December 2014

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When, “you were great”, is far from good

You have just finished a major overhaul of an assessment item or unit plan and your colleague responds: “Looks amazing. You are so good with stuff like that.”   Your inner monologue fires up. “Really? Amazing? I mean I’m generally happy with it but… amazing? Am I really good with stuff like this? I wonder which stuff they are talking about?”   Giving effective feedback is all in the detail – even when it comes to praise.   Just because you praise someone doesn’t mean you have helped them.   Poorly given praise can be harmful, even the general “You…