Posts From April, 2014

Blog Post List

Feedback that Inspires 

Posted by Ken Estridge Friday, April 25, 2014 10:35:00 AM Categories: Coaching Development

Perhaps the most important factor in employee engagement is the employee's relationship with their immediate boss. How and when a leader provides feedback has a large impact on how people think and feel about working for them. We have observed many leaders over the years. There are many ways to be an effective leader, however some leadership behaviors have a much more positive impact on employee engagement than others. One thing great leaders do differently is how and when they provide feedback. Here are some of the most important lessons we have learned.

Frequent feedback is better than infrequent feedback. Some leaders think that no news is good news, but it isn't good leadership. People should never wonder where they stand with their boss. It creates unnecessary anxiety and fear. More feedback is better than infrequent feedback and the more specific and close it is to the event, the more effective it is.

Knowing when, where and how to deliver feedback is as important as the frequency. The goal of feedback is to encourage and inspire better future performance, not to punish past behavior or publicly embarrass or hurt people. When delivering feedback, begin with the end in mind. How do you want your employee to behave in the future and how do you want them to think and feel about you as their leader and about the company they work for. It is important for feedback to be experienced as a positive learning experience rather than punishment.

Feedback should not just be negative. Lee's Mom used to say "You get more in life with honey than with vinegar." You accomplish more and bring out the best in people when you catch them doing things right and provide acknowledgement and praise instead of just looking for what they are doing wrong. Most leaders think of themselves as problem solvers rather than cheerleaders and coaches!

Here is a powerful exercise that Ken learned when working as an executive coach at ConAgra Foods that makes a big difference in how people feel about coming to work.

The Ten-Dime Exercise:

Put ten dimes in your right pocket and move a dime each time you catch someone doing something right and give sincere positive feedback. At the end of the day, see how many dimes you have moved from your right pocket to your left pocket. If you haven't moved all ten, try harder the next day and track your progress over time.

Ken has given this exercise to many leaders over the years and they are startled at how challenging it is for them to catch people doing things right because their bias is to look for what is wrong that needs to be fixed! Spring is a time of new beginnings and renewal. Make this spring a time for you to focus on giving feedback that inspires.

Get your avatar
Ken Estridge helps executives quickly find their edge, fine tune their skills and take their success to the next level.
http://www.kenestridge.com

Leadership Tenets 

Posted by John Poirier Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:18:00 PM Categories: Coaching Leadership

I have been a facilitator for NASA’s Mid-Level Leader Program (MLLP) for the last three years.  On April 2, the fourth cohort graduated from the program.  David Radzanowski, Chief of Staff at NASA gave the Graduation Address to the graduating class.  I asked Dave if I could share the “leadership tenets” he offered in his speech.  Here they are.  I find them to be incredibly profound and practical.

  1. Always assume positive intent – most people are trying to do what they think is right.  While we may not always agree on methods or outcomes, most people are trying to add value.
  2. Always strive to be uncomfortable – to grow, you need to challenge yourself. Find the stretch assignment and volunteer for it.
  3. Delegate to the point of negligence – you need to work your way out of your job. So, trust your team and challenge them whenever possible.
  4. Failure is an option – be innovative and intuitive.  When mistakes happen, learn from them.
  5. Take care of your team – give them the credit for successes and take the blame for mistakes.  Walk around and talk with them on their turf. Your office is boring.
  6. Take care of yourself – schedule time for yourself and don’t let work interfere. Time with your family and friends is as important if not more than your career.  No one wishes on their death bed that they had attended that meeting they missed.

Sincere thanks to Mr. Radzanowski for allowing me to use his tenets.  I hope you find them as helpful as I do. Dave concluded with a quote from President John Quincy Adams.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more – you are a leader.”
Get your avatar
John Poirier helps client organizations develop and implement meaningful solutions to Human Resources Development challenges.
http://www.poirierassociates.com