Remember when you were in school and you turned in a paper that you had worked hard on and were proud of? Then you got the paper back.
Right at the top in bright red ink — or was it blood? — your teacher or professor had scrawled, “See me!” What did that message, always written in red, do to you?
What you got was a harsh version of feedback — one that’s painful, bewildering, embarrassing, and leaving you at a loss for words.
The fact that a red pen was used just made it worse. Studies have found that the color red is associated with “warning, prohibition, caution, anger, embarrassment and being wrong.”
Giving feedback should not produce those emotions.