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Tip 164: Praise and Positive Feedback

What is the difference between praise and positive feedback?

  • Praise looks toward the past and recognizes a job well done. It can be as simple as a “good job” or a “thanks” and given in public or private—as not everyone appreciates public recognition.

  • Feedback is about the future, with the goal to encourage similar behavior moving forward. It is specific, mentioning behaviors and the impact of that behavior. If praise is “thanks” then feedback is about saying “keep doing more of this.” And like all communication about performance, feedback should be given in private.

It is important to understand how one differs from the other because they are both vital to every team and organization. Just a note – if you are not already giving regular, positive feedback, all the praise in the world won’t do much!

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