Giving Negative Feedback
Informing someone that they have not met your expectations is challenging because if it is not handled properly in can result in defensiveness or resentment.
Six ideas to increase your success in giving negative feedback include:
- Make sure you deliver your feedback in private.
- Be respectful of the individual; focus on the problem or the situation, not the individual.
- Be timely… as soon as possible is always best.
- Provide facts; avoid judgments.
- Provide all the details and be specific.
- End with a question.
Even with the best plans, crisis can occur. They provide opportunities for you to demonstrate you ability and talent.
Seven ideas to increase your success in dealing with crisis include:
- Stay cool.
- Think & plan – – run the crisis like a special project considering possible solutions, time lines, resources, impact, and responsibilities.
- Use the extra adrenaline you are generating to find possible solutions.
- Have all affected parties participate in generating possible solutions.
- Delegate what you can but don’t start another fire.
- Ask yourself: “What’s your A1 priority?”
- Set up controls to ensure the situation doesn’t recur.
Focusing On Priorities
There are multiple tasks commanding your attention. Identifying your priorities is an essential skill to help you work effectively.
Eight ideas to increase your success in focusing on priorities include:
- Identify a specific deadline for every task you need to complete. This deadline can be imposed by others or self imposed. If a deadline is not communicated; request one. If need be, negotiate the deadline to ensure it is do-able.
- Include activities related to larger projects in the above process.
- Identify the start time required to complete your tasks on time. Include a buffer for high profile and/or time consuming tasks.
- Remove tasks that have no deadline i.e. reports that need to be read, articles of interest etc. from your immediate work area. Store them out of sight.
- Identify the tasks that need to be completed today…. these are your “A” priorities”.
- Organize the tasks that need to be started on another day in order of their start date… these are your “B” priorities.
- Work only on your “A’s” until all of them are complete.
- If time permits work on the “B” that next needs to be started.
Minimizing Interruptions (Part II)
We are sometimes responsible for inviting others to interrupt us.
Seven ideas to increase your success in reducing invitations to interrupt you include:
- Remove the “bait” from your work area i.e. sweets for others to share.
- Be less willing to make small talk.
- Stop saying – “Drop by any time”
- Make yourself less accessible by working with your back to the passageway.
- Don’t hesitate to tell people you’re working on a pressing priority
- Stop setting a bad example by interrupting others.
- Walk with a purpose; move quickly to communicate that you are busy and less inviting.
Minimizing Interruptions (Part I)
The person who interrupts you most often in a day can be… you.
Eight ideas to increase your success in minimizing interrupting yourself include:
- De-clutter your work space.
- Prepare before you start; gather all your required materials, equipment etc.
- Commit to finish whatever you start.
- Make outgoing phone calls at designated times.
- Schedule breaks at specific times.
- Turn off your email alert.
- Allow your telephone calls to go to voice mail if they are not the priority.
- Prevent potential crisis by planning and using time lines.
In today’s competitive business climate, winning organizations manage their customers’ needs and expectations treating their customers as if they’re essential to the organization!
Ten ideas to increase your success in providing excellent service include:
- Value your customers.
- Ensure that every member of your organization recognizes that the customer/client is essential.
- Let your actions demonstrate that you care. Respect their perspective.
- Communicate a positive attitude both non-verbally and verbally
- Build rapport with customers/clients; use their names, smile or sound like you’re smiling.
- Listen to their concerns and demonstrate your understanding by paraphrasing.
- Develop an unemotional problem-solving style.
- Handle complaints as a priority;
- Follow-up and be appreciative of the fact that you were given an opportunity to improve.
- Work to overcome procedural obstacles that punish customers/clients.
Confronting In Conflict Situations
Looking after your needs is essential to your good health and success. Many people are reluctant to say what they need to say because it may result in the other person having a negative reaction.
Six ideas to increase your success in confronting in conflict situations include:
- Identify the specific offending behavior.
- Describe the others person’s behavior that causes you concern. Be specific and describe the actions, not the person’s motives or goals. .
- Ask explicitly for a change in their behavior. Express the need for change in positive manner, as a goal to be achieved in the future.
- Request a small change; never a series of changes.
- Specify the concrete action you want the person to stop or those actions you want the person to perform.
- Always recognize and be respectful of the other person’s needs.
Disagreeing with a person you report to or a client is a challenging process.
Six ideas to increase your success in disagreeing diplomatically include:
- Before you disagree, restate or paraphrase what you believe the other person has said to demonstrate your understanding. Do this with a neutral tone and positive body language.
- Check for their agreement… if they don’t verbalize their agreement, are they nodding?
- If they don’t agree, keep restating until they do.
- Acknowledge that you understand their position, feelings or thoughts by outlining what you believe is the value in the suggestion. “I can see the value in…”
- Add however… do not use “but”.
- Then present your views, opinions or alternate suggestions.
Stress occurs when situations control you instead of you controlling them. Sometimes it is the way we react to events, and not the events themselves, that trigger stress.
Nine ideas to increase success in managing stress include:
- Identify the sources of stress in your job and in your personal life and minimize them.
- Find ways to best cope with stress that can’t be eliminated… proper rest, exercise, nutrition.
- Avoid burning out because of too much challenge
- Avoid rusting out because of too little challenge
- Calculate the number of hours you are capable of working and limit your hours accordingly
- Balance your life; find time for your physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual well-being
- Identify the priorities in your life and include daily activities related to your priorities.
- Eliminate time wasters.
- Use coping self talk to control anger:
- Is this worth getting angry about?
- Is getting angry going to help?
- Will this be important in two years, two months, two hours?
- What would a calm person do?
Staying Professional: Un-emotional & Problem –Solving Oriented
We have a choice in terms of how we can respond to difficult situations. In challenging situations we can respond with anger or frustration if we are not practicing professionalism. Our objective should be to consistently deal with challenging situations in a calm, productive manner.
Six ideas to increase success in staying unemotional problem–solving oriented include:
- Recognize your body’s physical warning signals that remaining unemotional will require extra effort, .i.e. a tightness in your neck or shoulders or chest or hands or stomach; a flush in your face or body
- Take a step back mentally. See the bigger picture. Will this be important a week or a month from now?
- Take a step back physically. Reduce the extra adrenaline through movement.
- Buy time. Say:
“I need to consider this.”
“I need to think this through.”
“I want to give this some thought”
- Anticipate your frustration with repeat offenders and plan your reaction to them.
- Smile and say “I don’t sweat the small stuff”… and smile again.