Why Positive Feedback Can Be A Constant Surprise


No matter who you are or how well you are doing positive feedback is great to receive.

It can also come as a surprise. You do your job and hope you are doing it well enough. For someone to take the time out to say well done can be a huge confidence boost.

This is the type of feedback I received and it came as a surprise.

I did everything I would do in any given situation and what I would expect of others.

So what made the difference?

High Support

I was tasked with overseeing a group of inexperienced people at month end. We experienced high volumes of work so extra support was needed. Many of those involved helped to do a job that was unfamiliar to them. As you would expect this made some of them anxious and unsure.

I would need to give high support throughout the day. This would include providing hints and tips on how they could be more effective.

Although the day had some hiccups it went well and I took some holiday immediately after.

On the first morning back I was sipping down my first caffeine fix of the day. I speak to the service team on a daily basis so went over for my first chat of the day. They brought up the month end straight away, explaining how the feedback for me was great.

I guess I brushed it off, attempting to be modest. I was just doing my job, right?

A peer also brought up the feedback and I started to wonder what caused the impact.

Expectation Vs Experience

I dug a little the feedback was about how they felt. They were expecting to have little support and to struggle. They appreciated having someone who could guide them when it got tough.

Again, nothing new or different to me this was my job as a leader and coach.

It was important to them especially as the role was alien to them.

It also boiled down to their expectation. It was about what they thought would happen, versus what actually happened.

I started to think about my team and their needs.

I asked myself some questions:

  • What is their expectation vs their experience?
  • How can I close the gap and make a difference to how they feel?
  • Who is getting overlooked or neglected?

When you are dealing with ‘the norm’ it is easy to believe everything is OK.

You think you know what their expectation is but what is this based on?

You will only know if you get out there and ask.


I would urge you to consider the same for the team you lead or work in. You don’t have to be a leader to make a difference to someone’s day.

  • What difference could you make today?
  • How could you reconnect with a member of your team who perhaps is neglected?
  • How can you rock their world, change their experience and reset their expectation?

I would love to hear about the success you have in adapting your approach.

Believe and Take Action

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Ian Ruane

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