Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Parenting Pointers: Feedback Revolution

Providing valid, worthwhile feedback requires candor and avoiding rose-colored glasses but, and it wont always be easy, ongoing feedback in the workplace will be #1 game-changer for boosting results in 2018.  You can learn how to create a feedback-driven culture shift in your org by Denver's Marjorie (Margie) M. Mauldin, consultant, trainer, entrepreneur and author of the new book, Feedback Revolution.  
Here are some examples, on which she will offer thorough tips and case-specific guidance:
  • Failure to Improve: Performance Problems
  • Termination
  • Layoffs or Cutbacks
  • Exit Interviews 

Feedback is about support and improvement, and a high-energy, positive work environment sets a dynamic tone and culture for employees and retail customers alike. 
  1. Create and nurture your feedback zone – a specific state of mind, attitude, understanding and outlook that prepares you to develop and deliver the most effective feedback possible.
  2. Think before you give feedback – think specifically, engaging your empathy and intuition, as well as your managerial skills and business/employee goals/preparing and rehearsing (in your mind) the feedback you will be giving.
  3. Learn the language of effective feedback – the language and words you will use, as well as the tone, will determine the effectiveness of your feedback message.
  4. Ask permission before giving feedback – effective feedback is a conversation and a dialog, not a lecture. By asking permission, you are showing respect and an implied invitation for the employee to participate in the feedback conversation.
  5. Feedback involves both follow-up and follow-through – unlike annual performance reviews and other static employee communications and interactions, a genuine feedback process doesn’t stop as soon as the initial feedback conversation is ended. Effective and worthwhile feedback is virtually always a starting point.

With 30 years of experience, Mauldin will empower your audience to anticipate and solve communication-based problems to maximize performance, minimize risk and achieve superior performance in today's global marketplace—across every industry and every generation.  I had a chance to read her book (it's really helpful for anyone in the business world) and do an email interview.

What common mistakes do people make when giving feedback?
Many times we give feedback when we are emotional - disappointed, angry or frustrated.  These particular emotions are very powerful and lead us to be reactive in our message to the recipient.  Always take time to assess the situation by asking yourself a few basic questions.  Afterall, if it's important enough to say - it's important enough to prepare for a good outcome.
1 - Is this the right time or place?
2 - What is my intent and WIIFT - What's In It For Them?
3 - How will I offer support if it is needed?

·       Why is it important to learn how to receive feedback well, even if it's not positive?
We all want to be better - better people, parents, colleagues, and friends. If someone is offering information to you that you can use to improve, take advantage of it! Their delivery may not be the best but look for the kernel of truth in the comment that will help you learn, grow and improve. An honest conversation of concern and support is very important to the recipient and if well handled will lead to a deeper and more satisfying relationship.  

·       How does giving and receiving feedback improve the workplace?
A culture that demonstrates a positive, supportive communication style is a definite competitive advantage for any workplace. Environments that are happy and free of petty innuendo are more productive which leads to greater employee retention and business success. Think back to situations where there was an undercurrent of blame, fear or retribution. If you are like me, you dreaded the situation and looked for ways to avoid particular meetings or people. A culture that is defined by feelings of frustration,  or walking on eggshells can lead to mentally checking out of the situation and offering the minimum work just to get by. A positive emotional culture helps everyone expand their thinking and choices, increase intuition and creativity as well as bolster happiness and resilience. 

·       Can these tips be expanded to home or school situations?
Absolutely! We have opportunities everyday to improve our communication skills and habits. One easy way to monitor your own communication is to take note of the ratio of positive or negative comments or responses. At a minimum, your responses should be 3/1  - 3 positive to 1 negative. It's a simple way to become more self-aware and contribute a positive engagement each time you interact. 

Marjorie (Margie) M. Mauldin, an energetic, wise and creative entrepreneur and successful business leader is the founder and president of Denver-based Executive Forum, a leadership training and development company founded in 1986. For more than three decades, she has worked with Fortune-100 companies, government agencies and municipalities on leadership and feedback training, helping them improve their results, outcomes and business relationships. In fact, her company, Executive Forum, delivers training to more than 5,000 national business leaders each year through award-winning training programs, including iLoveFeedback, and implements a proven process for repeatable success.  Margie is a credentialed master trainer and she is on several professional association and community-support boards. Margie can be found on LinkedInTwitter, and at iLoveFeedback.com.  
Feedback Revolution is available on Amazon as well as other fine booksellers.

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