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

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

How to “AIM” for better goals

black and white dartboard

Setting goals is good. Supporting and delivering on them is better. Here’s how. The only thing more cliché than setting New Year’s resolutions? Breaking them. According to a recent study, less than 20% of us actually manage to follow through. More than one-third of our resolutions are abandoned by February. And after falling off the wagon a few times, we tend to further weaken our willpower with self-limiting thoughts. It’s no wonder why so many people have decided to quit making resolutions altogether and set goals instead. But even then, we need… Read More

Humbler Ways To Make A Bold First Impression

Landing a new job, especially a promotion, can be an exciting career move — but not without its share of complications. This can be particularly true for leaders whose zeal for racking up early wins can be perceived as threatening to those who don’t know them or their intentions, setting up these leaders and their teams for potential conflict and friction.  Instead of waiting for acclimation, new leaders can take control of their own image with deliberate and proactive actions that demonstrate humility and earnestness — qualities that go a long way… 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

A Small Act of Gratitude Can Produce Big Results

This article originally appeared at Inc. Good leaders are constantly looking for ways to boost their employees’ sense of engagement and shared purpose. But you don’t need grand gestures to make people happier or more productive. In fact, the biggest payoff may come in small packaging. The handwritten thank you note. It’s a practice that has gained traction with executives at major companies. During his tenure as CEO of Campbell’s Soup, Douglas Conant delivered close to 30,000 handwritten notes to employees at all levels of the company, from senior executives to maintenance staff. Mark Zuckerberg made it his personal goal… 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