Words are Important when Providing Feedback

Words are Important

ssuming that we’re interested in giving feedback in such a way that the recipient is willing to listen to it (versus our need to vent), it’s important to select words that are easier for people to accept, while avoiding other words that spark defense and rejection.

Here is a simple word list that will make a big difference when providing feedback:

Avoid absolute-you statements, such as “You never…” or “You always…”

“You” messages tend to create defensiveness in people. By adding an unqualified “absolute” such as “you never” or “you always”, will likely package the feedback for defense, rejection, and … Continue reading

Best Bosses: A Case of Emotional Economics

Whether it is a passion for people, data, achievement, or status, everyone wants to be satisfied emotionally.  I know it’s a concept that doesn't make for a spellbinding tale, but let’s face it, being a great manager nowadays requires a bit more modesty as it does boldness.

It’s a simple truth that emotion drives our most productive and satisfied employees.  It’s true for teams and departments, and the latest claim is that it can affect the economy of an entire organization.  It’s what stretches us to set and achieve our highest-level goals.  It regulates how hard we … Continue reading

3 Leadership Lessons from the Boston Marathon

More than 36,000 people participated in the 2014 Boston Marathon, making it the second-highest number of runners in the marathon’s history. This year’s race, however, had less to do with winning or competition; it became a “national symbol of resiliency and determination to take back the finish line”, as CNN’s Ashley Fantz phrased it.

Leadership has many faces, times and places. These are the leadership lessons that stand out for me as I reflect upon this year’s marathon.

Leadership Lesson #1: People Need Purpose and Enthusiasm to Reach Their Goals

People rally when … Continue reading

Self Leadership: Is It Time To Renew?

Over time leaders can lose their effectiveness if they don't renew and enhance their skills.  What we did and how we did things in the past may have yielded good results then, but maintaining the same flight plan won't necessarily get us to where we need to go in the future. Leaders have to be continuous learners to an unprecedented degree.  We must have a high commitment to self-improvement and engage in an ongoing process of expanding and fine-tuning our capabilities.  When we focus on our personal development, treating mistakes and shortcomings as opportunities for improvement, we create environments where … Continue reading

Succession Planning: What are your Future Leadership Needs?

Succession Planning: What are your Future Leadership Needs?

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with an executive team of a large non-profit, to design a process for succession planning and leadership development. This is an organization that has its eye on the future. They wanted to go beyond generating simple replacement lists and instead, take a closer look at defining the type of leadership they will need going forward. Naturally, this led to looking at their strategic goals, business plans, and shifts they expect to make over the next three to five years. Below is an outline of a 5-step process that we used. The questions guided our discussions, and we created worksheets to capture the answers. Continue reading