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Feedback in Performance Reviews by E. Wayne Hart

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Feedback Gone Awry

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Brenda was an enthusiastic, bright, and talented computer technician. Her manager, Ethan, saw a great future for her at the Community Health Center, where she supported medical staff in the Women’s Health Department. Despite Brenda’s track record of quickly solving system user problems, there had been complaints about her “brash” attitude. Her internal customers felt belittled by her use of phrases like “user error,” “what’s your problem?” and “why didn’t you…?”

At their annual performance review, Ethan coached Brenda with a little feedback on how to better word things. “Instead of ‘user error,’ try saying, ‘entry glitch.’” ...

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