Feedback: A Commitment to the Relationship

Every day of our lives, we give and receive feedback. Reactions to feedback range from joy and pride to disdain and defensiveness. For example, your younger sibling might ask you for advice on a resume she is submitting for a new job. When you offer pointers, she may be very receptive and appreciative of your feedback. Conversely, your partner might offer a backhanded compliment on the dinner you just prepared, and you might retaliate with an off-the-cuff comment on how he or she loaded the dishwasher.

In these everyday settings (as well as in professional settings), how we interact with each other when we give or receive feedback can greatly influence the quality of our relationships. In ...

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