Keeping Feedback Fresh – Avoiding Feedback Fatigue

Performance management is about progressively changing small habits through feedback and reinforcement to help an individual adapt their skills to a particular role. While we all hope that our feedback is taken to heart, sometimes it seems like those messages who are meant to guide and improve performance aren’t being heard. Well-constructed, properly delivered feedback should be specific and actionable – it should contain all the ingredients of a SMART goal. But what should you do when you’ve given the same feedback once, twice or even many times without result?

If you’ve been giving the same feedback multiple times, you’re probably dealing with feedback fatigue – the person who is receiving the feedback is not truly hearing it because in their mind, they’ve heard it before, so they tune it out. It is just like living near train tracks, over time your brain becomes acclimated to the sound of the engines going by, the whistles and the clang of the railroad crossing, and you hardly hear it anymore unless someone points it out.

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