Using positive feedback (praise)

Many years ago, when I first worked in a mental health team, the manager had a simple method of quality control. Whenever we discharged someone the team assistant would send out a letter asking for feedback and comments on how they had found the experience and whether the intervention helped. I’m sure this is common practice in other fields.

Apart from the obvious use of helping to audit the service, the manager encouraged us to copy any feedback letters we liked – i.e. the ones that said nice things about us! Her attitude was,

“There will be times when you’re having a bad day, nothing seems to go right and people complain about what you are doing. It’s nice to having something to remind you that you are actually very good at your job.”

This was my first community job and I remember having positive feedback to read did give me confidence and helped me progress. I reminded of this, because last week one of my staff left for pastures new and wrote me a lovely letter, thanking me and praising me for the support I had given her.

Rather than sticking the letter straight into her personnel file, I took a copy and have kept it my work action file – which I refer to daily. In a world full of negativity and criticism, we all have times when it’s nice to be reminded that we’re doing a good job. When someone gives you praise or thanks, capture it in some way, as we never know when we might need it. Its a great way of building self confidence.

mlankton September 22, 2007 at 10:36 pm

Another form of positive feedback that people may not think about. If someone above you at the workplace asks you to take on a specific task for them, they are asking you because they think you are capable and won’t let them down.
Do not damage your prestige by not taking these opportunities to reinforce that person’s trust in you. If you decline these opportunities they will disappear, and someone else will gain the prestige that could be yours.

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