Are you getting all the feedback that you need - or do you sometimes avoid it because you won't like what it says?
I've been known to avoid some critical feedback. It doesn't make me feel good. Sometimes, there's nothing that I can do about it anyway. But, by avoiding the feedback altogether I could miss the piece of positive feedback inside, or the advice that truly matters, or an opportunity to communicate more clearly and reach better understandings and agreements.
Feedback can feel like hard work, but it's worth it.
If we want to achieve our biggest goals it helps to know how we're doing along the way.
Goal achievers learn from feedback every day.
We don't have to apply every piece of feedback. And for heaven's sake, we don't have to take it personally. As my much respected graduate school professor Dr. Jay Desko has said, "feedback says more about the person providing the feedback than it does about the person receiving the feedback." …
What do you do when you know that your feedback for someone on your team will be tough to hear?
Before I learned better, I would sometimes just keep the feedback to myself. I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, after all. And they made it this far without that feedback so...
But that's not the most compassionate approach. Withholding something that could make someone's life and performance better is not being sensitive, it's being ineffective. Tell them what's going on. Tell them what you are thinking. Offer your suggestions.
It can still be kind. It can even be graceful. It might even contain a bit of humor. But it's best as feedback when it is clear and to the point.
Prepare for that difficult feedback. You already know that there are right ways and wrong ways to deliver feedback. Plan, and practice. Get it right.
Before you give feedback imagine how it would feel to hear that directed at you -- and then adjust accordingly.
Be the boss you always wante…
Fundamentally, leaders change things by getting other people to help. We influence behaviors to suit our needs or the needs of some higher calling. What if that higher calling calls you higher still?
What if what we lead others to do makes something better? What if the change benefits everyone changed?
It takes a powerful leader to be able to lead without causing harm. Ego can get in the way. Agendas can precipitate tears. But, it is possible to create positive change without harm. Imagine the power of positive change without creating adversaries or harm. It's worth doing. We can do it. You can do it.
Become an unforgettable leader. Make something better.
-- doug smith
Something someone said in one of my workshops keeps popping back and I'm glad that it does. We were talking about dealing with difficult people, with difficult situations, with difficult times, and he said he approaches everyone from the same hopeful stance of "unconditional positive regard."
It's not something anyone has to earn. It's not something anyone can push away. It's a calm, focused, giving, loving way to look at those around us. Who around us? Everyone.
I have failed at this many times, even since hearing the words of "unconditional positive regard" and yet I do not surrender to the negative that creeps in when I'm off my game. Like a gentle redirection, like a soft return to the breath, I can think "unconditional positive regard."
Who, or what do you serve? As a leader, what is your way of helping others?
Leaders must first serve. They must first serve to even understand the importance of leadership. They benefit tremendously by serving people, other leaders, and organizations before ever stepping into a leadership role. People who have not learned how to follow have very little chance of successfully leading. The credibility, the resilience, the humility that serving provides build the character needed to lead others in difficult tasks, projects, and movements. Leading is hard, and the muscle comes from following, from serving.
Whether it's in the food industry, or emergency services, or education, or law enforcement, or housing, or foster care...there are dozens of ways to learn to serve and then to continue serving. It's what the world needs. It's what people need to develop leadership.
A leader who remembers how to serve will lead longer than one who forgets.
How, or who, are you serving today?