Posts Tagged ‘giving feedback’

Step out of Judger Mindset to Give Effective Feedback

February 13, 2011

Further to my earlier posts on giving feedback, the Globe and Mail invited me to write up a Mentor Minute on this topic. Have a look if you’d like: 

And see earlier post on my Webinar on this topic – if you missed the Webinar, you can still catch it via recording. See this page (workshops and webinars) for links to the Feedback webinar and a few others.

To feedback that fuels — and a TGIM work-life!

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Invitation (free Webinar): Giving Feedback that Fuels Success

January 12, 2011

UPDATEthis one hour webinar was first presented on January 27th . If you missed it, the recording is still available (and free!). Read on. 

Do you cringe with anxiety when you have to give someone some tough feedback? Do you avoid it? Or maybe you hold your breath, suck it up and try to get over it as quickly as possible. What about positive feedback? Do you give acknowledgement regularly? Meaningfully???

If  you said yes to any of these questions, then mark the date (January 27th at 12:30pm ET) and attend a free, one-hour Webinar that I’m presenting called: “Giving Feedback That Fuels Success.” Generously hosted by CICA as part of its Careervision Webinar series, it’s open to anyone who is interested. All you have to do is register in advance (takes a few seconds). You can listen live on the date, or access the recording anytime after.

Giving meaningful feedback is an essential part of a manager/leader’s role — but it doesn’t come naturally for many people. But with the right skills, know-how and attitude, feedback conversations can be turned into opportunities to develop people, improve performance and even build more trusting relationships.

See you there!

To a TGIM work-life!

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In the News: Ramp up the ‘People’ part of your Leadership

August 22, 2010

I was invited by the Globe and Mail Careers to respond to another Mentor Minute question from a reader. They published the column in Friday’s paper ( I wrote it a while ago).

The Scenario: The readers asks…

“I’ve just completed my first year in a leadership role and had a disappointing performance review. My boss acknowledged that I have good skills in advancing projects but he said he wasn’t seeing enough effective leadership. He wants to see me ramp up the “people” side of the job. I’m at a loss. What is he looking for?”

My Response: The Mentor Minute columns don’t get posted online but I did scan a copy and you can read my response here!

It seems performance development is becoming quite a theme in my coaching business of late. I have been invited to contribute an article to Canadian HR Reporter on ‘giving feedback’ (I will post it as soon as it’s published). As well, I am doing some work for a College in Ontario – developing and facilitating a training module for leaders at the college on performance development. Specifically, I will be teaching a myriad of coaching skills that are increasingly becoming recognized as a valuable leadership competency and fundamental to the performance development cycle.

Check in again for more updates on this area.  In the meantime, here’s another Globe and Mail Mentor Minute article I contributed related to Performance Reviews.

Here’s to a TGIM Work-Life for you and your team!

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When Praise Falls Short

April 10, 2008

Who doesn’t like a pat on the back or some acknowledgement for a job well done?  I certainly do. But gratuitous praise just doesn’t cut it. In fact, unwarranted praise can sometimes backfire.

The Globe and Mail Life section ran an interesting article earlier this week on this topic. According to a study by Niro Sivanathan, praising people inappropriately can result in something called “Escalation of commitment’. That’s when someone increases their commitment to an idea or decision — even if it’s a bad idea or poor decision. Sivanathan says people who have low self esteem might to stick to their decisions even if they are the wrong ones to avoid owning up to perceived failure or being wrong. Praising someone to make them feel better in light of an error or bad decision might deepen their commitment to ‘look good’ and stay the course.  Conversely those with higher self esteem are much more apt to admit when they are wrong.

So what are the implications for leaders who must give feedback to their people – both for positive performance as well as for performance gaps?

Acknowledgement is increasingly becoming an important engagement driver for retaining talent and promoting high performance. Acknowledgement helps develop confidence, improve self esteem and self trust which is important to grow into one’s potential. People want to feel good about who they are and what they are doing. But as this study reinforces, gratituitous or inauthentic praise is not the way to go.

Here are some tips to consider when giving acknowledgement:

1) Be authentic. Never fake an acknowledgement. It will ring untrue and won’t serve the purpose and it could also reinforce unacceptable behaviour.

2) Be specific about the behaviour that is to be acknowledged — i.e. “You did great work on that proposal – You came up with some very innovative solutions”.

3) Include an acknowledgement of who they were being in their actions to further build their self trust. E.g. “You were courageous to take such a bold stand in that meeting.”  Notice how much deeper that is than simply acknowledging their actions (i.e. “you spoke up in the meeting”). They can leverage that feedback and sense of being courageous to other situations.

4) For tough feedback (i.e. poor performance), focus your comments specifically on their actions and behaviours vs. their character. E.g. “Your behaviour of missing deadlines is unacceptable,” is better than  “your inability to meet deadlines…”. Notice the distinction. Do not generalize bad behaviour to a permanent character trait (the word “inability” is a character assault and is closing the door to possibility for change).

5) Balance the tough feedback with appropriate positive feedback. It can be demoralizing when feedback is all negative – so balancing it is key.  Try to find something positive to acknowledge the person for — but make sure it’s authentic and it doesn’t overpower the message you need to deliver. Sometimes in efforts to include a positive acknowledgement the other critical message gets lost.

6) If you can’t find anything within the behaviour or performance to acknowledge look to who the they were being in the process to cull something positive. E.g.  “While we need to ramp up the quality of this particular assignment – I do want you to know that I recognize how hard you worked on this and the commitment you demonstrated. …etc.”  (if that is indeed the case)

So there you have it — a few thoughts to share. As always, I welcome feedback of all kinds (especially acknowledgements:) (kidding) on how to create a TGIM worklife!


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