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Management article
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Reference no. U9906E
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Management Update", 1999

Abstract

Why do people try to avoid giving or receiving feedback? No matter which end of it you''re on, it''s not easy. Possibly damaging relationships, remaining open to criticism--neither is ideal. But the biggest obstacles to constructive feedback are some myths about feedback itself. Contrary to popular belief, defensiveness is okay; mistakes should not be covered up or punished. The whole point of feedback is to continually improve performance, and getting past the myths can help this happen.

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Abstract

Why do people try to avoid giving or receiving feedback? No matter which end of it you''re on, it''s not easy. Possibly damaging relationships, remaining open to criticism--neither is ideal. But the biggest obstacles to constructive feedback are some myths about feedback itself. Contrary to popular belief, defensiveness is okay; mistakes should not be covered up or punished. The whole point of feedback is to continually improve performance, and getting past the myths can help this happen.

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