Do You Know How to Listen to Succeed?

“Misunderstandings, bad decisions, and team conflict create poor results. Avoid them by simply listening!” Jeannette Seibly

Most people would say, “Sure, I listen if …”

  • It’s something that interests me.
  • The speaker is engaging.
  • The boss is saying something that I need to hear.

But listening selectively doesn’t work.

Poor listening skills are the #1 reason for poor communication today! It impacts everything, everywhere in our lives, careers, and businesses…and leads to poor results.

There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak. Simon Sinek

You’re not listening when you are …

  • Engaging with the internal chatter in your head
  • Multi-tasking
  • Thinking about other things to do
  • Replaying old upsets (Hint: listening can resolve them)
  • Creating a new job and not engaged in the one you have

The costs of not listening are many. A select few include:

  • Teamwork and comradery are lost
  • New ideas and opportunities are missed
  • Logical discernment and cost-saving processes are overlooked
  • Trust — people feeling valued and respected disappears

8 Tips to Improve Your Listening and Your Results

1. Set Aside Your Ego. It’s the #1 reason you don’t listen. You believe you know-it-all or have already heard it! The truth is, you haven’t. Stop finishing people’s sentences or ideas. Not only is this rude, but you’re also usually incorrect. When your team does not speak up to correct you…you lose time and cost-saving ideas.

Max was a CFO for a large company. He had an uncanny ability to listen and sought out others’ ideas and opinions before making decisions. He didn’t just rely on executives’ opinions, he talked with others that would be impacted too. As a result, his decisions were better accepted and easier to implement. He’d learned the value of listening early in his career and believed it built trust. He was right!

2. Deep Dive. Hearing a tidbit of info and expanding and expounding on it isn’t listening. It’s your ego at work … and often it can be wrong. Listening and asking questions are part of developing critical thinking skills.

3. Stop the Internal Chatter. You have an internal chatterbox. (We all do!) It operates full-time every day, and many times keeps you awake at night too. Learn to meditate and disengage from mental chatter. Now, use these skills for listening.

4. Be Present. Focus and concentrate in the moment when interacting with others. This simple, but rarely used, listening practice makes all experiences more authentic and meaningful. Bonus … others will feel and see the difference too!

5. Set Aside Your Point of View. Set aside mental ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ about the person, task, or situation. This gets in the way of listening and hearing more than the words said. The creation of new ideas begins by listening and engaging in “Tell me more.”

Sabrina, a project manager had tons of experience and so she didn’t listen to anyone that didn’t agree with her. She said, “no” more than, “Tell me more.” As a result, she lost the trust of her team. They felt disrespected. In turn, they only did the work necessary making it difficult for Sabrina to execute customer projects. They also blamed her for not listening to them whenever something went wrong.

6. Don’t Shoot the Messenger. This metaphoric phrase is used to blame the bearer of bad news. (Wikipedia) Be willing to hear what you don’t want to hear. This. Is. Critical. (Yes, it’s hard, but worth the effort.) It will improve your results, save time and money, and have others feel respected. Also, it will save your job and career.

7. Show Me. Many people are not confident when sharing their concerns. They’ve learned that others don’t want to listen. So, if you’re not clear, don’t dismiss their concerns as unimportant. Instead, say, “Show me the concern.” Have the person physically show you from start to finish to ensure clarity.

8. Stop Multi-tasking. Everyone believes they are the exception to the rule and think they know how to multitask and listen at the same time. They don’t! This egocentric habit (lots of us have it) gets in the way of listening and paying attention to the details. When people need to repeat what they have already said, they don’t feel valued or respected. When you truly listen, it saves time and builds trust in you since you actually heard them!

Becky had a habit of sitting through “boring” meetings thumbing through her social media posts and texts. As a result, she missed her boss’s announcement about meeting with executive management. She didn’t show up prepared with the required 3-minute PPT and she attempted to wing-it. When asked by her boss why she didn’t come prepared, she said, “I’m too busy putting out fires.” His response was, “If you learned to listen, you wouldn’t have so many fires to extinguish.”

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. During the past 29 years, she has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. Her brags also include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. If you’re struggling to get unstuck, now is a great time to contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about listening to succeed. The #1 communication skill overlooked today is listening! We are too focused on standing up and speaking up and forget to listen first! Contact me about providing the workshop, Everyone Is Talking, But No One Is Listening! for you and your leaders.

The 6 C’s Required to Create Crazy Amazing Success Starting Now!

“Achievement can only happen when you are willing to pursue what you really, really, really want.” Jeannette Seibly

It’s Q4! The craziness of 2021 is winding down. It’s time, if you haven’t done so already, to create new goals or pull them out from hiding in your drawer. Now, deal with the little negative voice in your head! Let’s create real success to support your goals for now and 2022.

The 6 C’s to Practice for Success

CREATE a Vision. What do you really, really, really want to achieve? Put aside what your parents and/or family and/or friends believe is the right vision. If it is a work goal, create the initial goal, plan, and budget before sharing it with your boss.

COURAGE is an Inside Job. Success requires authentically telling the truth about who you are and what you really want to achieve. Then, create the goal and take action instead of waiting for the perfect time (since it’ll never come). If this is an entrepreneurial pursuit, keep your day job until you have enough income to leave.

CONVERSATIONS Must Level Up. The conversations in your head and with others must focus on the outcomes you want to achieve, not on excuses or negativity. These only get in the way of success. Talk like a business person or community advocate when sharing your vision.

For example: Stop talking about feeling unmotivated this past year. Instead, talk about the new book you are writing. Or, the new project you are leading. Or, the new effort to create a community/family garden. The possibilities are endless. Share why it’s important and why it makes a positive difference for you and others. (PS: When having these types of quality conversations, allow others to contribute.)

COMMITMENT Requires Focused Action. Telling yourself, “I’m committed,” but not taking the right focused actions, normally creates failure. If you’re truly committed, create a blueprint supported by actions that lead to your intended results! Now, follow it! Do not create busyness as your new excuse.

CONSISTENCY Each and Every Day. Be bold and audacious by taking one step forward each day. Write in your journal (for your eyes only) and share your brags daily. This will motivate you to stay in action. If you have a day job, find the time and ask for help (e.g., have your family do chores, hire someone to tutor your kids, etc.). Then, honor the time you’ve set aside.

COACHABILITY: The Secret for Success. Asking for help and being coachable starts with hiring the right coach. It makes all the difference. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners fear a coach will change things and they will no longer be in control. Get over it! Be more committed to your success than your ego!

For example, an entrepreneur loved creating new products. But she hated creating the business infrastructure required to grow. She continued to struggle with sales until she learned how to work with her coach and do the work required.

Following these 6 C’s you will achieve crazy amazing success!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. During the past 29 years, she has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. Her brags also include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. If you’re struggling to get unstuck, now is a great time to contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About Achieving Crazy Amazing Success from Jeannette. It’s Q4! 2022 is only three months away. Although 2021 has not been business as usual, it’s offered many new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Don’t despair if you’re still thinking about your dream! Q4 is the time to learn the 6 C’s and take focused action. Need help? (We all do from time to time.) Contact me!

Want to Become Authentic? It Starts with Self-Awareness

“It takes courage to become who you authentically are and have others listen.” Jeannette Seibly

Being a chameleon or politically correct has its benefits. But so does being authentic and self-expressed. Both can bolster career and promotion aspirations. Both can also limit achieving these very same goals!

“… authenticity means you’re true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise.” (MindTools.com)

Self-awareness is when you’re being honest with yourself and others. Most importantly, you take responsibility for what you say and do, and the impact that it has on others.

7 Reasons You May Struggle with Authenticity:

You…

  1. Need to be part of the team
  2. Fear judgment or ridicule
  3. Suppress insights and ideas, even when they are correct
  4. Are unwilling to admit a blunder or mistake
  5. Dismiss emotional feelings with rational excuses
  6. Seek others’ approval as more important than your own values
  7. Fall victim to socially approved qualities that are not your own (e.g., extrovert v introvert; agreeable v being self-focused, etc.) (ScientificAmerican.com)

As a leader, right now your team (and your career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference.

10 Tips to Develop Authenticity and Self-Awareness

1. Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Thinks. (Yes, it’s easier said than done.) Worrying is an excuse for you to hide out and justify why you’re not sharing your ideas and experiences. When you recognize this, stop. Ask yourself, “What is my true commitment to this project and team?’ Now act authentically.

Richard worried about rocking the boat with a new idea since he was new on the team. So, he stayed silent. After the team failed to deliver the results to the customer, Richard shared his idea with his boss. His boss coached him to practice sharing his ideas in the mirror … this would help him set aside his fears and feel comfortable speaking up at team meetings.

2. Set Aside Your Ego. Dial-up your humbleness and dial down the ego when authentically sharing ideas and insights. It makes it easier for others to hear you.

3. Learn the Basics…It’s Time Well-Spent. When you learn the basics in your job, you will build inner confidence and self-expression that helps you create bold win-win-win outcomes.

4. Listen and Learn to Expand Your Beliefs. Confident people are open to listening to others’ ideas and opinions. It’s a great opportunity to stretch limitations without sacrificing your personal and professional values…or authenticity.

5. Take Responsibility for Mistakes by Apologizing. Say, “My apologies.” OR “I’m sorry.” These simple phrases when said authentically help build positive relationships.

6. Forgive and Love Yourself. When you’ve made an error in judgment, a mistake, or a blunder, it’s important to forgive yourself. The key is, what are you doing to “own it” and “make it right?”

7. Listen to Your Feelings. This is a slippery slope. Feelings and logic are both important when making decisions, but are not the same as intuition or gut reactions. Learn the difference. If it doesn’t “feel” right, keep looking for the “why.” It helps you reduce your biases and expand your beliefs.

Joan wanted to build a strong relationship with a new group of businesswomen. While she was self-expressed, her judgmental feelings about members got in the way of developing alliances. She relied on her feelings, calling them ‘intuition.’ These feelings stopped her from being part of the group.

8. Brag or Self-Promotion. Standing up and speaking up is important. But do so in a respectful manner. Also, share your own achievements in a way that guides others to pursue their dreams. Pretending you’re not proud of your achievements is being inauthentic.

9. Be Present. Focus and concentrate in the moment when interacting with others, completing tasks, and engaging in other activities. This simple, but rarely used, practice makes all experiences more authentic and meaningful … others will feel and see the difference too!

10. Develop the Self-Respect and Courage to Do the Right Things the Right Way. Ask for help and accept it. Be a parrot and repeat yourself when people don’t understand the issue after you have reviewed your concerns with your coach.

Jon was concerned about Tom’s decision and shared this with him. But Tom dismissed the concerns as being important. So, Jon spoke with his coach to develop a better way of sharing the impact of Tom’s decision before talking with him again. Tom listened and replied, “I appreciate you speaking up. It takes courage and a positive belief in yourself.” 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about developing your authenticity and being self-aware.  Being authentic starts with self-awareness of what you say and do and its impact on others! As a leader, right now your team (and career) need your authenticity more than ever. But to be successful, you must also develop a strong self-awareness so that your authenticity creates a positive difference for yourself and others. Need help to discover your authenticity? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Improve Hiring Results Using Job Fit Assessments

“Using the right job fit assessment can improve your hiring, coaching, training, and managing results…and your own career opportunities!” Jeannette Seibly

It’s been a difficult year for most hiring managers. Ghosting has become the norm and qualified job candidates overlook employers due to a myriad of reasons. One of the critical reasons is how employers select and use ‘job fit’ assessments during the hiring process. Right now, with so much competition, it’s more important than ever to improve your hiring results.

Q4 is fast approaching. Let’s get real and learn how to use “job fit” assessments to improve your hiring results.

First … What is Job Fit?

The most effective job fit assessment measures learning style, core behavioral traits, and occupational interests. The right assessment goes beyond the resume, application, interview, reference checks, education, work experience, and background checks.

It can also create a diverse workforce that has the key skills required to improve your hiring and business results.

It answers three important questions:

  • Can the person do the job?
  • Will the person do the job?
  • Can the person do the job successfully here?

7 Tips to Use Job Fit Assessments to Improve Results

Think Outside the Box. It’s critical to know what you’re looking for. The problem is too many are dusting off job postings and reposting! Not updating your job posting it’s crazy with all the changes that have occurred due to the pandemic. Get real: Take the time to brainstorm the results you’d like to achieve with the position. Then, add a job title and positive opportunities to entice them! Now, you’re ready to use a job fit assessment!

Select the Right Qualified Job Fit Assessment. Every assessment sales rep will tell you their assessment is the right one!* Of the 3,000+ publishers in the market today, most do not meet pre-employment requirements. Get real: Review their technical manual and compare it with the Department of Labor guidelines for pre-employment tests. Pay close attention to the number of people in the study, and the predictive validity and reliability of the results. The higher the numbers the better the hiring results.

*NOTE: While many test vendors market their tests as validated, just because the vendor says the test was validated, [this] does not mean that the test’s validation will in fact comply with the Uniform Guidelines.” (Source) Alissa Horvitz, Attorney, Roffman mentioned in June, 2016 SHRM article)

Create a Job Fit Pattern. Every qualified job fit assessment has a job fit pattern to help you determine the best fit for the job. Get real. To set up a job fit pattern, conduct a study of current talent that you’d like to hire more of OR create a new job fit pattern using a job analysis survey. This process saves time, money, and a lot of energy pre- and post-hire. If you’ve ever hired a sales rep that said all the right things, but couldn’t sell your products and services, you know the value of a good job fit pattern.

Couple Job Fit Assessment with an Honesty/Integrity Assessment. Using an honesty/integrity assessment along with a job fit assessment makes good business sense. Get real: Job fit tools have a “distortion indicator,” but do not assess for good work ethic and integrity. Qualified honesty/integrity assessments go beyond public records when conducting background checks and can reduce WC, UEC, and turnover costs.

Assess for Skills. The purpose of a skill assessment is to avoid surprises when the applicant states they have the skills required. Use these tools after assessing for job fit. Get real: Use skill assessments to determine the skill level the applicant currently has. When the person is hired, plan to provide online workshops, mentors, and coaches to improve these skill levels where needed.

Don’t Shortcut the Procedure! This happens way too often when someone says all the right things and your ‘spidey-sense’ says, “This is the one.” Then, the candidate is rushed through bypassing your company’s procedures. The problem? The candidate is rarely the right one! Get real. Train all hiring managers to follow the system and read the job fit assessment reports. Ask ALL the interview questions in the selection report for the job fit assessment. It will improve the interview and hiring results.

Don’t Overlook Challenge Areas! Many hiring managers have been embarrassed after hiring the candidate only to find the job fit assessment report indicated challenge areas. Examples include prospecting, closing, working well with a team, etc. Get real. Read the full report. Yes, read the full report! If you don’t, you will miss critical information. Remember, you cannot fix and change a person, no matter what they tell you in the interview!

Qualified job fit assessments provide in-depth insight into the whole person and their fit with the job. Choosing the most effective job fit assessment will make your job as the hiring manager much easier to attract qualified diverse talent and improve hiring results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about improving hiring success using job fit assessments. Why should you care about job fit? Qualified job fit assessments provide in-depth insight into the whole person and their fit with the job. Choosing the most effective job fit assessment will make your job as the hiring manager much easier to attract qualified diverse talent and improve hiring results.  Contact me for a confidential conversation on how to streamline the process for success.

 

How to Work with an Incompetent Project Manager

“When working with an incompetent, but well-liked project manager, you must set aside your ego, or your career will be damaged.” Jeannette Seibly

Working with an incompetent project manager is difficult at best. They can sabotage your efforts while costing everyone time and money. And, this can happen whether you’re working with a PM in your company, or volunteering to work on a community project with an incompetent PM.

Many times, the project manager’s incompetence is due to a lack of self-awareness and failure to understand the impact they have on others. They insist everything is done their way; even, when their way doesn’t work! The primary reason they are incompetent is they never learned “how” to work with a team. And, they are often resentful if you know a better way to get results.

The difficult challenge is when the PM is well-liked and has positive notoriety or a great reputation. So…it’s up to you to learn how to work with them…they don’t have to learn to work well with you!

One volunteer offered to help a not-for-profit leader work on a committee for their biggest money-maker of the year. The leader was well-liked, donated a lot of money, and had a good reputation in the community. The problem? She was an incompetent project manager. She insisted on doing everything herself and didn’t know how to delegate. When the volunteer asked, “What can I do?”, she ignored his offers. But when she failed to get the job done, she didn’t hesitate to blame him at a group meeting for not doing his share.

Remember, even though it might be easier for you to take over the PM role to get the job done, that person’s popularity and ego can hurt you and your future career opportunities when not handled with a lot of diplomacy.

5 Tips to Work Well with Incompetent Project Managers and Keep Your Job

Diplomacy. This is the #1 skill to develop and use rigorously. Being right or egotistical or gossiping about the incompetency of the PM will not get the job done. And, if you do complain it will come back to bite you! Instead, be an ally. Take the person to lunch. Ask non-threatening questions about his/her background and experience. Then, ask how the project is coming along. Offer to do one task the PM is complaining about, “to help the person out.” Get it done asap. Then, ask, “How else can I help you?”

Do It Their Way. The biggest fear most PMs have is that others won’t do it their way. It’s true…you and others won’t. But to gain their trust, do it their way the first time; then, offer only one suggestion on how it could be done faster or better in the future (e.g., using a social media strategy or using excel to track progress, etc.). Remember, only offer one suggestion at a time and then allow it to be their idea!

Bring in a Respected 3rd Party. You may not have the luxury of waiting for the incompetent project manager to “get it.” Talk with your company mentor or boss, and/or external company coach about how to best handle the issue. Remember, stick with the facts. But understand your internal mentor and/or boss may be unwilling to “rock the boat” since it could negatively impact them.

An aspiring young leader, Sara, volunteered to work with an executive, Trevor, an incompetent project manager. She knew from Trevor’s reputation he was difficult and unafraid to blame others. Sara asked her coach what to do. Armed with insights, Sara asked Trevor if she could shadow him for a day and learn about his background and job. He was flattered. Over time, the two built a good working relationship. So, when the inevitable time came when Trevor was poorly managing a customer project, Sara was able to step up. She relied on their good working relationship to have a frank, but diplomatic conversation. Trevor allowed Sara to help him and turn around the results.

Document. Be proactive, and ask at least twice, “How can I help?” OR “What would you like me to do?” Then document you did not get an answer or there was push-back. Keep it fact-based (stay away from blame). Share with your boss to keep him/her apprised, especially if it can show up on your performance appraisal.

When All Else Fails, Let It Go. If you are a highly responsible person this will be very difficult. You probably have a strong commitment or an emotional attachment to doing a good job and fulfilling the needs of the project. But when an incompetent project manager refuses to budge, you have to step back. Especially if no one is willing to help facilitate the outcome. If you don’t, you will develop a bad reputation for “not working well with others.” (Ironic, isn’t it?)

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about working with an incompetent project manager. Always remember, you get to be right or you get to be effective. Being right will be short-lived. Being effective can build a positive and long-lasting reputation with most people, including incompetent project managers. Be patient. It takes time. But in the long run, you will save time, money, and energy … and your career. If you are frustrated and want to yell at an incompetent PM, FIRST…before doing anything…contact me for a confidential conversation. It’ll save your career!

Leadership Success Relies on Facilitating with Ease

“Excellent facilitation skills are often overlooked as essential for great leadership.” Jeannette Seibly

I have coached leaders on conflict resolution, meeting strategies, and project management skills. But the most important skill is facilitating teams. These skills are not hard to use and not hard to learn. Using them will achieve dynamic results every time.

Leadership Success Relies on Facilitating with Ease

Most leaders have many meetings to attend and projects to manage. Your success as a leader is demonstrated by your ability to facilitate these and achieve on-time and within budget results, while having team members feel valued. Developing these skills increases your effectiveness and productivity while saving time!

How to Facilitate for Dynamic Results

  • Hear from Everyone. Yes! I know that can be a scary thought. You may fear it’s too time-consuming to have everyone share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. But consider…it’s pay now or pay later. The reality is, if you don’t give everyone a chance to voice their ideas and concerns, they will express themselves outside the meeting. This will cause disruptions with other teams and/or customers and cost you time, money, and good working relationships.
  • Manage the Outspoken Know-It-Alls. Some team members will share their ideas and concerns with little or no encouragement. But good facilitators encourage everyone to express themselves, while managing the know-it-alls who will talk over everyone and dismiss other’s ideas. Doing this shows you value and respect all ideas.
  • Develop Their Critical Thinking Skills. It’s important when team members hit a wall (and they will) that they gain the confidence to discover the answers. Good facilitators ask questions. Share stories. And, encourage team members to deep-dive below the media headlines for the correct answers. Use feedback (positive and negative) and coaching to encourage them to do the work.
  • Encourage Team Building and Inclusion. Cliques can be the downfall of any project or team effort. When these occur, pair-up one of the clique members with the person they disagree with. Assign the pair an issue or task to complete together. Remember, don’t encourage lone rangers to resolve team challenges on their own.
  • Guide Others to Resolve Conflict. The #1 reason teams fail is by ignoring or mismanaging conflict. Step up and facilitate win-win-win solutions. Remember, team conflict can open up new insights previously overlooked when facilitated effectively.
  • Be the Coach that Encourages Others. As the coach, your job is to guide team members to learn and develop their technical and people skills. A great way to help individual team members build confidence is to share with the person 1 or 2 good things s/he does. For example, “I find you have great listening skills and I appreciate you ensuring everyone has a chance to share. Thank you.”

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about developing your facilitation skills. All good leaders have learned the value of and developed excellent facilitation skills. These skills save time, value others, and ensure the achievement of intended results. If you are stuck and don’t know how to use facilitation skills to work with and through others, contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Turn Negative Feedback into a Positive Learning Experience

“Successful leaders listen to negative feedback and turn it into a learning opportunity. When they don’t, they lose the respect of and the ability to lead their teams.” Jeannette Seibly

No one likes to hear negative feedback about themselves. It feels demotivating. But negative feedback can turn into a positive experience when you listen to learn and improve your productivity.

When you welcome all types of feedback, you will get promoted faster, make more money, and be on the fast track for new opportunities. It also builds stronger relationships with team members, management, and customers.

9 Tips to Turn ALL Feedback into Success

1. Listen with Intention. If you listen with the intention of learning, you will keep your mind open to hearing what is said. The key is to avoid debating who’s right and who’s wrong; instead, ask clarifying questions.

2. Let Go of the Past! When you hang on to negative feedback, you will get stuck. Immediately after receiving negative feedback, talk with your executive coach and/or mentor to turn negative feedback into a positive learning experience. Then, create a plan of action and take the first step within 24 hours.

A VP told a young manager that “…he was stupid for making such a suggestion…that he didn’t know what he was talking about.” When a director overheard the conversation, he coached the young manager on how to learn from the negative feedback. The young manager took the coaching and got into action. He was able to turn the relationship with the VP into a positive one and was promoted six months later.

3. Remember, It’s Not Personal. This can be hard to believe when you receive negative feedback. If you’ve lost out on an opportunity or promotion, schedule a 1:1 meeting. Ask, “What is the most important thing I can learn from not getting this job (or promotion)?” Remember, you may have the skills and experience, but the opportunity didn’t work out for you at this time. Learn from it and be ready for the next opportunity.

4. Release Emotional Attachments. Like many people, you love doing things your own way. You rely on your own ideas and sometimes fail to welcome or take into consideration your team’s opinions. When you blow off negative feedback and fail to learn from it, your team and results will suffer. Eventually, your career will be sidelined.

5. Stay Away from Always and Never Statements. When receiving (or giving) negative feedback, do not use these triggering words! “I’m always on time.” “I would never say that!”

6. Stop Making It Mean Too Much! When receiving negative feedback about a goal, work effort, or interaction, don’t hear it as criticism. (Yes, it can be difficult to do.) Instead, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Remember, negative feedback is about a specific issue, not about you as a whole person!

7. Use a Job Fit Assessment to Clarify “Why.” When someone says you are not a good fit for a job, use a job-fit assessment and work with an executive coach to find out why. You may find that financial planning, sales, and/or customer service jobs do not fit your strengths! It’ll be the best money you ever spent and can save you countless disappointments in the future!

8. Get Your Brag On! When you learn how to brag or promote yourself, it is a huge confidence booster. Don’t fall into the trap of sharing the negative feedback with everyone that’ll listen! Instead, share your “brags” to showcase your coachability to take feedback and use it.

9. Develop Mindful Resilience. Don’t allow negative feedback to sabotage your self-care. Take positive actions for your professional development by turning your internal monologues into dialogues with your coach and/or mentor.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about turning negative feedback into positive learning experiences. Paying attention and listening to ALL feedback is critical for professional growth. If you only listen to the positive, you’ll lose the opportunity to learn the truth! If you hate receiving any type of feedback, it’s time to get over it before you are bypassed for a promotion or pay increase! Contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to “Coach Your Boss” (and Keep Your Job)

“If you want to be an effective coach, and want others to listen and use what you have to say, first, you must be coachable.” Jeannette Seibly

When your boss gets stuck and could use your insights and coaching, it may be time to coach your boss.

“First off you may not want to use the term coaching. Consider it an open and honest conversation with your boss that focuses on feedback. Framing it this way opens the door for more honest dialogue.” (Forbes)

But beware! If it’s not done diplomatically, you could find yourself sidelined in your job.

A director hated his boss, a VP. When the executive coach asked the director to have an honest conversation with the VP, he resisted. He used the excuse “Everyone else hates the VP since he is difficult to work with.” Under the guidance of his coach, the director had an honest conversation to clear the air with the VP. Afterward, he started treating his boss with more respect and appreciating his boss’s insights when stuck in projects. Soon thereafter, the director became viewed as one of the very few people who could work well with this VP. If the director hadn’t been open to the coaching he received, he could have been sidelined in his job instead of being promoted.

Many team members today have insights, concerns, or problems with their bosses. The challenge is learning how to have an honest conversation to create a positive outcome.

Note for bosses and leaders: Encourage your team members and co-workers to give you honest feedback. It’s the only way you learn and grow, and catch those blind spots before they get in your way.

6 Tips to Coach or Have an Honest Conversation with Higher-Ups

  1. Be Diplomatic. Egos get in the way. So, it’s important to be diplomatic and set aside your own ego. Remember, there are always at least two sides to any issue. Be open to hearing what your boss has to say before offering your insights.
  2. Be Clear About the Issue. Take time to write down the specifics about “why” this conversation is important. Rehearse in front of the mirror until the person looking back at you feels comfortable and confident. Otherwise, your boss will dismiss what you have to say.
  3. Visualize the Conversation. Take the time to visualize or mentally think through the entire conversation. If you hit a snag, rewind, and replay in a positive manner.
  4. Breathe to Calm Your Nerves and Anxiety. Breathe to calm down the urge to go in too strong. Remember, being assertive is important; but, being aggressive will only limit your future job opportunities. Breathe in for a count of 10, pause, then, exhale for a count of 10. Do this at least 3 times before your conversation. This simple exercise will reduce stress and positively impact your results.
  5. Work Through Your Anger or Righteousness First. It’s natural for you to feel that your boss won’t understand or get what you have to say. But if you go into the meeting assuming your boss won’t understand and feel angry or righteous, your boss will only defend his/her actions. Work with your own executive coach first and role-play the conversation. Write out an agenda outlining facts and key points. Stay on-point during the conversation.
  6. Ask Permission. Start with a soft approach to get your boss’s attention. “I have something I need to talk about with you. And, I’m nervous about doing this. I fear you’ll hear it the wrong way.” Do this in a respectful manner. The boss is more likely to hear what you have to say.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Right Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about coaching your boss (and keeping your job): Everyone can benefit from feedback. This includes your boss! Your challenge is the boss may not appreciate how you “coach” them. Instead, take the time to prepare for an honest conversation. If you know you need to have a difficult conversation with your boss but don’t know how contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Be an Effective Coach

“If you want to be an effective coach, and want others to listen and use what you have to say, first, you must be coachable.” Jeannette Seibly

Many believe being coached is no big deal when they are the coach. Coaches love giving advice and it provides an ego boost. The challenge is, many have learned from a traditional approach of, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Or, they lack the confidence and insight required to be an effective coach.

Do you experience (check all that apply):

  • Giving advice that doesn’t reflect the person’s struggles?
  • Coming across as critical about how it should be done?
  • A lack of insight into what the true issue is?
  • Not having credibility in the listener’s eyes?
  • People ignoring your coaching and doing it their way?

If you answered “yes” to more than one question, it’s important to keep reading!

Today, it’s critical that leaders and managers effectively coach team members for success. The quality of the coaching provided impacts business growth, team member retention, and customer satisfaction.

Remember, if you lack the skills to effectively coach others, it can tarnish your working relationships for a very long time.

Nine Essential Coaching Skills to Improve Your Effectiveness

1. Set a Positive Example. Leaders, bosses, and managers are not perfect. But ethical issues, being late for meetings, or multitasking during conversations (to name a few) hurts your credibility as a coach. Improve your effectiveness by working with your executive coach to address these issues and blind spots.

2. Visualize a Positive Outcome. Take the time to visualize or mentally think through what you want to say. If you hit a snag during this visualization process, rewind and restart to ensure a positive outcome. Read Dr. Lynn Hellerstein’s newest book: Expand Your Vision: How to Gain Clarity, Courage, and Confidence for more information.

3. Be Specific. Write down the specific issues to organize your thoughts about why you need to coach a team member. Saying you found problems with the sales report or you don’t like a graphic is of no value. Instead, be specific about where the report is inaccurate or why the graphic doesn’t have visual appeal. Remember to manage the task, not a person’s personality.

4. Use a Job Fit Tool for Clarity. These tools often include “coaching” reports guiding the leader to be on-target when providing feedback.

One company president uses the coaching information when talking with his direct reports. When there is a problem, he scans the report for insights and adjusts his coaching style. By doing this, the other person feels valued and becomes coachable.

5. Talk Straight and Stay On-Point. Talking in generalities or going off on tangents leaves the team member or co-worker confused and frustrated.

A human resources director (HRD) counseled a financial director (FD) to stop the negative gossip about a vice president (VP). A week later, the FD continued to make negative comments about the VP. FD’s coach said, “I thought HRD had counselled you to stop making negative comments about the VP.” FD’s reply, “No… he stated we need to operate as a team. I was unclear what his point was since I am a team player.”  

This level of confusion is what happens when you speak in generalities.

6. Keep It Confidential and Private. Criticizing a team member in public has repercussions, even when the person says, “No problem. I don’t care if anyone else hears this.” If the person has a public negative reaction, it will often reflect negatively on you. Instead, set up a 1:1 private and confidential meeting immediately after an issue or problem has occurred. Don’t share publicly. During the 1:1, remember to share facts, not opinions. Otherwise, what you say will not be heard as objective feedback.

7. Choose the Appropriate Coaching Approach.

a. When to Use the Direct Approach. Be clear and concise with those that can handle or want that style of feedback. Keep in mind this approach will always depend on the situation (e.g., illness, passing away of a family member, etc.).

“Good report. But when including numbers in a report, you need to include a graph and bullet point the numbers. Any questions? How soon can you get this report updated and back to me?”

b. When to Use the Sandwich Approach. Talk straight and be specific. Use this approach when the situation may cause an emotional reaction, or the person is easily triggered. Share 2 positive actions the person has taken, 2 specific areas for improvement, and close with 2 positive actions the person has taken.

“Your proposal was good. The numbers supported the importance of this project. But when providing this type of information, it’s important to include a graph so the reader can visually see the value. And, bullet point the numbers to make them easier to read and understand. Again, good proposal and I appreciate you getting this done so fast. Any questions? How soon can you get this report updated and back to me?”

8. Have Compassion. Everyone has challenges, especially during this ongoing pandemic. Be empathetic, while sticking to the point.

“It’s hard when a family member has COVID. My heart goes out to those struggling during this pandemic. But when providing written reports, the information and spelling need to be proofread before submitting. Let me know what you need and how I can help.”

9. Share a Story. An effective way to coach others is by sharing a story about your own similar challenge and what you did to work through it. Then, offer one or two ideas for them to implement.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about how to be an effective coach: Successful people have coaches. When leaders and others talk with their coach regularly, their productivity, confidence, and results improve. The challenge is, many don’t believe they need a coach, and hear feedback as criticism. As an entrepreneurial leader, make a commitment to coach others for success by being an effective coach. Want to get started, but don’t know how? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Do You Want to Succeed and Make a Lot of Money? Then, Be Coachable!

“Do you want to excel professionally and financially? Being coachable is the #1 way to make it happen.” Jeannette Seibly

“The paradox is that the very things that hold us back are the reasons we need a coach in the first place.” Seth Godin

Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches! They have developed the skills to succeed by being coachable.

There are many things in business and in life that you don’t know that you don’t know. Being coachable uncovers the blind spots that get in your way of receiving promotions and special assignments. Making lots of money and achieving huge goals. And, being a leader others want to follow.

What Does Being Coachable Mean?

“Coachability is not a technical skill or an inherent ability. It is a mental attitude.” It reflects your ability to ask for feedback, listen, and make appropriate changes. It is also a reflection of your emotional ability or emotional intelligence (EQ) to learn from constructive criticism. (mvorganizing.org)

What Does Being Uncoachable Look Like?

When someone is uncoachable, they often will roll their eyes, take things personally, and have a myriad of excuses. They also misinterpret comments and resist taking the right action. It reflects their fears of having others think of them as “weak.” Or, their unwillingness to stretch their mindset outside their comfort zones.

One entrepreneur loved creating new products and was very talented. He dreamed of resigning from the day job he hated. The problem was, he didn’t want to focus on the business requirements to create a foundation for growth. As a result, he ignored the coach and did things his way. He’s still dreaming about one day being a successful business owner and giving up his hated day job.

Why Do Employers Fail to Offer Coaching?

Many companies agree coaching is a must. But they fail to work through the resistance teams and team members put up as barriers. Companies must then fire poor performers (90% of the time it’s due to poor interpersonal skills) because they are not coachable.

How Can You Improve Your Coachability?

  1. Seek Out Feedback. Ask team members, customers, and your boss for feedback. “What’s one thing that would help me improve …” (e.g., interactions with others, project results, ability to work well with others, etc.). Listen and be respectful, especially if the feedback isn’t what you want to hear. Don’t forget to say thank you!
  2. Be Open to Learning. You can learn something from anyone! While you may selectively seek out people more experienced than you, be open to hearing from co-workers and direct reports too. Their insights can be invaluable.
  3. Be Willing to Stretch Beyond Your Comfort Zone. We all love our comfort zones. But successful leaders and future leaders know they must move beyond these confining spaces! When you’ve already tried something that didn’t work or don’t feel comfortable with the recommendation, ask clarifying questions. “I tried this approach and it didn’t work for me. What do you believe is missing?” Listen and don’t debate. This helps you discover your blind spots and how to overcome them.
  4. Become Self-aware by Being Present. Self-awareness is critical to your success. It requires being present during ALL interactions. This means setting aside thoughts and distractions while listening and learning. During the process, you will discover insights between what you say you want and what you are doing.
  5. Make Positive Behavior and Attitude Changes. Talking the talk won’t make a difference. You must do the work! If you don’t know what to do, ask an experienced coach and use a qualified job fit assessment to guide you through the steps required. Then, immediately take the first step!
  6. Check Your Ego at the Door! Even if you believe your results are the best they can be, be willing to accept criticism, especially around tough issues. It’s a golden opportunity to learn from your successes and If you are unclear what the problem is, deep dive by asking clarifying questions. Be aware of your tone of voice and other non-verbal communication (e.g., rolling your eyes). Otherwise, you can shut down the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback and have amazing breakthroughs.
  7. Hire the Right Coach. Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches. They seek out and find the coach that can guide them to achieve what they really really really Also, select a coach that has a coach too! (Yes, coaches need to be coachable too!)

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about the lesson we all need to learn: “Many of us have the assumption that someday life will be easy. We will coast along effortlessly and will be successful. … But this assumption that it gets easier is not true. It is never true because you change, the organization changes and the business environment is constantly evolving. A successful life means constant change and continuous learning. So set a goal now to remain coachable throughout your career.” (Forbes)

Not sure where to begin, contact me for a confidential conversation.