Anyone who has ever led a team of individuals can attest to the value of positive reinforcement and praise. It’s important that your high-performing employees feel valued and that those who could use some improvement can celebrate the small successes in order to motivate them towards continuous improvement.
That being said, in recent years there has been more emphasis on providing everyone an equal opportunity to succeed and, not only recognizing them for their contributions, but also providing positive praise for just showing up. Not only does this do a disservice to our younger generations as they enter the business world, it also doesn’t allow for continuous self-improvement or increased self-awareness.
How is someone supposed to improve upon themselves and his or her business acumen if no one is there to point out their mistakes and hold them accountable? How can a rose bush continue to bloom year after year if it isn’t pruned? Only by recognizing and owning ones failures can an individual realize true growth – personally and professionally.
Is this easy? Of course not. But, there is incredible value in negative feedback, and instead of ignoring, dismissing or arguing against it, what we really need to do is lean into it. We need to create environments where we are not only open to negative feedback, but where we ask for it – where we seek it out from our leaders, peers, direct reports and customers.
In a recent podcast with Sunniva Holt, she said “If you’re not growing, your dying.” In the very same vein, if you’re not improving, you’ll never progress and you’ll continue to be stuck in the same place you are now.
Me personally, I choose growth.