Sharing the feedback that matters
What is the difference between constructive and deconstructive feedback?
What we hear most often when referring to receiving feedback is constructive feedback, whether it comes from our parents, relatives, friends, or our boss at work. Constructive feedback is intended to highlight opportunity areas that we may have that we need to work on in order to improve personally and/or improve our professional performance to advance in our careers. Failure to act on the constructive feedback received typically results in lack of progress in our professional and/or personal life, which in turn yields a greater job dissatisfaction due to lack of progress or advancement, or lack of pay level desired. It works the same way in our life outside of professional arena. For example, if someone is recommending you exercise more, eat healthier or stop stoking, and you choose to ignore their recommendation and feedback despite them explaining all the positive outcomes of taking recommended actions, the results you should expect to see are negative. Lack of action equals to lack of result. So, constructive feedback is very important for us to receive and act on in order to continue to grow personally and professionally.
What is deconstructive feedback? Is it needed and why does it exist?
Deconstructive feedback is the complete, opposite of constructive. Meaning, when someone is sharing a deconstructive feedback with you, it is not intended to help you improve or get better at something, it is to discourage you from trying, pointing all the things that you are doing wrong or why you cannot succeed, and not sharing any ways to help you to overcome any opportunity areas that you may have. So, does the deconstructive feedback help you in any way? Of course not, all it does is discourage you from finding a way to improve and learn and keeping you where you are without taking any action. Sometimes, we may receive deconstructive feedback from other people without them even realizing that the feedback that they are sharing is not helping us in any way and, instead, discouraging us from trying to work harder and more effectively. Just like with constructive feedback, deconstructive feedback could be received in non-professional setting. For example, when someone you know is telling you that you should think about eating healthier, but do not share any ways or tips how you can do so, the feedback you receive does not help you, and instead all it does is demotivates you even more to look for a healthier food items. Therefore, deconstructive feedback serves no purpose unless it is combined with constructive feedback element, helping you and showing you how a specific behaviors or opportunities can be improved by you.
Remember, when sharing any feedback with another person at home or at work, make sure that the feedback you are sharing is constructive in nature and is designed to help the person receiving feedback to improve or get better at something, not demotivate and discourage them. Think about what you want to share, write it out if needed, and make sure that message you are about to share brings value to another person with each interaction.
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