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Best of Multimedia: How You Give Criticism Depends on Where You Live

This infographic explores how people in 12 countries deliver negative feedback at work.

I hate giving negative feedback. I’ve always chalked it up to my nature (as the youngest of six, I’ve always been a people pleaser), but my desire to avoid delivering bad or uncomfortable news might actually just be a product of the American way.

This colorful infographic from Business Insider, derived from research by INSEAD professor Erin Meyer, explores how workers in 12 countries typically give downbeat reviews in the workplace. Americans, it says, “give the most exaggerated, explicit, and positive feedback of any country in the world.” And we like to bury our criticism within compliments.

Germans are less likely to sugarcoat things: They favor a more direct style and don’t take negative assessments personally. In Ghana, critiques are delivered through mutual friends rather than directly. The Japanese prefer to avoid giving unfavorable feedback altogether—leaving it up to their colleagues to determine when they are being criticized.

You can check out the other eight communication styles here. >>

Charity Delich

Charity J. Delich is the marketing & public relations manager of strategy+business.

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