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Leaders Letters A Leadership Resource

Edition 3. August 2007

The Link Between Feedback and Emotions Reprinted from Course: Coping with Criticism and Feedback, Topic: How Feedback Triggers Em otions, SkillSoft Corporation, Copyright 2002

eceiving feedback can be an emotional experience, because it either confirms or reinforces what you already believe about yourself or presents you with new and unexpected information. Consider the following points.


There is a whole range of emotions you may experience when receiving feedback. You should try to use your emotions in a positive way and not allow yourself to be intimidated by your own feelings.

If what you are hearing is pleasing, you may experience emotions such as happiness, exhilaration, and excitement.

Try to show calmness, curiosity, confidence, ease, and optimism when receiving feedback. You are more likely to react objectively if you feel important, competent, in control, encouraged, and motivated.

If what you are hearing is unexpected, or not what you wanted to hear, you may feel fear, disappointment, embarrassment, anxiety, anger, guilt, or confusion. So, why do certain types of feedback trigger different emotions? In her book Giving and Receiving Feedback, Patti Hathaway says that "a lot of our ability to handle feedback is based on our self-image and guilt we experience from our childhood messages." Chances are that your emotional reactions to feedback are already programmed. For example, if you were chastised for making mistakes at an early age, you are likely to have negative emotions towards feedback about your mistakes.

Remember, your ability to be aware of, and control, your emotions will be an enormous help to you whenever you receive feedback from others. Emotions like curiosity, confidence and optimism will be helpful to you. Leaders Letters are produced by the Human Resource Team of the Corporate and Finance Division and distributed to members of the Senior Leaders Group. For more information contact 894 0304.

Introduce Your Employees to E-learning -learning is flexible, convenient and cost effective. It offers the ability to work at any place where a high speed internet connection is available and to work at one’s own pace.


Over 21 percent of corporate learning in Canada today takes place in on online format according to Ceridian Canada, global leaders in employee development. PEI public servants are now able to access and take advantage of the many benefits of this type of learning. Some topics now available via E-learning include: •


Human Resources

Business Strategy and Operations

Management and Leadership

Professional and Project Effectiveness

Sales and Customer Facing Skills


In addition to offering variety, these online courses include course plans, tests and complimentary interactive simulations. Thousands of reference books and one page quick tip sheets known as Skillbriefs and Job Aids are also available. Participation in a one hour orientation is a prerequisite for all employees prior to receiving an Elearning license. An E-learning orientation by Ceridian Canada provides a general overview of Elearning courses, references, and tools available through E-Learning. It prepares employees to be successful in using E-Learning software. If you are interested in accessing an E-learning license, contact your supervisor or the Human Resource Manager for details. Make Learning an Everyday Experience. Checkout The PSC Learning and You page http://iis.peigov/dept/psc/learning/index.html for details about E-learning orientation as well as classroom courses now available and learning providers who offer programs for public servants.

Employee Feedback he following list is a collection of actual comments provided by real DSSS employees. The employees were discussing qualities an effective supervisor brings to the work sites. Check each one that describes your workplace style.





Offers morning greetings– checks in with me


Promote and encourage team interaction


Promotes positive change in office


Periodic reviews of my work in appreciative/supportive ways (In services, destress activities)


Recognizes Birthdays, Events, Births


Respects and seeks my opinion


Shares their knowledge and experience


Always acknowledges workplace issues


Acknowledges strengths


Has time for me when I need it


Hires employees who are hard working, fun and team players


Holds team meetings every week


Shares in the decision process when possible


Keeps me informed of what I need to know to do my job


Supports me to take training


Takes action

The Link Between Feedback and Emotions - Leaders Letters August 2007  

A Leaders Letter resource on the link between feedback and emotions.

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