Corrective feedback: are you making one of these 3 mistakes?

As a leader, giving feedback to your people is part of your job. And while we all enjoy giving “yay, you!” feedback, it’s safe to say that no one likes having to deliver correction. That said, it’s still part of the job of developing your people and ensuring they deliver top-quality results. Here, then, are three mistakes and myths you …

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Why you should never ask “Why?” (and what to ask instead)

It seems entirely reasonable: someone does something wrong – or at least, not as you’d expect – and you ask, “Why did you do that?” There’s just one problem with this – just one, but it’s a big one: “why” creates an immediate sense of defensiveness and self-protection. “Why did you do that?” Feel it for yourself. It carries a …

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You’ve heard this before – and it’s still true

One of the challenges of listening well is that we tend to listen to respond instead of listening to understand. This comes in several flavors. You might listen to the first few sentences, and then start constructing your answer in your mind … which means you tune out the rest of what’s being said. Or you might have something you really-really want to …

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Well, what did you expect?

Last week, I facilitated a two-and-a-half-day boot-camp-style workshop. It was intense. Especially since after the first hour and a half, participants were upset, complaining, and threatening to leave. By the end of the second day, they were raving fans. It all came down to expectations The marketing and pre-workshop emails hadn’t set expectations about what was going to happen. People …

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What’s the elephant’s name?

There’s an elephant in the room. It’s the conversation you don’t want to have. It’s the thing you’re uncomfortable about sharing. It’s the topic you’re anxious about discussing. Whatever it is, you think about it often – but never straight on; always kind of sideways, like when you look out the corner of your eye because you don’t want to …

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Will you or won’t you?

“I can do that.” But will you? “I can do that” means you have the capacity, skills, knowledge, time, and resources to do this thing. “I will do that” means you have the motivation, intention, desire, and drive to do it, as well as the capacity, skills, and so on. I’d much rather hear someone say, “I will do that,” than “I can do …

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Why are difficult conversations so dang difficult?!

Those conversations. The ones that make us anxious, frustrated, worried. The ones we postpone and avoid. Whether it’s an ongoing disagreement with your partner, an employee who keeps making the same mistakes, a kid who persistently “forgets” to take out the trash, an aging parent, or your neighbor with the barking dog – whatever it is, there are some conversations …

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The dance of connection

A friend mentioned recently that she and her partner experience a lot of near misses in their interactions. As she put it, “communication zings by,” and it’s only later that she realizes what she heard maybe wasn’t exactly what was said – and vice versa. And this is a couple who’ve been happily together for over 20 years! We all know that different …

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Three steps for handling chronic complainers

The chronic complainer. We’ve all encountered them. They love describing all the things that are wrong in the world – and not just once. It’s the same story every time we encounter them. And they suck the energy out of the room! We quickly start avoiding them, whether by running to the bathroom when we see them coming, or choosing …

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When they don’t say “thank you”

You’re generous. They don’t say “thank you.” It’s a slap in the face. Why, you might think, did I even bother? And it’s hard to retain a sense of connection with your feelings of generosity, never mind your sense of connection with the other person.  How, you might think, can they be so rude and ungrateful? In the end, you have three …

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