Surrounding Yourself with Good Mirrors

In our recent work with a CEO, we asked him how things were going with his team, what they felt he was doing well and where they had concerns.  He reflected on this question for quite a while before saying he had no idea what they thought of his work or his impact.  He said his team was a strong group, for the most part, but were not confident when it came to challenging him or giving him clear feedback…

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Benefits, Concerns & Suggestions

The process of shifting a team to engage them fully in solving a problem, looking for opportunities, or challenging the cultural norms takes practice but can be successfully started using a simple discussion framework that we call Benefits, Concerns & Suggestions. The Benefits / Concerns / Suggestions framework is an easy to use discussion process that will shift the way your team works.  To use the framework, take the following steps: Use this format to foster engagement and communication.  Always…

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Combating NW Nice

 There is something of an epidemic plaguing businesses in the Pacific Northwest called Northwest Nice (NW Nice).  NW Nice is an affliction whereby a business professional will smile and speak collaboratively about an issue or a person in a public forum but later, will attack and/or undermine the very same issue or person behind closed doors.   The problem with this disease is that the afflicted rarely believe they have the ailment. They deny their behaviors and imply that “others”…

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How to Disagree without being Disagreeable

Throughout our lives, there are times (sometimes many times) when we disagree with someone about an issue.  Whether that person is someone we work with, live with, or relate to on a regular basis, knowing how to disagree with them without being disagreeable in an important skill that will increase your effectiveness and personal power. Two basic things are required to effectively disagree with someone without being disagreeable, the first is knowledge of oneself and second, communication skills.   Let’s look…

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Providing Effective Feedback to Others

In the last few weeks, we’ve explored how to receive and integrate feedback that you receive on your performance or behavior.  Today, we are going to look to the other side of the equation and explore how to provide effective feedback to others.  As with receiving feedback, there are specific steps to take that will help you to provide feedback to another person in a way that will minimize defensiveness, create an opportunity for discussion, and allow for the greatest…

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Integrating Feedback with Skill and Grace, Finale

In the first Integrating Feedback with Skill and Grace post we outlined the 3 key steps for integrating feedback about your performance: Work with what you’ve heard Prepare for the next meeting Meet again  Last week, we looked closely at the second step Prepare for the Next Meeting and today we’re going to focus on the final step:  Step 3. Meet Again  By now, you should have finished the first two steps of the process of integrating the feedback.  The…

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Integrating Feedback with Skill and Grace, Part 2

In last week’s post, Integrating Feedback with Skill and Grace, we outlined the 3 key steps for integrating feedback about your performance: 1.  Work with what you’ve heard 2.  Prepare for the next meeting 3.  Meet again Last week, we looked closely at the first step Working with What You’ve Heard and today we’re going to focus on the second step: Step 2. Prepare for the next meeting The goal in the follow-up meeting is two-fold. The first is to…

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Integrating Feedback with Skill and Grace, Part 1

In last week’s post, Get Comfortable with Feedback, we discussed 3 rules for receiving feedback about your performance. Those rules were: 1.  Listen calmly to what is being said. 2.  Thank them for bringing the information to your attention. 3.  Schedule a time to meet again. Feedback is an opportunity to understand the impact that you have on others and to decide if it is the impact that you want to have. So, once you have listened calmly, thanked them…

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Get Comfortable with Feedback

One of the most important skills required in today’s new economy is the ability to properly accept feedback from others. Whether that feedback is in an informal discussion, a performance evaluation written by your direct supervisor, or a 360 completed by your peers, it is essential that you know how to respond appropriately to professional feedback. It probably goes without saying that when the feedback is positive it’s not hard to accept another’s opinion of us – we feel good…

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