How ancient wisdom can help managers give their employees better feedback

Source: Khatera Sahibzada, The Conversation, December 19, 2016

Giving feedback is unquestionably one of the most challenging tasks for any leader, as it can be painful to both the giver and receiver. It is nonetheless invaluable: Research has shown that employees recognize the importance of feedback – whether positive or negative – to their career development.

Many even welcome it, provided it’s given well. One study of nearly a thousand employees both in the U.S. and abroad found that 92 percent believed that negative feedback is effective at improving performance – “if delivered appropriately.”….

….In another example, a study conducted at New York University found that men and women received different evaluations after demonstrating the same altruistic behavior, such as volunteering to help a co-worker who was in a bind even though the employee would end up being late for another co-worker’s party.

The employees were then given performance evaluations and reward recommendations – that is whether they should get salary increases, promotions, high-profile projects or bonus pay. Women were consistently evaluated more harshly than their male counterparts and were penalized to a greater degree if they were unwilling to help…..