Posts tagged communication
How to Receive Feedback Like a Boss, Part I

We all need feedback if we are to grow and perform at our very best. And if our people don’t have a way to express their fears and concerns, what will that do to their morale, engagement, and desire to remain at your company?

So, before discussing strategies for receiving feedback, we must first tackle the challenge (and it’s a big one!) of getting our people to open up to us in the first place.

Part of the challenge here could be our mindset. In her bestselling book Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success, Stanford Professor Carol Dweck talks about people’s mindsets with regards to their ability to perform new tasks.  She talks about people who stay squarely in their comfort zones and others that venture well beyond them. Dweck labeled these mindsets as “fixed” and “growth,” respectively.

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How to Give Feedback Like a Boss, Part II

Following are more tips to help keep feedback conversations constructive.

  1. Be growth oriented – The primary purpose of feedback should not be assessment. Rather, it should be on coaching employees to grow and set new goals. Once goals are set, use them as a baseline for future conversations with a focus on how the employee is progressing towards his/her goals. If insufficient progress is being made, use the conversation to figure out why and what can be done to help get things on track.

  2. Be reasonable – Even if there are many correctable items that you’d like to discuss, avoid overloading. Too much information will only dilute the conversation and reduce its effectiveness. Choose the 2-3 most important elements that require attention and leave all others alone. Less is more.

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How to Give Feedback Like a Boss

In a previous post we talked about using the “EARN” approach to giving constructive feedback that focuses on a person’s actions rather than on their person or character.

Below are some other tips to help you deliver more effective feedback.

  1. Be positive – If your intention is genuine, and you can convey this to the employee, there’s a good chance your feedback will be effective.

  2. Be immediate – Give the feedback while the individual can act on it. Waiting until the end of the week, or worst yet, the annual performance review doesn’t help the person make mid-course corrections.

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Describe the Action, Not the Person

What does “good feedback” mean to you?

As leaders, we give feedback constantly. We do it formally, such as in scheduled review meetings. But we also do so informally, such as when we notice something that we like (which should be the norm) or something that we don’t appreciate (a necessary but hopefully less frequent form.) It could be expressed directly in words, or communicated indirectly, as with facial gestures, tone of voice or even changes in behavior patterns.  

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5 Tips to Increase Workplace Engagement

The statistics about worker disengagement are staggering. We read all the time about how workplace engagement levels are low here in the U.S. and even lower around the world. Loss of productivity is estimated to cost employers hundreds of millions of dollars annually, if not billions. And it all stems from how disconnected folks feel from the people working around them, the work that they do each day, and the purpose that it serves to them and to others.

Workplace connection results in many benefits, including stronger communication, greater synergy, enhanced anticipation of others’ needs and worries / concerns, and, last but certainly not least, increased worker engagement. When we feel connected, we operate with a sense of purpose and utilize our many talents and abilities to advance that purpose, consciously as well as subconsciously.  

The need for connection at work is perhaps stronger today than ever before. It has become an expectation, especially amongst younger workers, that the workplace be a source of meaning and intention, not just a place at which to collect a paycheck.

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How NOT to show appreciation

Do your people feel valued and appreciated at work?

If you're a leader, one of the most important things you need to be doing is thinking about how can you demonstrate appreciation – that's right – appreciation for your people and what they are doing for you.

We cannot assume that just because we pay people – and often pay them really well – that that alone constitutes appreciation.

Nor can we assume that just because we don't need appreciation, which may or may not be the case, but even if we don't, that others don't as well.

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Make your feedback personal

It is not a secret that job satisfaction in this country is not where it should be. A 2014 Conference Board report says that the majority of Americans (52.3%) are unhappy at work. What makes our workers happiest? The CB report says that “interest in work” provides satisfaction to 59% of the workplace. Even more fulfilling was “people at work,” which 60.6% said they liked. Similarly, an expansive study by Boston Consulting Group found that the No. 1 factor for employee happiness on the job is getting appreciated for work. The question for me is this: If interpersonal relationships and the expression of appreciation are so important to employees, why aren’t leaders spending more time doing it?

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Communicate Clearly and Openly – Part IV of An E.P.I.C. Solution to Undertstaffing

In my previous post about understaffed leaders, we spoke of the importance of becoming more influential to maximize their impact and get the most from their teams. In this post, we focus on the “C” of “E.P.I.C.”, how to communicate more clearly and openly.

All leaders need to communicate clearly and openly. But strong communication is particularly important for those who lead understaffed teams. And great communication starts with great listening. In your conversations, focus mainly on listening rather than speaking. This will open up the communication lines and deepen trust.

You may think that you are communicating well. I did, too. But the only way to know for sure is to ask.

Start with this simple question: Overall, how would you rate my/our internal communication?

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Connection: The Anti-Silo

It’s a central part of far too many organizations. Bickering. The lack of healthy communication. Folks sitting quietly at their desks, hoping to stay under the radar and not be burdened with more work, let alone someone else’s work. People prioritizing their wants and needs over those of the team, or those of their own team over the organization as a whole.

Territorialism. Silos.

Silo mentalities and the turf wars that they enable devastate organizations by wasting resources, killing productivity, and threatening goal achievement.

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