For better feedback, be a mirror holder

Try to enlarge someone else’s view, rather than your own. Getting others to accept our feedback can be challenging, especially when we have tough news to share. Deep inside the human mind, negative feedback can cause others to become defensive, angry, and self-conscious. It can weaken their overall effectiveness at work. And it can even drive them to seek out others who affirm, rather than challenge, their positive self-view. Throw in a host of delivery problems – lack of frequency, rater bias, and high-stakes settings – and it’s no wonder why managers either dodge feedback altogether… Read More

A Better You (Part 2)

Four podcasts to help you lead and live with purpose. It’s amazing how far we can go when life stands still. Last week’s post kicked off a month-long series on becoming “A Better You.” Featuring four popular episodes from my podcast I Wish They Knew, the round-up offered great insights on discovering our hidden influence, developing a plan for productivity, growing sideways in our careers and finding that missing spark of motivation. Summertime is the perfect time for rethinking and reflecting. The stillness of summer provides just the right amount of time and space… Read More

A Better You (Part 1)

Use downtime as primetime to get better. These four conversations can help. For many people, August is quiet month. Work feels a bit more relaxed. School is out for most kids. Summer trips still beckon. But this downtime is the perfect time for reflection and rethinking: What could I be doing better? Better habits. Better routines. Better relationships. Better goals. A better you. Two summers ago, I did what everybody else seemed to be doing and launched a podcast, I Wish They Knew. The show focuses on big ideas that deserve more… Read More

Creativity thrives with feedback

Dead-end feedback shuts down creativity. This approach can change that. Feedback is the fuel of personal growth and development, but it’s also a critical driver of creativity. Anyone who does creative work knows this. At the same time, giving feedback about the creative process can have a chilling effect on how ideas are conceived and expressed. Judging someone’s creative expression is a delicate act that may end up shutting ideas and creative energy down. Creativity isn’t easy Pixar Studios knows this challenge better than most. Over the years, it has collected more… Read More

Ten Commandments of Feedback

Feedback can be divine when we follow these rules. We have such a hard time giving and receiving feedback, you’d think it was a divine decree. Some prefer to dodge and disguise it. Others choose to defy and deny it. Depending on where you work, the feedback culture can range from cautiously polite to positively caustic — and that’s assuming people bother to share any sort of feedback at all. After years of helping organizations apply a feedback fix, I’ve found these ten rules to be particularly instructive. The list isn’t sacred… Read More

Jerks at Work: A Better Approach

Before you blame and shame, try to name the cause of jerky behavior. Jerks at work: A sad but stubborn fact of office life. Office jerks cause all sorts of havoc, from minor annoyances to full-blown office showdowns. These experiences slowly deplete our energy, drain our emotional well-being, and make it downright unpleasant to show up for our jobs. It doesn’t have to be that way. Tessa West, a social psychologist at NYU, joined me on I Wish They Knew to provide some insights and instructions on how to handle office jerks — without… Read More

To Earn Trust, Extend Trust

trust

Show others you trust them. Do you trust your employees? Better yet, do your employees trust you? The research case for trust is clear: Employees who are less trusted by their manager exert less effort, are less productive, and are more likely to leave the organization. Employees who do feel trusted are higher performers who go above and beyond role expectations. Plus, when employees feel their supervisors trust them to get key tasks done, they have greater confidence in the workplace and perform at a higher level. There’s no single measure or indicator of trust, but you basically… Read More

When Empathy Hurts Your Feedback

empathy

Empathy is the signature skill of good feedback. But it has a silent cost. Ask others whether they’d prefer to get feedback from someone who’s highly empathetic, and the answer would be a resounding yes. The ability to empathize with others is a critical leadership skill, especially when conversations turn tense. These individuals can anticipate how others are likely to think and feel, are well-equipped to express genuine care and compassion, and find ways to communicate in a constructive manner. There’s just one problem: Empathy might be derailing your leadership effectiveness. The underside of… Read More

Put on your feedback game face

With feedback, what we show matters more than what we say. You’ve crafted the right message.  You’ve carefully prepared your points. You’ve chosen an appropriate time and place to have the conversation. So how come your feedback fell flat? Good managers know how to hone their message. They make sure it’s specific, timely, fair and driven by dialogue. These are important attributes of effective feedback, but they’re only part of the equation. Savvy managers understand the invisible truth about feedback: What we show matters more than what we say. Our face is… Read More

Lead Like a Coach

To lead like a coach, help others find their lane and excel there. Getting feedback, especially when it’s critical, can challenge our status, elevate our stress, and compromise our relationships. And that sting isn’t just limited to those on the receiving end – the aversion to feedback can also affect the managers who have to share it. Many worry about stirring up workplace drama or causing hurt feelings. Others feel completely unprepared to deliver effective feedback due to their lack of training or people savvy. When the time comes to discuss performance issues, some managers try… Read More