Breath of Clarity

Comment #2: Worker Recognition

Original Post by Ryan Hanlon:

There are many incentive programs for better performance. I’ve been with three major companies since receiving my undergraduate degree and all three varied from none provided to quarterly check-ins and performance reviews. Performance objectives are typically important in four major areas including quantity, quality, timeliness and cost. These should be measurable because when performance objectives are specific, individuals know when and to what extent those objectives have been achieved (Manning 2014, 473). More than just measurable, utilizing the SMART technique can also assist with performance reviews to provide incentives. The SMART technique includes specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

Anger can arise during constructive feedback or positive feedback. According to a peer reviewed article, constructive feedback, anger appraisals were outward focused, blaming others for the cause of the negative outcome of the evaluation. A frequent appraisal for anger included comments about the delivery of the feedback or the tone set. On the opposite end, anger can arise during positive feedback as students felt anger stemmed from the feedback not being helpful or from disagreeing with the feedback (Fong et al 2018, 247).

As we saw in one of the videos this week, setting the right tone is an effective way to have a difficult conversation or providing feedback (Don’t Say You n.d.).

An effective leader takes action to ensure employees perform good work and have positive attitudes. Four steps for a good performance review are 1) recognize and retain high performance; 2) reinforce and develop the skills and attitudes of middle performers; and 3) confront and correct or dismiss low performers (Manning 2014, 485).


Fong, Carlton J, Kyle M Williams, Zachary H Williamson, Shengjie Lin, Young Won Kim, and Diane L Schallert. “‘Inside Out’: Appraisals for Achievement Emotions from Constructive, Positive, and Negative Feedback on Writing.” Motivation and emotion 42, no. 2 (2018): 236–257.

Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Don’t Say You Video edited. n.d. Accessed October 20, 2021. Module 6, Environmental Leadership.

My Comment:

Hi Ryan,

I appreciate your take about anger arising during constructive feedback. It is a great reminder that anger arises when a person goes from an attitude of taking accountability to becoming outwardly focused on blaming others. A leader who is concentrated on his/her personal development will make it a priority to not escalate emotions during difficult conversations. Rather than concentrating on criticism towards others, additional attention brought towards implementing strategies that maintain stability during challenging moments makes it so that a leader can succeed in staying calm and having the best outcome result from the conversation. Considering that the tone set while delivering feedback plays a major role in how it is received, it is important for the leader to focus on his/her self. Have you observed specific ways that leaders successfully set a tone while having a difficult conversation or providing feedback?