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Why positive feedback won’t always hit the mark

Nowadays I see a large number of blog posts, books and articles on the importance of promoting a culture of feedback and recognition within organizations. I can only support this. External recognition is as necessary for any woman or man as the sun is for a tree to grow (cf. the confidence metaphor).

But interestingly many leaders in coaching get back to me saying: « Antoine, I try to do it, but it doesn’t seem to work the way I imagined. It seems as if my positive feedback didn’t affect her». I’m sure you’ve also had the same experience!

I’ve practiced feedback and recognition for many years, firstly as a manager, then as a coach and consultant, and as much as possible as a father and husband. And like my clients, I’ve sometimes seen cases where the impact was beautiful, and other times where positive feedback seemed to have less effect than a small stone dropped in a lake.

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