Have you ever had a time when you wanted to give a friend or a co-worker some negative feedback, but you are apprehensive? You don’t know how they are going to interpret it?
If you are in human resources, you may know exactly what I mean.
You toss and turn at night wondering if you should offer your feedback.
Has this ever happened to you?
Well, it doesn’t have to be that tough a decision. There’s a way to do so without friction or hard feelings.
If you sincerely care about people, you should face your fear and give them negative feedback with a compassionate heart.
Let me share with you why.
We are experiencing some unprecedented changes. This world is radically different.
We cannot afford to remain the same and expect to survive and thrive. It’s going to require a new you to overcome today’s challenges.
We must reinvent ourselves. The question is, how to do you do so? What would it take? The answer is simple:
Yes, to be a better leader or manager in the new era, you need constant feedback. That’s how we improve.
You must realize that no matter how great you are, there’s room for improvement. Feedback is the mother of innovation and reinvention.
Yes, I know some people are arrogant. They think they know everything. That’s sad.
Arrogance is the brutal enemy of personal and professional growth and progress.
Those who think they have all the answers are fools.
Mastery is impossible without constant feedback.
Let me share with a simple formula to share negative feedback.
The Secret To Sharing Negative Feedback Without Offending Others
The formula is PSP. P is for Praise. S is for Share. And P is for Praise again. Now, let me break it down for you.
1- P: is for Praise
People can be very sensitive. The reality is, we all have an ego. We can get easily get hurt.
You must praise and elevate before you anything negative. Think of it like driving on the road and you are coming up to a big pothole.
You have to prepare yourself by slowing down and proceeding with caution.
The negative feedback is the pothole. The praise is your way of proceeding with caution.
You simply say something like, “Susie, you’ve been a fantastic member of our teams. I love your positive energy. Last month we were late and almost missed our deadline. But, you rescued us.”
Notice the specificity here.
There’s Magic In Specificity
It’s not enough to say, “You are great.” Tell the person specifically what makes him or her great. The more specific you are, the more impactful it will be.
You are boosting the person self-esteem before you give the negative feedback.
2- S: is for Share
Now you are ready to deliver the negative feedback. You say, “There’s an issue we need to work on.” Do you see how I use the word we?
Now, you are ready to share the issue. But there is just one small catch.
Always Disassociate The Person From The Negative Behavior
The person is never the behavior. I’m sure we all have issues. But bad habits don’t make us bad people.
Unfortunately, most times our relationships are with the bad behavior instead of the person.
As an example, let’s say a person is a liar. We tend to develop a relationship with the lyar. We listen to the liar. So, we know a person for twenty or forty years. But, never actually never meet the person.
All right, how do you disassociate the person from the negative behavior? How do you let the individual know his or her poor performance is not who they are?
Gesture away when you share the negative feedback. When you do so, you automatically send a signal to the person. You are saying the person is not the behavior.
Although, I strongly suggest you emphasize it. Gesture away. Then you say, “This is not like you.”
3- P: is for Praise
Okay, now that you share what’s on your mind, it’s time to elevate again. Here’s my best advice to you.
Never Walk Away From Any Conversation Without Leaving The Person On A High Note.
Here’s something to keep in mind: When you praise, you elevate.
When you share the negative feedback, you tend to bring the person down. That’s why you end on a high note.
The high note is much better if you future pace the person. Let me explain.
Feedback is the past. To move forward, we have to focus on the future.
You ask a future based question by saying, “By the way, what is your vision? Where do you see yourself in this company? Is there a position you would like to occupy in the future?”
Once you hear the reply, say, “Excellent! I can see you as the regional manager. I’m ready to help you. Let me know if can share any resources or information with you.”
Can you imagine how great that feels? That’s your way of communicating you sincerely care.
Use this PSP formula in your workplace and personal live. The impact is the same.
Maybe it’s your best friend who has been behaving weird lately. It may be your kids or significant other.
With this approach, you never have to feel awkward again. In fact, your friends, family members or co-worker will think the world of you.
Simply put, I’m arming you with a powerful psychological weapon. Except that in this case, you use this weapon to build instead of destroying.
The Secret To Getting Unstuck From A Dead-end Job In The Workplace
Have you ever had moments in your career when you feel like you are stuck at the bottom? Somehow, you feel like you are not progressing and moving ahead.
You see some people at the top. They are doing extremely well. They are collecting the fat paychecks. You wonder if they are smarter or more intelligent than you. You begin to doubt yourself.
Then you get to work up close with one of those people at the top. You are shocked! Suddenly, you realize this person is not all that intelligent. He or she is not smarter than you.
You might be thinking, “Rene, how come they are at the top of the ladder? Why it is they are the ones enjoying the good life at the C-suite level? Do they have a secret? Is it because they know the right people?”
The short answer to all the above is no.
Maybe you are in business for yourself. You are in the same market with other entrepreneurs. You are selling the same products or services. But, they are striving, and your business is struggling. Do they know something you don’t know?
Again, the answer is no. There are lots of people who are doing extremely well who are not as smart as you are.
You see, once you understand what I’m about to share with you here, you can write your ticket to the top. It’s like giving the key to the kingdom. If indeed it is a secret. I want to reveal it to you now. Let’s start.
The Secret Is Personal Initiative
Okay, what is personal initiative? Well, think of it as being a self-starter.
Simply put, you don’t wait for a boss to tell you what to do. You are proactive. You voluntarily find ways to improve existing procedures, processes, and systems. You are consistently getting things done and producing better results.
It’s one of the fundamental characteristics of leaders. That means when you are a self-starter, you are a leader.
The reality is, 98% of the people in the world are not leaders. They only want to follow. They want someone to tell them what to do.
In this rapidly changing world, if you are the kind of person who only gets things done when the order comes in, you are unnecessary.
You must be a self-starter who takes action to come up with new solutions to the new challenges.
In a way, that secret is invisible to many. Unless you carefully observe the top players in your field, it’s hard to detect what got them there.
Alright, how do you motivate yourself to find the drive to have personal initiative? How do you become a conscious self-starter?
3 Ways To Become A Self-starter:
Personal initiative is nothing but a behavior. Think of it as a muscle. It takes lots of repetitions. You have to keep flexing the muscle.
You can form any habit with constant repetition. Some psychologists tell us it takes about 60 days to form a habit. Others say 21 days. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. Just keep in mind that you become what you repeatedly do.
You learned what it takes to get unstuck from a dead-end position or how to rise to the top of your field. What you need now is to be aware of opportunities to put it into practice.
To form any new habit or change a behavior, you need awareness.When you are aware, you make better decisions.
Any time you show up to work, be present. Start noticing what needs to get done. Take instant action. Don’t be distracted.
As of today, make a daily commitment to do three things that are not in your job description. Add a daily task to your calendar with a reminder. Again, it takes repetition to form a new habit.
Those things you choose to do every day don’t necessarily have to be big. You can do some something as simple as dusting off a corner in the office.
Let’s say you go to a departmental meeting. Nobody is taking notes. You take the initiative to take copious notes. You go to your computer and summarize the entire meeting. Then you send the summary to everyone who attended.
No one told you to do so. You do it because you are a self-starter. You do it because you are a leader. I bet you everyone would be talking about it. And you would get on the radar of the big bosses. Am I right?
That’s how you join the ranks of the winners. Whether you work for somebody or yourself, you have to motivate yourself to take action even when you don’t feel like it.
Facebook, Google, Walmart, Coca-cola and all the big companies you see out there were founded by self-starters. Those founders didn’t wait around for someone to tell them to take consistent action.
Am I saying having personal initiative is all you need to succeed? No!
Of course, you need to acquire the right skills to climb and thrive at the top. But, guess what? When you are a self-start, you find ways to master those skills. You will not wait for the company or the manager to provide you the training.
The little girl was the daughter of one of the Italian dignitaries. She spoke every little English. But that one sentence she uttered triggered in my mind how companies can attract and keep top talents in the workplace.
If you are in any leadership position, pay close attention. It’s how successful organizations become magnets to attract the very best in their industry. It can also lift you up to the top of your company.
More importantly, it will inspire your team members to stay and thrive together during the turbulent change. Let me get to the point.
It was 1996. Atlanta was the home of the Olympic Games. I was a doorman at a luxurious hotel. We were the host site for several international delegations. The hotel was full of attendees, dignitaries, and volunteers.
Justina was the little girl. She was only nine years old. Her father was a prominent personality in the Olympics. Every day, she would go to the games with her family.
She would always bring back a little gift for me. We became buddies. Through her broken English, we managed to carry some conversations.
But what’s important here is when Justina said,
“Mister, I love Olympics. One big family. You… my family. All people are happy.”
On the last day, it was so tough to say goodbye. I remember the teddy bear hug Justina gave me. We both shed some tears. The volunteers and the hotel employees were hugging each other with tears in their eyes. It was as if we’ve been together for years.
As I look back on Justina’s remark and the tears that were shed on the last day of the Olympics, it dawns on me something magical happens when leaders focus on…
Creating Caring Communities
I believe the planners of the Olympics intentionally engineer each experience to trigger the feeling of community. All leaders at every level in the organization should do the same.
Think about it. There so many breathtaking emotions during the Olympic Games. We bond, cry, cheer, laugh, and reflect. We feel inspired and motivated to go for our gold in life. Whether it’s at home or in person, you still feel the thrill.
Then there are the Olympic Villages – the accommodation centers for athletes, trainers, and the officials.
Let me ask you this: What does the word village conjure up in your mind?
That reminds me of my village in Haiti. In a way, it was a caring community. The people were always there for each other.
The Big Takeaway:
If you want to create highly productive teams or zealous volunteers for your cause, inspire them to think, act and behave as one big caring community.
They come because of the job. But they will stay because of the community.
They will ultimately decide to stick around or leave based on their emotional connection with each other.
As human beings, we have a vital and psychological need to belong. That’s how we are wired. We need to bond.
According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need to belong is right up there with the need for safety and food.
We desire to connect with individuals who share our beliefs and care about us. We need the encouragement, support, and cheers of others. That’s the spirit of the Olympics. That’s what little Justina meant.
When the need to belong is not met, we break down and experience emotional pains. We feel rejected and isolated. We suffer from low self-esteem and confidence.
Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, you still crave to belong. The introverts may have social anxiety. But they still secretly want to break through their fears for social interaction.
That explains why some people would get and stay in abusive relationship. They have a deep craving to connect and bond.
The funny thing is, we want freedom, independence, and autonomy. But, we also want to depend on each other. We want to mingle.
Whether you are the pastor of a church or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, creating a vibrant and caring community should be your top priority.
How do you do so?
Engineer Experiences That Emotionally Connect Your Team Members
When I’m keynoting a conference, one of my top priorities is to trigger a sense of community within the audience. Why? It’s because once they connect, they are more responsive to my message.
I would ask them to do something as simple as “Give someone you have not met a high five and say ‘You are so awesome!’.” Or I invite a few of them to come on the stage to play and ask the rest cheer them up.
Have you ever heard someone say, “My job is my extended family.”
That’s my point!
However, that CANNOT happen organically. You must have meaningful conversations about it with your team members and leaders. Create activities that require them to interact, so they get to connect and bond.
The bottom line is, the more people feel connected as an interdependent community, the harder it is for them to give up and walk away.
For some people, the caring family at work may ultimately matter more to them than their own family.
Justina must be about thirty years old. I have no idea if I will ever be able to cross her path again. But in spirit, we are still connected.
It’s the same for your team members. They will stay connected in spirit for years to come.
If done right, you will boost morale, productivity, and stickiness. The word will get out, and you will attract and keep the superstars of your field.
Do you suspect something is holding you back from doing what you need to do to succeed? You are correct! And Facebook is one of the accomplices.
That something is your INABILITY to bend time to serve your purpose. It’s the ninja advantage of the world’s most accomplished men and women… the 2%.
Do you wake up every day with a plan and block time to executive the plan? Are you ready to join the ranks of high achievers?
When you do, you will earn the admiration and respect others. Some will even envy you. You will go to bed with a clear mind to sleep like a baby.
No more tossing and turning worrying about what you should have done.
In just a moment, I will hand you that power. I will show you how to bend time and make it your slave instead of your master. I will also help you cure the rare disease called FOMO.
Yes, you are suffering from it …until NOW.
How Did It All Start?
Once upon a time, people didn’t think about time management. That was during the agricultural age (in the 1700s). They lived simplistic lives.
They either worked as farmers or made things with their hands from sunrise to sunset.
Daylight dictated working hours. Their shadows were enough to tell mornings, middays, and evenings.
The introduction of big machinery, electricity, and artificial lights changed every-day living. Workers start migrating indoors. They needed to keep time for their wages.
First, there were the hour water and glass clocks. Then the invention of mechanical clocks. Seconds didn’t matter much. A two-hand clock was enough.
The Mandate To Manage Time
Today, if you are serious about boosting your productivity, you CANNOT afford to hopefully things will get done. You have to manage your time effectively. Not a chance!
This is the information age. It’s coming from everywhere: Television, radio, advertising, social media, 4.63 billion pages and counting. There’s nowhere to hide from distractions.
The idea that someday you will sit down and finish your projects is an illusion. Someday will never compel you to start and finish anything. It’s not on the calendar!
You MUST organize your days, months, years, and even your lifetime to take charge of your future. Master the art of starting and finishing.
Be a doer of your words.
Benjamin Franklin, the father of time management and inventor of electricity, said…
“Time is money,” and “Time is the stuff of which life is made.”
At the tender age of twenty-one, while traveling on an ocean liner, he created what he called his “Plan of Conduct”.
In it, he wrote four personal affirmations. Surprisingly, number three speaks volume in light of what I’m sharing with you. Here it is…
“I’m determined to diligently and energetically pursue anything I undertake. Furthermore, I won’t allow myself to be distracted from my goals and responsibilities by any foolish project or get rich quick scheme; because diligence, persistence and patience are the best ways to succeed.”
Take THAT to the bank!
No wonder why this giant could achieve so much in one month than most people can in a lifetime. His secrets? Time management!!!
The Only 2 Magic Words You Need To Become A Ninja Time Manager
There are two words you have to top of the mind for the rest of your life. They will unleash your creativity. Ready?
In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey gave us the magic formula. It’s a hard book to read. But his time management formula is precious. Two words you should be aware of…
Their opposites, “Not Important” and “Not Urgent” are also part of the formula. He called them The Four Quadrants For Time Management.
Here’s a view of this quadrant looks like:
Quadrant #1: Urgent and Important
Fire in your kitchen? Urgent and important. You have to put it out RIGHT AWAY. If your kid falls and breaks some teeth, it’s urgent and important.
Run to the emergency room NOW! You cannot ignore quadrant number one.
Quadrant #2: Important and Not Urgent
Going to the gym or running daily is not urgent. But, it’s extremely important. It’s exactly what you must do.
That is if you want more energy, less stress, and a host of benefits that come with that. Planning your financial future and retirement are definitely important.
It’s easy to say, ”I will get to it someday.” Oddly enough, those activities are not something you tend to enjoy. You have to make yourself perform them. Guess what?
All great achievers focus and spend more time in quadrant number #2. They force themselves to do the things underachievers don’t enjoy. Hmmmm!
Quadrant #3: Urgent and Not Important
The every-day interruptions such as emails, Facebook, and Internet browsing appear to be urgent. But the are not important. The vast majority of underachievers out there spend their time in this quadrant.
They are always busy doing the urgent. They check emails every five minutes as if their lives depend on it.
The email, Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter addiction are not your fault. They are doing it to you. I’ll explain it to you in a moment. Yep! Mind-Blowing stuff.
For now, just recognize because something is urgent doesn’t mean you have to get to it now.
Quadrant #4: Not Urgent and Not Important
Have you calculated how much time you spend on the phone talking with friends or family members? You would be surprised at the total hours.
The worst part is, most of those conversations make no sense at all. They are repeated and rehashed blah, blah, blah.
How about when people decide to drop by because they are bored?
Not urgent. Not important. They show up to kill time.
Why do people KILL time? I’m still trying to figure this one out. I didn’t get it when I first started learning English as a poor immigrant. And I still don’t.
Look, quality time with your family members and friends. It’s very IMPORTANT.
But, does that mean they should drop by on impulse? What if I’m working on a deadline to get a project done?
Here’s how to handle this:
Block time on your calendar for family and friends. They deserve it. And, let them know about those time slots.
What am I practically telling you is to resist being on other people’s agenda.
By the way, that is what emails are all about. You check your emails first thing in the morning. You will feel compelled to reply.
You click on some links and some more. Now you have 20 tabs open in your browser. Now you are debating which one to close or keep open.
Puff! Your day vanishes!
That was never your agenda. By the way, I think tabs was the worst invention for us. It’s like you need an Act of Congress to make a decision to close a tab.
The FOMO Disease
Okay. You got Covey’s four quadrants for time management. They are… important, not important; urgent, and not urgent.
You decide you are going to spend most of your time in quadrant number two, right? You’d better!
Let me wrap up by briefly sharing with you about the rare disease that’s called FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. No time management article or post would be complete without addressing it.
Did you know Facebook, Google, and Twitter invest millions on behavioral psychologists? Would you like to know why?
It is to get you HOOKED!
They want to crawl inside your head and manipulate your addictive neurons. Simply put, they spent an enormous amount of money and time to get you addicted to their platforms.
Needless to say that your addiction is NOT something you develop on your own. Did you know you about your addiction? Probably not.
None of us is exempt. Do you have a cell phone? That’s exactly my point.
Everyone suffers from the terrible disease called FOMO… Fear Of Missing Out. That’s innate. We can’t stand not to “be in the know”. The behavioral psychologists know it.
That’s why the cool guy spends 10 hours in line at the mall to buy the latest iPhone. Totally irrational. But it is what it is.
That’s why the news is so addictive. We don’t want to miss out. My friends think I’m weird because I don’t watch television. Go figure!
How about those ridiculous notifications?
Such and such just changed his or her profile. Bob tagged you in a photo. Patrick endorsed you. Paul mentioned you. Carla commented on your update. Lucie shared an update with you. You get my drift, right?
What are you really missing out if you don’t click on the link to find out? Answer… NOTHING!
The FOMO Cure The Internet Lords Don’t Want You To Know
Disable the Wifi or unplug the Ethernet cable from your computer. Turn off your cell phone. Close your browser. That’s it.
Maybe you have to have to access the Internet while working. If that’s the case, turn off anything else such as emails.
Practice what I call The One Tab Solution. Test yourself. Go one day with the commitment to have one tab open at any moment.
Check your emails only twice a day. Once during lunchtime and once in the evening.
Finally, remember this….
“Time will either expand or contract to fill any space. Meaning, whatever amount of time you have available to do a task, you will take it.”
Give yourself specific deadlines. And do not compromise even if you have to gobble 5 cups of coffee to pull an all-nighter. That is the best-kept secret of high producers.
Your Action Step:
Click on this link to DOWNLOAD this dandy little poster about execution.