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

Feedforward: Look forward, not back

Good feedback look forward, not back. Getting others to accept our feedback can prove challenging, especially when it’s critical. Worried that their feedback may lead to hurt feelings or diminished productivity, managers resort to face-saving techniques like the “praise sandwich” that end up doing more harm than good. The result is a wobbly feedback culture built largely upon evasion, confusion, and self-delusion. This dynamic can change with a better message — and a bolder mindset. Based on my research and work with leadership teams, I’ve found that when performance conversations are powered by partnership, the landscape shifts…. Read More

The Art of Persuasion

Persuasion works best when you help others convince themselves. Really good salespeople know how to persuade their prospects. But they don’t do it by pushing them harder. Instead, they push away the hard issues — the barriers that keep others from taking action. You don’t need to be manipulative to win people over. All it takes is a better understanding of how people make decisions. Persuasion is part art, part smarts. Stick with these principles of persuasion, and you’ll end up getting more of what you want by giving others more of… Read More

Dealing with Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is inevitable, but how we deal with it is up to us. Getting negative feedback, especially from those we respect and trust, can quickly become an emotional train wreck that leaves us feeling hurt, helpless, and even a little bit hopeless. And when critical feedback is repeated over time, researchers have found that it can diminish our productivity, motivation and even our prospects for employment. The good news? We can flip the script on negative feedback by changing the story. While we can’t control what happens to us, we can… Read More

Try a Feedback “WRAP” Instead Of A Praise Sandwich

praise

This article originally appeared in Inc. Giving feedback, especially when it’s critical, is a difficult but necessary function of managing people. Managers who don’t want to come across as confrontational will often resort to a “praise sandwich,” tucking negative feedback between two compliments. And while it remains a popular option, the praise sandwich is a stale choice. Not only do some people find this manner of feedback less reliable, they are often more likely to focus on the praise at the end of the sandwich instead of the critique in the middle — serving neither the feedback giver nor… Read More

Why “Mirror Holders” Give Great Feedback

This article originally appeared in Inc. Getting others to accept our feedback, especially when it’s negative, can be challenging. And while it certainly helps to share feedback that’s timely, specific, and growth-oriented, the best way to get others to be receptive to feedback is to describe a future they can still change and control. Too often, managers share feedback that’s rooted in the past and prescriptive in nature. If you want your message to produce a more positive and meaningful result, start by changing your feedback mindset. In short: Become a “mirror holder,” not a “window… Read More

Steph Curry and The Power Of Growth Mindset

This article originally appeared in Inc. Throughout his career, NBA star Steph Curry has demonstrated key lessons in leadership and mental toughness–not to mention, the power of a positive team culture. And as the NBA post-season heats up, Curry is taking aim at the value of a growth mindset. “Everything that I do great right now,” Curry recently told the Wall Street Journal. “I want to do even better.” That’s a neat summary of a growth mindset, the belief that basic qualities can be cultivated and improved through ongoing effort. As research by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has shown, people… Read More

4 Simple Ways Leaders Can Energize Their Teams

This article originally appeared at Inc. As leaders fend off Zoom fatigue and other work-from-home challenges, a host of familiar problems are starting to resurface. Hiring challenges, workplace conflicts, productivity drags — these time-sucking traps can distract leaders from becoming a source of energy and inspiration for the people they lead.  Without requiring significant time or resources, here are four ways leaders can supercharge their teams in the year ahead — and boost the way employees feel, grow, work and create, whether they’re working from home or back in the office. Develop a gratitude habit. Research shows that the simple act… Read More

Giving Feedback That’s Radically Transparent

Honest feedback is a gift. Here’s how you can start delivering it. Giving transparent feedback is a challenge for most people. Want to know what radically transparent feedback looks like? Here’s an actual email sent to Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, by an employee named Jim Haskel: Ray –   You deserve a “D-” for your performance today in the meeting.  You did not prepare at all, because there is no way you could have and been that disorganized.   In the future, I/we would ask you to take some… Read More