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

Use feedforward to find your big idea

By looking at future possibilities instead of past failures, we move people and ideas forward. Feedforward is the new fuel of feedback. It’s more than just a play on words. It’s an entirely new playbook for how we think about people, performance and potential. It activates our most human desire for agency and achievement. And it focuses on a future people can still change, not a past they can’t. Shifting our perspective can make all the difference. When we start to focus on future possibilities instead of past failures, there is no… 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

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