Methods for Constructive Feedback

Remember: For feedback to be constructive, it must be information-specific, issue-focused, and based on observations.

Appreciation alone is praise. Chiding alone could be misconstrued to be criticism. Feedback is balanced.

The purpose of feedback should be either to create awareness that can lead to correction or improvement in performance or an awareness that leads sustained and even better improved performance.

When you added specifics while giving feedback, your message carries an extra edge of sincerity. Note though, that if you can’t give “negative feedback” in a helpful manner, in a language and tone of concern, you defeat its purpose.

Next week, we shall explore a powerful model that can be used to deliver feedback. But before then, are you realizing areas where your feedback giving skills are lacking? Begin to brush up on them….Today!

Giving Constructive Feedback

Remember: There is no such thing as “negative feedback” as the motive for all feedback should be to improve the performance of the receiver. Therefore, if one party comes out of a feedback session disgruntled, it is either of two things:

  1. The feedback was wrongly presented, or
  2. The feedback was improperly received.

There are structured methods to both giving and receiving feedback, which we shall be exploring the next few weeks. Note though, that for feedback to be effective, it must never be forced.

There must always be an identified need or a prompt from the recipient, asking the giver for feedback.

A situation where this does not exist is bound to be one where the receiver goes through the session with a defensive demeanor because then, even the best of feedback would sound like criticism.

Establish the clear need or prompt for feedback, from the receiver, to aid the proper receipt of your feedback….Today!

The Customer

Remember: The Customer is king and must be treated as such.  To treat the Customer as king, we must know who they are, and what they want, which will then help us provide the right solutions for them. How then do we acquire this information about the Customer? We must search around 4 platforms:

Facts: Clear demographic information about your customer will help you visualize who they are and create a realistic picture about their needs, wants and goals.

Life styles/ Processes: Knowing their habits, lifestyle and daily activities will help you create a consistent message about why your product or service is useful and how it positively impacts their daily life

Challenges and Needs: What are the precise challenges and needs that your customer is facing? The more you know of the customer, the more you can address elements that have not been asked for.

Digital Relevance: Murphy’s law means that the pace of digital solutions will consistently rise. Do we understand how attuned to this opportunity our customer is?

Know your customer, and satisfy them…. Today!

The Three C’s of Effective Business Writing

Remember: All business writing should be Clear, Concise, and Correct. Good writers use plain language to express clear meaning. They write in a simple style that uses everyday words.

They do not use showy words and ambiguous expressions in an  effort to dazzle or confuse readers. They write to express ideas, not to impress others.

Inappropriate: “Personnel assigned vehicular space in the adjacent areas are here by advised that utilization will be suspended temporarily Friday morning.”

Appropriate: “Please don’t park next door on Friday morning.”

Clear messages contain words that are familiar and meaningful to the reader.

Use short, common, simple words  to say what you mean effectively… … ...Today

Business Ethics and the Time Machine

Remember: Whenever you are uncertain of the right course of action to take on a particular issue use the “Time Machine Approach” to ensure you do the right thing.

This approach works by your imagining that your initial action on this issue has led to you being sacked! However your time machine has given you an opportunity to go back and do the things you SHOULD have done, to avoid being sacked.

Watch how this approach transforms your attitude; giving you the 20/20 benefit of hindsight for every single decision you make….

Use your “Time Machine” to do the right thing… … ...Today!

Handling Irate Customers

Remember: An unsatisfied customer is an irate customer, and an irate customer is a customer at the point of departure from the use of your products and services. When not handled properly, an irate customer could be a source of negative advocacy for your brand. It is therefore important to handle an irate customer maintaining your cool in order to ensure a win back at all times.

Below are seven tips on how to handle an irate customer while maintaining your cool.

  1. Don’t Take It Personally: the customer is not angry with you but the brand
  2. Never Argue Back
  3. Kill Them with Kindness
  4. Be Patient
  5. Know How to Apologize
  6. Solve the Problem
  7. Relieve Your Stress

Follow these seven tips, and stop negative advocacy for your brand…. Today!

Reinventing Yourself

Remember: Reinvention as a word implies a process of deconstruction, a subsequent reconstruction, and a resultant newness.

The intended ‘payback’ for reinvention is gaining something that you currently feel is missing in your life, which could be anything from a successful career, to a better financial situation, to a happier work-life balance, or a complete change of lifestyle.

Using the force-field analysis, here are five tips to successfully reinventing yourself

  1. Conduct a ‘Personal Audit’: This process involves that you appraise your life from a personal and professional perspective. Write your name in the centre of a clean sheet of paper and itemize your life’s pressure and disappointments on the left and the pleasures and delights on the right.
  2. Explore Your Values and Beliefs: Write down everything that prevents you from tapping into your natural talents and living your life in line with them at the bottom of the paper.
  3. Think about Your Dream Scenario: Write down everything you will do if you were free from practical or financial limitations at the top of your sheet of paper.
  4. Start Making Changes: Working through the above has allowed you to analyse your life and point out the areas that need most immediate attention.
  5. Live the Changes: The changes that you have started to work on can only be successful if they are sustained. So you have to live out the changes.

Create a better version of yourself, reinvent yourself… …. …TODAY!

Small Things are the Big Things

Remember: We are judged as excellent by our ability to deliver excellent results. The unsung part of that excellent result is the excellent effort that has taken place to achieve the result.

Your excellent effort delivers the greatest part of the requirement for that excellent result. The balance comes from a unique combination of planning, execution and yes, good fortune.

Now what is an excellent effort? Quite simply this means giving your best, while doing everything that is required, the way it is required. This means giving attention to the many small steps that are required in your role, project, task or situation. We remember the words of Mother Theresa who said “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love”.

For example, arriving early for work, is a small step that makes a big statement about your excellence, at the start of your workday.

So be faithful in the small things and bring out your excellence… … …Today!

Small Things are the Big Things

Remember: We are judged as excellent by our ability to deliver excellent results. The unsung part of that excellent result is the excellent effort that has taken place to achieve the result.

Your excellent effort delivers the greatest part of the requirement for that excellent result. The balance comes from a unique combination of planning, execution and yes, good fortune.

Now what is an excellent effort? Quite simply this means giving your best, while doing everything that is required, the way it is required. This means giving attention to the many small steps that are required in your role, project, task or situation. We remember the words of Mother Theresa who said “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love”.

For example, arriving early for work, is a small step that makes a big statement about your excellence, at the start of your workday.

So be faithful in the small things and bring out your excellence… … …Today!

Retaining Employees

Remember: Regardless of whether the economy is sagging or booming, employee retention remains a major concern across all industries.

Here are five important techniques for retaining employee.

  1. Select the Right People and Support their Growth: Do a proper work of getting the right people first. Remember that today’s hiring mistake is tomorrow’s problem.
  2. Understand What Motivates People: You must understand what satisfies, motivate or engage talented workers such as exciting, challenging work, career growth and benefits.
  3. Develop a Management Style that Inspires Loyalty: Treat people fairly and not necessarily identically and also create a value of inclusion. This will in turn inspire their loyalty.
  4. Create a Good Work Environment: Employees need a work environment that they love, enjoy and especially, one that fosters their development.
  5. Create Open Communication between Employees and Management: Have an open-door policy that encourages employees to speak frankly with their managers without fear of repercussion.

Create a culture for career growth and retention of your employees… … …Today!