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7 Types of Positive Feedback

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Positive feedback is the framing of feedback in a way that is likely to be perceived as friendly and supportive. It may convey things that need to be changed but it avoids a negative critique of a person's performance. The following are common types of positive feedback.

Intrinsic Feedback

Designing activities such as work assignments such that feedback will naturally result. For example, a teacher who asks students to design paper airplanes and measure how far they fly as part of a lesson about aerodynamics. The students will get feedback about their performance from how well paper airplanes perform independently of communication or evaluation.

Knowledge of Results

Providing information about the results of a person's work or performance. For example, telling a software developer how a fix they implemented resulted in an uptick in customer satisfaction ratings.

Knowledge of Performance

Knowledge of performance is information about a person's performance that is independent of results. For example, a coach who points out that a goalie was in the correct position and handled a play well after they let narrowly let in a goal.

Positive Criticism

Pointing out positive aspects of things that may not be obvious. For example, a sales manager who points out that a salesperson has superior performance in answering customer technical questions after they perform poorly in negotiations and closing. This type of observation can lead to useful strategies such as pairing a good negotiator with a salesperson with a solid technical understanding of products.

Constructive Criticism

Suggesting a different approach without being negative about a person's performance. This can begin in a compliment or simply focus on the facts without exploring the negative. For example, a teacher who tells a student that their paper airplane may not have enough surface area in the wings to provide lift.


Nudges are subtle messages designed to influence. This can include non-verbal communication such as eye contact, facial expressions and body language. For example, a slight inquisitive tilt of the head might be used to indicate you don't understand what a person is communicating.

Saving Face

Saving face is the practice of helping someone to avoid embarrassment after a failure. For example, "it's ok, there's plenty of time to fix it."
Overview: Positive Feedback
The framing of feedback in a way that is likely to be perceived as friendly and supportive.
Related Concepts


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Action Plan
Ad Hominem
Anticipating Objections
Body Language
Building Trust
Business Comm.
Comm. Process
Civil Inattention
Devils Advocate
Direct Language
Comm. Channels
Comm. Complexity
Dumbing Down
Comm. Context
Echo Chamber
Comm. Design
Comm. Issues
Comm. Objectives
Ground Rules
Comm. Plan
High Context
Comm. Problems
Comm. Skills
Comm. Style
Low Context
Consensus Building
Media Bias
Message Framing
Digital Comm.
Moot Point
Nudge Theory
External Comm.
Plain Language
Positive Criticism
Formal Comm.
Rhetorical Question
Self Monitoring
Hypothetical Question
Informal Comm.
Information Design
Interactive Media
Internal Comm.
Mass Comm.
Media Studies
Nonverbal Comm.
Open-Ended Question
Shared Meaning
Small Talk
Social Comm.
Social Cues
Strategic Comm.
Tag Question
Target Audience
Thought Experiment
Tone Of Text
Touching Base
View From Nowhere
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