When it is time to give difficult feedback to someone, most of us would rather run in the other direction. Even in the best of situations, it is a challenge to give feedback in a way that makes a difference and does not ruin your day -- and theirs.
Here are 5 simple steps to take when it is time to give someone difficult feedback:
1. Prepare ahead of time.
2. State your observation. Describe the incident and be specific about the behavior that you are addressing.
3. Tell what happened as a result of his behavior, including how it affected you personally.
4. Ask for the person’s views about your observation, outcome and/or assumptions. Then LISTEN.
5. Ask for what you want different in the future.
As hard as it might be to confront a problem by giving feedback, remember that until you address the situation and ask for something different, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Good luck!
by Susan Begeman Steiner
Networking is about meeting people you can do business with. The most common question asked at networking events is What Do You Do?
How you answer that question determines if you make a contact or simply get dismissed as another network bore. This may be your one chance with the person, so you want to make it count.
Here is a recipe for an enticing, sparkling response to this question that leaves them wanting more. You can "cook it up" differently each time, depending on what you think the person might want to hear.
Communication, true communication, is almost impossible in the best of circumstances. It takes a ‘perfect storm’ to bring together these three necessary things:
• Your clear, concise message
• The other person’s receptivity & ability to listen
The obstacles are many. They include faulty listening filters, cultural differences, stress & hurry, moods, and – a big one -- not being sure yourself exactly what you want to communicate. How, then, is true communication possible?
Start with the main Ingredient: RESPECT.
Definition of respect: Esteem & admiration, an act of giving particular attention, willingness to show consideration or appreciation
Respect leads to the possibility of actually getting your message across by opening up the other person’s receptivity and ability to listen. In fact, if you respect the other person, you will have a natural connection with her. Your message will automatically become clearer, she will be more open to what you have to say and you will sense when the right time to talk to her is.
If you truly want to communicate with someone and do not have much respect for him, you can look deeper for what you CAN genuinely respect about him. To find respect, you first have to let go of assumptions, judgments, negativity and drama. These things kill respect and letting go of them is worth practicing.
Maybe he’s a lousy boss, but a good father, skilled businessman or powerful negotiator. Once you find the respect, you can connect with him. This is not manipulation, but truly the art of connecting with another person. Warning: If you are not genuine, your communication will fall short. Guaranteed.
You can influence the ‘perfect storm’ necessary for true communication with respect. It is ‘sweeter than honey,’ sings Aretha Franklin in the Otis Redding song, “Respect.” And it is worth finding. The other person becomes better and so do you.
For over 20 years Susan has been a coach, consultant and corporate trainer. She is the co-founder of the Coach Group of Switzerland.