Do you remember a time you got positive feedback for your work, how it affected you and what it led to?
And do you recall when you got negative feedback, at work when you thought you had done great? And how that affected your motivation and self-esteem?
I have learned that, for me, it is most important that I lead myself, by reflecting on what I have succeeded with. Meaning: giving positive feedback to myself, which I do on weekly basis, but also thinking about what I could have done better and/or what I learned from challenges. However, I do remember the positive feedback I have gotten from others and see a direct positive effect on how that has supported me.
I reflected on sustainable leadership in a blog post in the autumn, writing that I found a Finnish positive leadership group on Facebook. It turned out that the group is based on the Ph.D. dissertation of Sanna Wenström, who is running a Finnish project on positive leadership, for micro and small enterprises, and public organizations. In addition, a nationwide positive leadership and mentoring network to share research knowledge and practical experiences are created in the project, which is the network I found. Since the end of last year, I have attended the monthly morning meetings of this network, which have been inspiring and the reason why I chose to reflect on this topic. At the meeting in February, we were asked to reflect on the questions mentioned in the intro of this blog post.
I remember many times I have recieved positive feedback, and how good the rest of that day and my work the coming years has gone, due to my high motivation to continue my work. However, I also remember the negative feedback I have gotten on work I have done my best for and been proud of, and how that feedback has affected my work. Fortunately, I have learned that negative feedback can often actually be feedback that the person gives him- or herself and just expresses to the person that happens to come by.
Due to this reason, I try every time possible to give positive feedback. Furthermore, I do give constructive development proposals, but negative feedback, I think, should only be given in person.
Why do I think giving positive feedback is so important? For development. Lahtinen (2020) points out that when one gets to apply one’s special skills, it is perceived as an inspiring factor that increases well-being at work. If we all would work with the things we think are important and good at, more development would happen.
Concerning positive feedback and what´s going on in Finland, I recommend following “Good News from Finland”, which “covers positive and globally interesting news topics related to Finnish businesses and innovations”.
Earlier this spring Zhanna Koiviola wrote about how “Finnish innovators are generating new material solutions bound to make the world a better and cleaner place”. This is great news, since the most urgent challenges in the Nordic countries are enhancing sustainable consumption and production, SDG 12, and climate action, SDG 13, which I reflected on in January in a blog post about skills for the future.
Last week, Aleksi Teivainen, summarized how “Finnish firms enjoy growth spurt at home and abroad”. Among others, he mentions Woodly has received three million euros in funding for the commercialization and internationalization of its wood cellulose-based substitute for plastic. The carbon-neutral material can replace plastic in production and end products. Another example he brings up is Carrot Kitchen, which has developed a game-like cooking app that is designed to inspire children to cook and eat healthily, which will be launched in the UK. Well done Woodly and Carrot Kitchen! Innovative, great solutions.
Zhanna summarizes that “Finnish innovation is constantly seeking ways to mitigate environmental stress and support the future in the long term”, of which she presents many different innovative examples in her article. I am confident this is true, that we will continue finding new solutions, by cooperation and my remembering to also talk about the successes, for inspiring more work for more sustainable solutions.
Tove Holm, May 31st, 2021