harvard Business School, about his research on criticism and why it's important to build connections with people before doling out feedback. 

Three Takeaways 

  • People really don't like negative feedback. But Paul Green was surprised to learn that we're willing to reshape their social circle at work just to surround ourselves with colleagues who flatter, rather than colleagues who criticize.  
  • So what's the best way to give feedback without hurting someone's feelings? You have to build a solid relationship with the person you're critiquing before laying down the tough stuff. That way, the person sees that there's value in your connection beyond the criticism.    
  • You know the feedback sandwich everyone raves about? It doesn't work. Green says if you're both complimenting and criticizing someone, you're probably also sending mixed signals.  

More reading

Criticism, Business, Paul Green

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