Above Average

Did you know that surveys show somewhere around 85 percent of people classify themselves as "above average?"

100 percent say they're in the top half of the population when it comes to getting along with others.

98 percent of people say they are "above average" leaders.

What does this mean?

As a leader, negative feedback costs a lot more leadership capital than you gain from the same amount of praise.

When you praise a person's performance in one area or another, these statistics say you are probably only reinforcing what the person already believes. Unless you do it a whole lot, you probably aren't motivating people like you think.

On the other hand, any criticism or negative feedback probably goes against what a person's self-perception might be.

It doesn't mean you should not use negative feedback. If you want to keep your leadership position, you have to help people realize when they aren't getting the job done. Just remember: those conversations always cost more than you think.


elenburg said...

A week ago on Sunday a group of elders at Chase Oaks sat before the "young adult connection" group for an ad hoc interview by Jack Warren in an effort to impart wisdom to the younger generation. One of the most interesting comments was from the wife of one of our elders in response to Jack's question on "if you had it to do over again what would you do differently."

She wondered if all the positive affirmations given to our youth have led to a sense of entitlement and inability to handle constructive criticism (my paraphrase of her words). She expressed concern for being a overly affirming in her parenting.

I agree completely. In a prior job I managed some young 20s, and they simply couldn't handle criticism of any kind. It was very annoying trying to recast job guidance in positive terms so as not to result in hurt feelings.

I'm all in favor of focusing on strengths in helping parent and manage people, and I admit I was passed over when the gifts of mercy and tact were given out, but sometimes I grow weary of how sensitive people are to any sort of negative feedback - particularly young men.