Feedback Is the Gift of Sharing Your Experiences

“Many leaders hesitate and avoid giving needed feedback out of fear of retaliation.” Jeannette Seibly

Why do many of us hate giving or receiving feedback?

Because feedback triggers our brains for flight, fright, or freeze. When our boss (or someone else) provides feedback, our point of view about ourselves typically feels threatened. And, too often, feedback has people avoid one another out of fear that their self-perceptions are wrong. Yes, it’s unwarranted. But it happens way too often.

Why feedback is important:

  • It allows us to grow as successful leaders
  • Our projects to go from so-so to having stellar results
  • We broaden our perspectives about working with different people, including “difficult team members”

As a leader, be open to sharing experiences that only feedback can provide you. This mindset sets the tone for your team members to do the same. Remember, feedback requires tact and diplomacy. Otherwise, you will escalate conflict or create hurt feelings.

“Giving and receiving the gift of feedback creates stronger leaders.” Jeannette Seibly

6 Tips to Develop the Gift of Giving and Receiving Feedback

Be Open to Receiving. People will provide feedback, regardless of whether you ask for it or want it. Strong leaders listen, regardless of their feelings about it. If you don’t, you may miss some important information. Ask questions for clarification without sounding defensive. Then, review the feedback with your coach before making any changes.

Use a Qualified Job Fit Assessment. This type of assessment addresses your thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests when you embrace this feedback. You will gain job insights into how to effectively work with others, while appreciating their differences. Objectivity helps you accept the things you cannot change, while improving your effectiveness.

Value 360-degree feedback assessments. Use these quarterly, annually, and/or after major projects. These tools are great gifts for feedback when developing leadership strengths. The problem is many companies create their own 360-degree surveys. Because these tools lack objectivity and confidentiality, they fail to offer valid feedback that makes a positive difference. Make sure to select the right tool that has the validation and reliability for providing laser-like feedback.

Ask for Feedback. After a project or meeting, ask for feedback from several key employees. Start by asking “What worked? and “What didn’t work?” Listen. Take notes. Then, review with your coach before attempting to put any changes in place.

Develop a Straight Talk Approach. When offering feedback, talk straight. If you filter too much, you camouflage the true issue.

For example: A VP-HR provided feedback to the VP-Finance about gossiping. During the next coaching call, his coach could tell the VP-Finance didn’t understand what the VP-HR had said. The VP-HR had sugar-coated it. Straight talk is important when behavioral changes must happen…no matter how hard it might feel.

Learn Different Feedback Methods. The same approach doesn’t work for everyone!

2 different approaches to get you started:

  1. Direct approach works for people who want to know the truth. Be clear about the facts and share them, after getting their permission to do so.

For example: “Josie, are you open to feedback from your presentation this morning?” She nods yes. “Super. There was too much information on your slides and you read it to us. It’s important to engage the audience, not lecture them, when we need to learn about these new safety procedures.”

  1. Sandwich approach is for less tough-minded people. Share 2 positives, 2 specific areas that need improvement, and wrap-up with 2 positives.

For example: “Joe, you’re a valued member of our team and we appreciate your involvement.” (2 positives)

“However, we need you to read the minutes before each meeting and put away your phone during the meeting. It’s very distracting when you’re not fully engaged in the conversation. Remember, multitasking is a myth.” (2 specific areas for improvement)

“Again, we appreciate your commitment to the company and achieving our goals.” (2 positives)

These 6 tips will provide you the opportunity to share your experiences while giving and receiving the gift of feedback.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About Using Assessments from Jeannette. Scientifically validated and reliable assessments are the key to a great 2021.

They can help you:

  • Meet company and employee needs
  • Improve your hiring, coaching, training, and managing processes
  • Sleep better at night

Contact me now for a confidential conversation.

Do You Want Your Success Now? Hire the Right Coach Now!

“The right practice with the right coach builds the right muscles to accelerate your success!” Jeannette Seibly

Today, more than ever, it’s important that you take the accelerated approach for success. Why? Because too many times we rely on the more common struggle and do-it-yourself approaches. These are too exhausting and don’t build success!  Even worse, we typically quit and makeup excuses for our lack of success.

“Success is easy when it’s guaranteed…however, success is NEVER guaranteed. To beat the odds and accelerate your success, hire the coach that’s right for you.” Jeannette Seibly

Hiring a coach provides faster results and builds a stronger foundation for success today and in the future. This foundation allows you expand and gain confidence, while innovating and having fun!

5 Crucial Tips to Succeed Faster Working with a Coach

Use Job Fit Assessments. This is where you start. Over 70% of leaders are in jobs that don’t fit them! (Gallup) Attempting to work in positions that do not fit your thinking style, core behavior, and interests will sabotage your energy and self-esteem and thwarts your success. Use a job fit assessment tool to clarify your skills and strengths.

For example: A top-level saleswoman was a strong closer. She was able to open new markets and shorten the sales cycle with new prospective customers. Yet, her boss wanted her to focus on improving her patience and diplomacy. He reassigned her to work larger projects with much longer sales cycles. She was unhappy. She hired a coach to discover why she was failing in her new job after so much success. With this knowledge and clarity, she found a new job with a competitor utilizing her talents.

“Remember, you cannot change who you are, but you can become more effective. And, with effectiveness comes success!” Jeannette Seibly

Focus on Your Strengths. Focusing on your weaknesses is a colossal waste of time. Instead, hire a coach to help you develop your strengths. This approach minimizes your weaknesses while improving your effectiveness.

For example: A customer service manager was having a difficult time learning a new system that did not have a procedures manual. Her boss advised her to focus on her strengths for creating practical systems. She attended training workshops, took notes and created a procedures manual. Now, she’s the go-to person for training others. She loves her job and her success. Plus, she’s able to showcase her strengths with confidence.

Hire Yourself the Right Coach. Don’t wait for your company to do it for you! Take charge of ensuring you have the right coach for you. Be clear what you are seeking (e.g., resolution of work issues, project management challenges, team building conflicts, etc.). Remember, the job of your coach is to uncover your blind spots. Then, work with you to improve your decision-making and communication skills for success.  

Establish Project Goals and Focused Action Plans. Too often we want to use a coach to improve a specific skill or bad habit. A better alternative, and one that has a longer lasting impact, is to work on a project with your coach’s oversight. This way the areas for improvement will show up and your coach will be there to guide your progress through them.  

Develop Good Relationships. One area that is often overlooked when working with a coach is to improve your relationship skills. Yes, they matter and you can impact these in a positive way with guidance. Remember, it’s important not to burn bridges, regardless of what the person said or did. Learn how to forgive and develop mindful resilience. Trying to improve this without guidance doesn’t work.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. Her expertise is guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About Creating a Prosperous 2021 from Jeannette. Hiring a coach can make a positive difference for your results today and tomorrow. As you know, 2021 is quickly approaching and what you do during Q4 will impact what you can do in Q1-2021. Now is the best time to uncover what you need to enjoy for a prosperous 2021. I encourage me to contact me for a confidential conversation. We will review your results for 2020 and create 3 goals for your 2021. Yes, this is FREE and has made a powerful difference for many clients.

PS: What’s stopping you from valuing you and your success?

How to Change BAD Habits that Impact Your Success

“You are in control of your habits.” Jeannette Seibly

As a leader, are you questioning why your teams are not excited to work with or for you? The answer is, you’ve allowed “your bad habits” to get in the way.

Your bad habits will diminish the value of your words, the quality of your results, and the ability to attract and keep top talent.

4 Bad Habits that Must Change NOW

Poor Listening Skills. If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I mention the value of listening often. The reason? Listening is the foundation of any leader’s success. Checking emails during meetings, insisting on being right, and/or multitasking will derail your leadership. It shows that listening to your team is not important.

First, put away electronic distractions. Then, focus on what the person is saying and allow him/her to talk without interruption. When you listen, you make better decisions and hear important information.

Fear-Based Comments. Threatening others when the job is not getting done as you envisioned it, is a bad habit for any leader. It never builds loyalty or produces intended results. If someone is not achieving the intended outcome, take time to review your communication style and expectations.

Then, conduct an objective review of what is working and what is not working with the team or team member. Listen to their concerns and address them. Together, create a focused action plan. Now you’re ready to coach them one step forward at a time. Don’t forgot to acknowledge their efforts and brag about their accomplishments!

“Your habits as a leader speak louder than your words.” Jeannette Seibly

Being a Control Fanatic. A leader who must be in control at all costs tears down trust. When you believe you know it all and micromanage your team, mutiny will occur.

Instead, trust the process. Yes, life and projects are processes…not events! There is never a straight line toward achieving your goals. Mistakes happen. Your ability to handle these issues impact the quality of results and outcomes.

Being a Proud DIYer!  Many leaders, even today, are not coachable. They want to do everything themselves. But consider the do-it-yourself approach will get in the way of team success every time. When proud DIYers fail to hire a coach and listen to ideas that are not their own, they will often fail!

Instead, hire an executive coach. Brainstorm ideas, ask the hard questions, and listen to what you don’t want to hear. (Yes, please read that again.) Remember to listen, learn, and be coachable. These 3 skills will help you develop the confidence required to lead your team.

Once you do the work to change these 4 bad habits, you’ll see the dynamic results you’ve always wanted.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. Her expertise is guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About Change from Jeannette

Change is happening whether you’re ready or not. Change can be daunting when you’re not prepared. It leads to frustration and turnover. Now is the time to get ahead of this curve for 2021 when hiring, coaching, managing, and training your employees, managers, and leaders. Contact me for a confidential conversation. We can talk about ideas to get you moving ahead with ease and confidence.

Do you Know How to Influence Change with Others?

Leaders Influencing Change
“Now more than ever, influencing change is a skill all leaders must learn.” Jeannette Seibly

Never underestimate the power of being a rebel. While rebelling can be effective, the results are often short-lived.

Instead, learn the key factors that influence positive change. You’ll become part of the solution, and not part of the problem. The results will be long-lasting and support your career aspirations.

5 Key Tips to Influence Change

Get the Facts. Overreacting to an issue will only make the issue bigger than it needs to be. Get the actual facts, not the facts you’ve made up to justify your reaction.

An example: A business owner felt offended by a comment a trusted employee made. Instead of asking for clarification, he ruminated about it. Then, a few days later when the employee asked for help, the business owner commented, “Why would I need to help you? You seem to have all the answers.” A few weeks later the employee rebelled by leaving to take another job.

Use Your Words to Inspire. Talk Straight. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Influencing others requires diplomacy, tact, and respect. Choose your words in a way that gets others’ positive attention and interest. Don’t use offensive words or humor since they will usually back-fire. Remember, others will interpret your words through their own filters. So, consider the make-up of your audience when crafting your messages!

Listen to others points of view
“If you want people to listen to your ideas, you must listen to their ideas too.” Jeannette Seibly

Be Open to Hearing Opposing Points-of-View. Dismissing someone’s opposing view will only make them defensive and unwilling to budge from their position. Be fearless when asking good questions to learn more about their perspective. Remember, they can have valid opinions too. A good way to build agreement is to repeat back what you heard the other person say (to his/her satisfaction) before responding to his/her remarks.

For example: Telling someone you won’t listen to their ideas will create a rebellion, covertly or overtly. A sales manager learned this the hard way when a sales rep suggested a new way of communicating with customers, current and future. The sales manager refused to listen, thinking it was a bad time to make any changes. A covert rebellion ensued. The sales rep left taking several other top sales reps with her. The company’s #1 competitor happily welcomed them and their ideas!

Be a Parrot. Plan on repeating yourself  over a period of time. Influencing change takes time. Often, leaders are blind to what is possible. They fear change and any loss of control…so they will resist new ideas. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge others’ positions with respect and help them determine what is in it for them.

Provide Your Plan in Writing. Yes, write it all down. Then, build your influence by getting others’ buy-in before fine-tuning. When making any change to the plan, don’t change the heart and soul of the idea. Present the plan, along with a budget and timeline. Remember, you’re looking to build alignment, not consensus.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. Her expertise is guiding leaders and teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Note from Jeannette Seibly: I love coaching leaders and their teams to create win-win-win strategies and dynamic results, and have been doing so for the past 28 years. During this challenging time, if you need to talk and bounce ideas off of me, please contact me. In your email, please provide your name, phone number, the general issue, along with several times to talk.  JLSeibly@SeibCo.com

It’s Q4…Now is The Time to Get In Action for Success

Recently I talked with a woman upset that her annual event could not happen due to COVID. When I suggested hosting a virtual event, she strongly reacted with a BIG NO! Yet, after talking with several of her team members, she reconsidered. Now, with her renewed efforts, she and her team created a powerful and successful virtual event! And still, she is lamenting about her lack of success in doing it the old way.

The truth is, when we lament about the old ways, it’s an indicator that we’ve hit the wall of life. We’re confronted by the need to expand ourselves for new successes, and just don’t want to do it. So, instead of moving forward, we focus on past failures (e.g., financial, health, etc.) and feelings of potential failure (“I’m waiting until things get better before I do anything.”).

The time spent lamenting would be better spent moving forward, step by step. Don’t wait for inspiration or until you are hit over the head because you waited too long.

Remember, it’s Q4! The good news is you still have 100% of 2020 left. There IS enough time to turn around your business, career, and life for success. But it does require rethinking your view of success and your willingness to take the right actions for it to happen!

6 Tips for Success to Happen Now

True goals are not achieved in a day…yet, success happens with each and every step forward!

First, get up and get moving!  Daydreaming and Internet surfing can be beneficial. But…like most things in life…too much will sap your energy and your ability to make a positive difference! Instead, write down your ideas. While you’re up and moving, allow these ideas to percolate and pop! Don’t discount them and don’t latch onto them without conducting your due diligence. Then, talk them out with the right advisor who is good at discerning fact from fiction. Next, pick one area to focus on and move forward.

Be willing to fail as well as succeed. You have a choice of whether or not you embrace Q4. This mindset is key. Too often when you have failed or perceive there will be failure you stop. Instead, create a stretch goal for Q4. You have 3 months to get it done! Start the process now with focused action! To stay on track, create a support team!

Develop an inner sense of power. When you don’t feel powerful, you diminish your value and accomplishments, especially when life doesn’t look like you think it should. You stop doing the things that create success. A strong indicator that you’ve lost your inner compass is when you fall into a power trap. A power trap is when you feel the need to micromanage people or resources, use a parental tone, or blame others for the problems. STOP! Conduct a review of your current challenge by talking with the right people to make the necessary changes. Success can be that close to happening!

Seek advice and make requests. Right now, your ego may feel fragile due to so much change. You may fear others will see you as incompetent if you ask for guidance. Instead, write down 3 goals. Map them. Now, pick one goal. Talk with 3 people to fine-tune it and make it achievable right now (not to get buy-in for a future pie-in-the-sky idea). Don’t forget to work with your executive coach to expand your perspective. This will save you time and money!

Create a rallying cry. It’s easy to go off course and into the weeds in thoughts and actions! This can happen at any time and anywhere. Create a rallying cry that reminds you to keep moving forward.

For me, this was an important habit to create! When things didn’t look like I thought they should, I use my rallying cry, “It’s my year to thrive and grow.” Also, every time I hit new challenges (and there have been plenty of them) I remind myself, “It’s my year to thrive and grow.”

Celebrate all successes, no matter how small. Acknowledgment, appreciation, and admiration work wonders for keeping you and your team moving forward. For yourself and your team, don’t forget to express these phrases, “Good work!” “Job well done!” “Please” and “Thank you!”

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

CONGRATS! 28 years and still guiding leaders to create unprecedented results!

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. Her expertise is guiding leaders to get unstuck and achieve unprecedented results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

It costs time and money to keep happy clients/customers…yet, we feel helpless when they want to leave. Learn how to keep customers from straying!  https://seibco.com/keep-customers-from-leaving-workbook/

Do you have so much to do that you do nothing? This is common, especially with all the #newnormal changes occurring. Get motivated. FREE: 5 Tips to Improve Your Productivity Right Now

How to Get Comfortable Seeking the Right Advice

It can be lonely as a leader. When there is a challenge or the need to ask for advice, you may be unclear about who to talk with and who can provide you the right advice.

Here’s a simplified example. I’m sure many of you have read through social media postings where people are asking for advice or referrals. You may have posted your own “asks.” The problem is you receive an abundance of advice and go into overwhelm. Then, become stuck and don’t know how to proceed.

Sound familiar? Of course, most of us have experienced this in all areas of our lives. It can be very uncomfortable.

8 Tips for Getting the Right Advice Now

  • Be Open. Stay away from “yes” people telling you what you want to hear! Remember, too many ideas will have you undecided on what to do next. Instead, limit your “ask” to three key people: mentors, coach, and/or trusted advisors. If they provide recommendations for experts, limit these to three people.
  • Get Specific. Be clear about the advice you need by being specific about the issue and what you need to happen. For example: If you need to resolve a team dispute, include the key factors that must be considered, like team member satisfaction, team communication, and customer deadlines. 
  • Use the Rule of Three. Whenever you are making a big purchase or getting help with a problem, seek out only three proposals or bids. Provide the vendor/consultant with the specific goal and intended outcomes. Then, review these opportunities using your checklist to make your decision.
  • Seek out trusted advisors and mentors. Keep your network up-to-date. As a leader, you never know who you will need to talk with until after the issue has occurred or is about to happen. Remember, when they recommend an expert ask “why” this person would be a great source of information.
  • Deep dive and ask the right expert for factual information. Too often, we listen to what we want to believe, instead of what is factual. For example, there are over 3,000 publishers of assessments tools on the market today for pre-employment use. However, very few assessments meet the DOL Standards for Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices. Check out PXT Select for your hiring, coaching, training, and managing needs.
  • Hire the right coach. Yes, this can be difficult if you’re not clear what you want or need. Remember, successful leaders have executive coaches. Your coach should be the first person to talk with before seeking out other advice. It’s also the most comfortable place to start.
  • Ask the right people. If you have a legal question, ask the right attorney. If you have a people management issue, ask a people management consultant. Don’t ask lots of people who have no actual hands-on experience or success on resolving the issue. Ask the people who know.
  • Listen! This will be especially difficult when someone’s point of view doesn’t match your own or triggers an emotional response (e.g., cost, process, looking good, etc.). Put aside your filter and listen…you will learn and receive new advice that can make a big difference!

You’re not the first leader, nor the last one, to have the same or similar challenges. It’s really about learning who the right advisors are, receiving the right advice, rather than receiving an abundance of opinions. Be vulnerable and professional when sharing information about you and your company will become comfortable over time. Remember to honor confidentiality, while being respectful of their time.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. Her expertise is guiding leaders to get unstuck and achieve unprecedented results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Want to keep your customers? My clients have used this process to keep their customers and attract new ones!  https://seibco.com/keep-customers-from-leaving-workbook/

Are you feeling discouraged? Disempowered? Unsure how to get things done? Get re-inspired. FREE: 5 Tips to Improve Your Productivity Right Now

 

How You Can Help Your Team Be Their Best

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to guide your teams and team members to be their best. This includes taking responsibility for their failures as well as their successes.

6 Tips to Develop the Best

  1. Believe in Them. This is #1. If you don’t believe in people, you won’t be the best leader and will fail to develop the best team members. It’s important to believe in each and every person and help them develop their strengths. Use a qualified assessment to coach them and develop the right skills for their success. The right assessment will guide all of you on how to do it.
  2. Hire Right the First Time. The right people in the right jobs is the least costly and the most beneficial to the health of the team. Design and develop a strategic hiring/selection plan and follow it!. Pay attention to the results of the qualified assessments you use. Your team members will thank you!
  3. Create a 180-Day Success Plan. This should be part of the on-boarding process. Also, conduct effective performance reviews quarterly with no surprises. Focus on the skills and opportunities needed for each team member to be their best.
  4. Keep an Open-Door. It’s important to hear about issues as they are occurring instead of after the fact. This allow you to advise and guide your teams and team members to resolve conflicts, stay in action, and develop confidence.
  5. Provide an Executive Coach. This is for you and for your team members. Studies have shown that the right coach develops you and your team members to achieve unprecedented results.
  6. Encourage Training and Development. Budget for team training plus allow a specific dollar amount for each employee to use as appropriate. In addition to developing technical, financial, and project management skills, don’t forget to include integrity, accountability, responsibility, decision-making, and critical thinking ALL of these skills will develop a competent and confident team!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for more than 27 years. Her expertise is guiding leaders to get unstuck and achieve unprecedented results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Are you confused about how to win the job, promotion, or pay increase? Learn how to do it in 5 easy stepshttp://CareerBragging.com

Want to keep your customers? This process has been used by several clients to keep their customers from straying!  https://seibco.com/keep-customers-from-leaving-workbook/

How to Put Others at Ease During Conversations

microaggression.bizsavvycoach.3As leaders, it’s important to learn how to put others at ease during conversations. Mastering this skill opens up a world of possibilities! With conversations, you will learn about potential project flaws, how to motivate team members, and how to improve your influence with bosses and clients. And, these are only a few of the benefits!

Are you someone who:

  • -Can comfortably talk with all types of people: team members, boards, executives, and influencers?
  • -Marvels at others’ ease when conversing with anyone, anywhere, and at any time?
  • -Enjoys talking with others and have a desire to listen and learn?

Developing excellent conversation skills will make you a better communicator. If you’re willing to do the work, you can learn how to interact, motivate, and influence others with ease as a leader.

9 Tips to Fine-Tune Your Conversation Skills

  1. Be Present. Set aside all distractions before starting any conversation. When talking or listening, keep your focus on the other person. Think of them as a VIP, regardless of their title or position in the company. Whenever possible, move from behind your desk and sit in a chair close-by. When working remotely, keep your eyes on the screen. Start to notice how present you are or are not during conversations.
  2. Unleash Your Natural Curiosity. This is important when interacting with others. Instead of taking a righteous position, keep your mind open to hearing what others have to say, and create new solutions together.
  3. Allow Others to Communicate in Their Own Way. Expecting others to communicate with you in a particular way can be off-putting. You will miss out on hearing important information. Instead, allow them to communicate in a way that works for them. (To quickly understand their communication style, use the PXT Select.) Develop a thicker skin if you are easily offended. Learn how to ask questions to elicit the best from others instead of debating their POV.
  4. Have Compassion for Others’ Challenges. Be open to listening, and, when asked, provide appropriate advice. Do this without blaming them (or others) for the situation. Stay objective while being understanding of the situation. This is not a time for jokes or other humor. Be responsible for ensuring any excuses shared don’t derail a project, client relationship, or team effectiveness.
  5. Keep Your Calendar and Office Decluttered. You might ask why this matters during a conversation? It matters because a clean office is more inviting. Others feel more comfortable and are more open in what they have to say. If working remotely, remove wall art that could be offensive. Always minimize distractions. Otherwise, these can be become deterrents to having conversations and learning what you need to know in any situation.
  6. Pronounce Their Names Correctly and Use Their Preferred Names. Avoid using shortened versions (e.g., Jenny for Jennifer, etc.) or labeling others (e.g., superwoman, strong man, etc.). If you don’t remember the person’s name or don’t know how to pronounce it, ASK! “I’m not clear how to pronounce your name.” OR “I’ve met so many people recently. Can you remind me of your name?” Then, repeat the person’s name to their satisfaction.
  7. Ask Questions Without Sounding Like a Reporter. A good conversation puts others at ease. Learn how to have a conversation without first deep-diving into the who, what, when, where, and why. That’s what a reporter does. If you uncover a problem, be responsible for setting up the conversation before deep diving into it. “I’m hearing a potential issue in this conversation and need to clarify what I’m hearing. Is that OK?”
  8. Share Your Own Experiences. Team members want to know they are not alone in their challenges. When you share your experiences, start with the point of your story and end with the point to re-emphasize it. Remember, keep it short (about 1 minute) and stay focused on the topic. Most importantly, honor confidentiality.
  9. Keep an Open Mind. Stay focused on the topic at hand by taking a positive and healthy interest in their POV. Listen and respond to questions using straight talk. This encourages team members to stay at ease during any conversation. It’s how you discover what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. Find out how effective you are as a communicator with all types of people. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

If you are underemployed or unemployed, it’s time to learn how to sell yourself and get that job, promotion, and/or pay raise! http://CareerBragging.com

Do you want to increase your business? Learn how with Be a Fabulous Podcast Guest (and get invited back!)http://SeibCo.com/workbooks/

 

Don’t Get Bit in the Financial Butt!

Perfection is a myth, yet, many companies engage in seeking the “perfect solution” to stay competitive and improve the bottom line. A few are doing a great job by focusing on “viable solutions.” Most, however, are realizing mixed results due to reliance upon the same old practices that have long surpassed their peak. Less savvy companies are simply hanging on to their soon-to-be outdated products and services. They are afraid to make changes, despite their customers’ requests, and dismal sales.

Why have many business owners stopped listening during this critical time? They fear the change process. They don’t understand how to create a blue print for success. They falsely believe that since riding it out it worked in the past, it will work now. Sticking your head in the sand (think, ostrich) will only get your financial butt bit – hard!

Navigate change now. Waiting won’t change anything! Management needs to seek the right guidance and alter their paradigm to include change. It doesn’t need to a big, evil, costly endeavor. It’s time to hear employee and customer ideas with an open attitude. A simple twist of the wheel may gain the competitive advantage. Proper alignment, direction, and training to manage ever-changing economic factors will keep your doors open for business!

Talk Straight. Give the members of your staff the opportunity to contribute, appropriately. Brainstorming isn’t about judging ideas as right or wrong, or good or bad.  It’s simply a process to gather ideas. Often, off-the-wall ideas are winners once they are narrowed down and fine-tuned. Determine the ROI and viability of the final cuts, and during implementation and execution, train everyone to ensure consistency and positive results. Focused action is the key.

Big Picture vs. Small Details. Some people tend to get caught up in the “bright shiny object” of the bigger picture; others get lost and don’t understand how to move from “here” to the vision of “there.” Create a strategy to put everyone on the same page. Break tasks down into “bite-sized pieces.” Keep listening to and communicating with your team. When you hit the inevitable walls that crop up due to poor planning or implementation, do not reduce your expectations of intended results! Readjust your strategy as necessary, but remember: the success or failure of any idea is in the details.

Hire a Business Mentor. If management is too narrowly focused on people considerations OR on bottom line financials, it could stymie the forward movement required to achieve the expected results. A business mentor helps you blast through the stumbling blocks that change causes. A business mentor helps you make the hard decisions that may be unpopular, at least initially. S/he can also help you create business savvy solutions that balance people and numbers. Someone from outside your organization can see landmines coming up more clearly than you can, since you are so close to the situation. S/he helps you recognize and navigate around them, and enables you to move forward with speed and confidence.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2010

Costly Promotions

Companies are very focused on being cost conscious, especially in the current economic climate. Many bosses have promoted their key employees too quickly, beyond their skill level — to their level of incompetence. Bosses falsely believe they are saving time and money, but this type of reactive decision-making ends up being costly and has a detrimental impact on the company. Sadly, the once successful employee feels forced to leave the company when her/his continued contribution is short-circuited, and will rarely go quietly.

Since the person was previously treated as an asset to the company, it is often unclear as to why this sudden experience of failure is happening. Instead of having a professional conversation with her/his boss to provide solutions to this dilemma, s/he blames extraneous factors and looks for a new job, outside the company. The real issues? The newly promoted person may not have taken the time, or taken advantage of the opportunities, to develop the interpersonal skills required for the new position. Perhaps s/he has not learned how to delegate or is unable to prioritize and manage multiple issues well. S/he may simply lack the interest and ability to quickly learn the skills required for performance success (e.g., technology, financial, mechanical, sales, etc.) in this new position.

Time to get real. Newly promoted people may be unable to acclimate appropriately when business needs change rapidly. Where did the old adage, “sink or swim” come from? It didn’t work then and doesn’t work now. Unfortunately, employees feel they can not say “no” to their bosses’ requests without hurting their career. If they may agree, their naiveté can create additional issues and stresses since they do not possess the required depth and breadth of experience. It’s time to create a win-win development plan that helps the employee succeed and meets the needs of the business.  Be realistic – it takes time. Employees won’t suddenly become great managers if they have poor people skills. Employees with no interest in financial monitoring will not handle their budgets well. Top sales people will not make the best bosses. Remember, accepting mediocrity loses customers internally and externally.

Provide an outside coach. An outside coach can provide insights that the corporate mindset and culture may overlook. The employee will feel more comfortable sharing her/his challenges and fears, confidentially. They know many bosses have long memories, and don’t want the risk. Ensure there is clarity of goals to be accomplished every three months. Write them down. Put together action plans for implementation. Monitor effectiveness. Keep it simple and smart!

Keep valued employees. Although egos play an important role in a person’s ability to stay and thrive after a failure, it requires the boss’s dedicated intention to keep a valued employee! Find a position within the company where s/he can be successful. Don’t be afraid to create a new position to keep the person, but use a scientifically validated assessment tool to ensure you’re not simply creating another new issue. The cost of hiring a replacement is much greater than realigning a job description to match up employee skills with business needs. Provide focused training and development so the employee can gain the skills s/he lacked that caused the demotion in the first place. This allows the employee to experience success once again, and provides her/him with the opportunity to be promoted in the future.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2010