Archives For Problem Solving

So why give constructive feedback?  Constructive feedback is given when a behavior or action is ‘off track’ and you want to get it back ‘on track’.  Or you might need a higher level of performance than was achieved.  In one of my workshops I had a manager say that he wanted to learn how to ‘punish people properly’.  

Constructive Feedback

Ok… not what I was going for in a “Feed-FORWARD to Next Time” approach!

In constructive feedback we want them to hear you, buy in, and start a plan for how to change.  But how to do that? (To review the concept of Feedback As Feed-Forward and the purpose of giving feedback go here. And be sure not to miss any posts in the series by subscribing to my blog updates!)

The GROW Model

The best tool I’ve found is the GROW framework.  It creates a great flow of the conversation.  My thanks to John Whitmore and his book, Coaching for Performance.  (This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who wants to acquire a coaching style in managing the performance of others – Really!  B[……]

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Imagine a day where you received absolutely NO FEEDBACK.  Not really possible.  Your brain is constantly receiving feedback – feedback from your stomach (time for breakfast), feedback from your feet (this bathroom floor is cold!), feedback from your spouse (don’t forget to pick up Kristen after school today).


Your brain is a lover of feedback.  Without a feedback system you and your body couldn’t even complete the simplest task.  But even though we are wired to receive feedback, most leaders I meet struggle with the best way to give feedback.

My second blog series summarizes best practices in giving feedback.  As with the last series I’ll summarize the best tips and tools I’ve found on giving feedback.  Your job:  to practice and make these tools your own.

The Purpose of Giving Feedback

Answer the following question:  Why should you as a manager give feedback?

While you’re thinking about that… let me tell you a story of the worst feedback I ever got:

One company I wor[……]

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Oscar Time!

February 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

It’s Oscar time! Get out the tuxedos and gowns! Roll out the red carpet! The envelope, please. And the winner is . . . 

Oscar Time! Performance Reviews

So far in our series we’ve been discussing the basics of how to be successful in your first year as a manager. We’ve talked about setting clear objectives, what comprises SMA2RT goals, how to conduct one-on-ones, and now we come to the very useful management tool of the performance review.

As the year wraps to a close – your manager or HR will probably ask you to write a written summary for each employee’s annual performance.

Do I hear groaning?

Maybe you’re thinking of how stressful some your own performance reviews have been. But let me offer a suggestion to lesson the pain. If you look at performance reviews in a certain way you can make them very useful and effective in your leadership toolbox. 

Think of performance reviews as your own Annual Oscar Awards Ceremony! It’s your chance to highlight the achievements of your team members and focus on[……]

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wacky |ˈwakē| (also whacky)

funny or amusing in a slightly odd or peculiar way

eccentric, unconventional, uncommon, abnormal, irregular, aberrant, anomalous, odd, queer, strange, peculiar, weird, bizarre, outlandish, freakish, extraordinary; idiosyncratic, quirky, nonconformist, outré; way out, offbeat, freaky, oddball, kooky.

 Brain Ruts

Why do we get stuck in our ways of thinking, such that new possibilities keep eluding us?   Brain RUTs!  It’s as if the wagon wheels on our thinking trails just keep carving deeper and deeper ruts.

how to get unstuck in your thinking

 Try this to see how deep our “thinking ruts” are.

Ask people to give you a color, a type of furniture and a flower.  Did you hear a lot of red or blue, chair or table and rose or daisy?

Established patterns in our brains can be a good thing.  It helps us tie our shoes without thinking. It helps us attend to the whole and not have to painstakingly think about the parts.  It is why we can see the forest, and not just the trees. These patterns help us.  But sometimes these thinking patterns can get us stuck.  They can hinder us from finding that break-through idea.

Get out of the Rut:  Be Wacky!

Being WACKY can help us break out of our repetitive ways of thinking. Teams begin to see what was hiding behind their mental blinders when they take diverse, creative, and even silly perspectives. These out-of-the-ordinary perspectives can then be used to generate new paths of action.


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