Does 360-degree feedback do more harm than good?
Envisia’s Kenneth Nowack and Sandra Mashihi provided “evidence-based answers”:
“Poorly-designed 360-degree feedback assessments and interventions can increase disengagement and contribute to poor individual and team performance.”
Individuals can “experience strong discouragement and frustration” when feedback is not as affirming as anticipated.
In addition, negatively-perceived information may be discounted and disregarded.
The ratio of positive to negative feedback may determine whether it is incorporated and used.
University of Washington’s John Gottman and Pepper Schwartz found that well-functioning marriages have a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback.
A positive-negative ratio of 3:1 in 360-feedback sessions encouraged enhanced individual and team performance, individual workplace engagement, effectiveness, and emotional “flourishing,” according to University of North Carolina’s Barbara Frederickson and Marcial Losada of University of Michigan.
Proportions of negative feedback and interactions that exceed these ratios can interfere with insight and motivation and diminish willingness to engage in work-related practice and performance effectiveness.
Fredrickson suggested that this 3:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback is a “tipping point.”
When people are overloaded with negative feedback, neurophysiologic pathways associated with physical pain are triggered, reported UCLA’s Naomi Eisenberger and Matthew Lieberman collaborating with Kipling Williams of Macquarie University.
This effect was corroborated when volunteers reported higher levels of physical pain and demonstrated diminished performance on a cognitively-demanding task, in research by Williams, University of Hong Kong’s Zhansheng Chen, Julie Fitness of Macquarie University, and University of New South Wales’s Nicola C. Newton.
“Titrating” negative feedback in 360 degree evaluations within recommended ratios can enable recipients to more effectively assimilate and execute recommendations.
-*What ratios of positive to negative feedback do you apply in helping others improve performance?