Behavioural reasons behind dismissing developmental feedback

Managers often encounter situations where employees discount or dismiss the developmental feedback given to them.

The way a managers gives developmental feedback is as important as the developmental feedback itself. In order to effectively deliver developmental feedback, managers must understand the behavioural reasons for employees rejecting such feedback:

  1. Positive self - Employees who generally believe that whatever they do is perfect tend to have a positive self view. Such employees are first in a state of shock when they hear corrective feedback and immediately go into a denial mode.
  2. Lack of trust - Employees who think their managers are not technically competent to give feedback often trust less and in the process dismiss any corrective feedback given by the managers.
  3. Projection on self-esteem - Some employees immediately associate any corrective feedback with their sense of self-worth and think that such feedback is a reflection of who they are. This behaviour poses a problem for managers who must ensure that the corrective feedback is in the interest of the employee's growth and is not meant to hurt the employee.
  4. Praise Is fleeting, but Brickbats are remembered - Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University and his colleagues, in their journal "Bad is stronger than good" published in The Review of General Psychology, note that receiving corrective feedback will be remembered more than receiving appreciative feedback. Professor Nass at Stanford University explains this phenomenon due to the physiological and psychological reasons as the brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres.
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