Choose to Encourage

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Encouragement works far better than criticism or, said euphemistically, “feedback.” Criticism causes resistance. Encouragement opens. It is the wiser, more capable part of us reminding them of their wiser, more capable part of themselves. Try it and watch them shine.   In your corner, Mike

Praise Early, Praise Often

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We have also been taught not to praise. Maybe it’s supposed to spoil people or something. Regardless, we don’t do it enough. Praise, done well, is powerful. It feels good to give and get. It counters the negativity that can dominate our days. And it is a superb way to teach and lead. Just catch […]

Giving Feedback Well

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One of the hardest parts of being a leader is pointing out how someone’s behaviors are doing damage or how their results are lacking. Here are some tips for giving feedback well. Be calm. If we are angry, worried, fearful, or tense, they will react poorly. Best to wait until we are calm. Be direct […]


Caring Critique

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

We can’t control how people will take criticism or feedback. Any prescription for how we do it (directly, indirectly, gently, or abruptly) might work. If we want our feedback to be heard and acted upon, though, there is one thing we can do. We can quietly affirm to ourselves our respect for and belief in […]

gold star

Give Positive Feedback ASAP

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As with negative feedback, positive feedback is best when we make it specific and deliver it as soon as possible. Positive feedback is far more valuable than negative feedback, though both are necessary. And it’s not just because people ache to know what they are doing well. Lots of honest, positive feedback lays a strong foundation […]


Give Negative Feedback ASAP

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Giving negative feedback is tough. None of us, really, likes conflict. Giving feedback or correcting can be so tough that we will go to great lengths not do it. But not giving negative feedback has undesirable consequences. It lets our frustration build, denies the other person the right to know and correct problems, strains the relationship, makes it harder and harder […]


Five-Minute Feedback

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Giving others feedback is one of the more difficult jobs of a leader. It can be so uncomfortable. We know we have to do it and do it well. But we can’t see an easy way. So plow through it quickly to get it over with, delay it (sometimes for way too long), try to get someone […]


The Best Way to Receive Criticism

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Like buffaloes walking toward storms to reduce the duration of their exposure, we can best weather criticisms by heading right for them. Try this. Ask the people who matter in your career (and life) what they think you do well and what you could improve. Thank them for their candor. After gathering their input, select […]

How to Know What They Need from You

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Success, We

In yesterday’s post, we discussed how to give and get useful, easy-to-hear feedback. With that feedback, you know what you are doing well, what could improve, and how you might go about improving. That feedback is helpful and incomplete. It focuses narrowly on your performance. What about the bigger picture that looks at you in […]