Bosses Improve with Bottom's Up or Lateral Feedback but Act Badly After. Solution?




Harvard Business Review March-April 2020 “A Subordinate’s Criticism Makes You More Creative” by Professor Yeun Joon Kim pp30-31


How does a leader react to top-down, bottom-up and lateral feedback? Negative feedback makes most of us feel threatened, less willing to be creative and even distracted at work. Leaders though when given guidance from subordinates are likely to measurably improve but may eventually retaliate in various ways including lowering employee’s evaluations, becoming aggressive and social exclusion.


Ultimately, how can we get improvement without the negative reaction from leaders? This researcher suggests that feedback based on objective measures would be best. Examples are “an algorithm that counts the number of errors in a software program or the volume of goods that a salesperson has sold”.