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Too much evaluation, positive or negative, can make anyone feel overwhelmed and judged.
Your spouse tells you their coffee would be better with more cream, three people tell you that your shoes don't match your belt on the way to work, and your boss emails you after every meeting with a bulleted list of pros and cons of your behavior.
Welcome to feedback fatigue:
People need time to assimilate feedback into their behavior and self-concept. Feedback typically requires change, and humans aren't great with change. Even those who are open to feedback get worn down from an overabundance of constructive criticism.
Watch out for feedback fatigue when you need to develop an employee and there is a large gap between where they currently are and where they need to be.
Everyone's Threshold for Negative Feedback Is Different
If you are in a position that requires you to give performance feedback, it's a good idea to know with whom you're dealing.
Does your employee crave challenges and bounce back quickly or do they have a hard time building back their confidence after getting negative or constructive feedback?
Each of us has a "swing:"
Understanding the swing of the people you work with is important.
There are those who are very emotional and sensitive to any kind of feedback. They feel very happy in response to positive feedback and very sad in response to negative feedback.
Others might have a larger swing for positive feedback and get really excited, but negative feedback doesn't really bother them.
While others are the opposite: positive feedback doesn't make them feel very good but negative feedback makes them feel very bad.
Each of us has a different threshold for how much negative feedback we can receive and bounce back thereafter. Thus, feedback fatigue is going to kick in at different points, depending on the individual.
The most challenging types are the people who get a short boost from positive feedback and have a long recovery from negative feedback, but anyone is susceptible to feedback fatigue if there's too much feedback frequency.
Remember that we have the basic human need to be accepted as we are. Too much evaluation, positive or negative, can make anyone feel overwhelmed and judged.
Signs of Feedback Fatigue
You're going to know it when you see it. And you'll probably be anticipating it because you'll feel fatigued from giving the same person so much negative feedback and evaluation.
The first sign of feedback fatigue is for the giver: do you feel like you are continually giving feedback?
If so, it's a safe bet that the receiver is feeling it too. Even the most positive and self-assured individual can burn out if too much feedback comes at them.
Reverse the Course
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