Informative Feedback

Nov 1st, 2002 by Tony in QSM3

When it comes to doling out rations of appreciation, some mangers act like the Norwegian husband whose wife, on their tenth anniversary, asked if he loved her. He looked at her with a stern yet puzzled expression and said, “I told you I loved you when I married you, and if I change my mind, I’ll let you know.”

When I talk to managers about appreciating behaviour they want to reinforce, these strong, self-reliant men and women seem to turn into mush. The one ability they retain is the ability to produce rationalizations, such as

  • They should know if they’re doing well
  • They’re paid to do a good job. That’s appreciation enough
  • I’ll tell them at appraisal time (ten months from now)

One source of this fear is shame. As Tagore, the Nobel-prize winning Indian poet said, “Praise shames me, because I secretly crave it.”

Managers who are ashamed to want appreciation for themselves are unlikely to offer it to their own employees. It would help them to know this big secret: All people like to have their work appreciated.

— Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management Vol 3, Chapter 17

1 Comment

  • this is the worst informative feedback ive gotten. u haven’t informed shit.
    I’m left
    understanding nothing