As I was driving my car, I received a reply to an SMS I sent: “That was a beautiful message…” And it felt really good.
In recent weeks, we have paid special attention to giving feedback in our work community. But how difficult this is for us Finns. It seems to me that, particularly in the IT sector, we have excelled in the area of positive feedback – by forgetting entirely to give it. We wrestle in a problem-focused world, and when all is well, there is total radio silence in every direction. I remember an episode early in my career: a customer gave me a scare by calling. I was prepared to ask him what was wrong. But instead, thanks flowed from the handset. I was totally baffled, but then a good feeling came over me, and it gave me new strength to push forward.
Hopefully our virtual thumbs up in the social media will cause us to give thumbs up in the real world, too. I would argue that we drastically underestimate the significance of positive feedback. Well-timed positive feedback strengthens our work vitality; we succeed better and have more energy. In leadership in particular, you can never overemphasize attention and genuine positive feedback. In addition to encouragement, it gives the recipient assurance that he or she is driving on the road and not bumping around in the ditch. Positive emotions sustain intelligent work.
I hope the social media will help us technology-oriented Finns to learn a new feedback culture, so that we create more of that good feeling for everyone.
What kind of experiences do you have of feedback culture in work communities?
This post was originally published on alykastyo.fi.