How to Prevent Overconfidence from Derailing Your Leadership

“If your ego is in the way, your overconfidence will derail your results.” Jeannette Seibly

Well, I think we tried very hard not to be overconfident, because when you get overconfident, that’s when something snaps up and bites you. Neil Armstrong, American Astronaut

Now, more than ever, confidence is essential for leaders. It encourages your team, customers, and communities to follow you. But problems arise when you become overconfident. You fail to listen to others, be coachable, and focus your team on intended results. To make matters worse, you don’t admit to and learn from mistakes or wrongdoings. Then, before you know it, “something snaps up and bites you” – now, you’ve derailed your leadership.

6 Tips to Develop Healthy Self-Confidence

Pay attention to your communication style. Learn to be aware of words or actions that signal you’re being overconfident (e.g., “I’ve got this handled!” “I never fail!” “This always works.”). Work with your executive coach to see what details you may be stepping over or issues you are failing to address when this happens.

Be honest about your skills. Take the time to conduct an accurate assessment of yourself and learn about your blind spots. Work with your executive coach and use objective data from scientifically validated job-fit assessments. This will broaden your awareness of how others see you as a leader.

Stop comparing yourself with others. Too often, we blame others for mistakes they make but excuse our own! Instead, develop healthy emotional intelligence, work through mistakes, and learn from them. It will build your inner self-confidence and humility.

Test your assumptions before declaring your decisions. We often make decisions based on fragments of information. And, we’re usually wrong. Develop your critical thinking by deep diving into the factual pros and cons. Use your network and team to test your assumptions. Remember, 90% of the world’s information is in people’s heads, not the headlines on the internet or the latest hubris being expressed on social media!

Listen to others’ feedback and concerns. Confident leaders welcome brainstorming and hearing others’ ideas. This includes managing healthy disagreements and building win-win-win outcomes. Remember, learn to listen to what you don’t want to hear to improve your results and keep you focused on what matters. It keeps you grounded in reality.

Recognize when it’s the right time. While many ideas may work with modifications, it may not be the right time or place to put them into action. Avoid circular logic to push through these ideas that your business and customers are not ready for. This is often a problem with overconfident leaders.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019-2022

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about being an overconfident leader: It’s important to develop healthy confidence. Remember, you can avoid overconfidence by listening, being coachable, and admitting to mistakes. So, what challenges do you want to overcome? Let’s Chat!

Self-confidence is an inside job … a life-long practice … and an essential factor in others following your lead. Grab the 9 tips required to develop the self-confidence you’ve always wanted (FREE).

Every Successful Leader Sparks Trust and Keeps It

“Without trust, your team, boss, and customers will not take you seriously and dismiss what you say or do.” Jeannette Seibly

A trusting team is a team made up of people who feel safe around each other—safe expressing their feelings, asking for help, talking about problems, and admitting to mistakes. Simon Sinek

Successful leaders have learned how to spark trust and keep it growing. They know trust builds credibility over time.

They’ve also learned the hard way that one wrong decision or withholding important information can diminish trust. To improve trust, some leaders have had to alter their management style. For example, stop micromanaging, demanding too much, and playing office politics at the expense of others. These are trust killers, not trust builders.

How to Spark Trust

Trust Your Team. First, you must trust your team members. It doesn’t mean you overlook half-truths, missed deadlines, or poor quality. If someone says they cannot get a task done by a specific time, listen and ask, “What do you need from me?” Team members that feel trusted will go above and beyond to achieve the intended results.

Learn from Mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, including you! Yelling or expressing frustration at team members will not build trust! (If you do this, it’s time to hire an executive coach to learn new ways of expressing yourself!) Instead, together, conduct an objective review of “what worked/what didn’t work?” Acknowledge things that were well-done. Then, specifically, address two things to improve. Use your natural curiosity and ability to ask good questions to guide the team to build new solutions. The process will build trust (and respect) for you as a leader and team synergy.

Embrace Tough Conversations. Most leaders will do anything to avoid them. But if you don’t uncover the underlying factual issues, progress on projects will fail. The team will stop trusting you, and mischief and finger-pointing will erupt–spark trust. Instead, encourage resourcefulness and brainstorming of new ideas, and champion your team’s ability to work through conflict or issues.

Be Known for Straight Talk. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Allow others the freedom to do the same, to disagree with you and others without repercussions. This makes THE difference between your team trusting you to look out for them or feeling manipulated to get the job done (while not believing a word you have to say). When a project has not met the customer’s needs, tell the truth about why. Avoid spinning the facts to make yourself look good and your team feels good. Remember, they want to learn and grow.

Brag about Your Team! Sharing successes about each and every team member makes a positive difference and builds trust. Be aware of each team member’s contribution … no matter how small. When speaking with others, brag about your team’s successes and mean it!

©Jeannette Seibly 2020-2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note from Jeannette about sparking and keeping trust: trust is required to be a successful leader. When you make a poor decision, you need to own it. When you assign the best-liked tasks to your favorite team members, you need to stop doing that! Building trust with your team, boss, and customers is how you achieve great results. Have you taken a misstep? (Don’t worry, many do.) It’s essential to “clean it up” asap. Let’s Chat!

Self-confidence is an inside job … a life-long practice. Developing confidence in your career and your life … without comparing these pursuits and results with others … allows you to pursue and achieve goals that are meaningful to you. Grab the 9 tips required to develop the self-confidence you’ve always wanted (FREE).

What Happens When You’re Given an Opportunity Before You Are Ready?

“Everyone has the capabilities to excel. But the challenge is, do they have the awareness and willingness to do the work required?” Jeannette Seibly

You’re offered a new opportunity. After talking with your trusted coach and mentor, you know you’re not ready. But what do you do? Here’s the dilemma. Taking it can cause potential failure. And, not taking it could limit future opportunities.

Sam accepted a leadership position with the promise of even more significant opportunities in the future. He had the administrative skills required. But Sam lacked the experience of leading a team, having always been a team member. Instead of asking for help and guidance, Sam faced potential failure when he complained about the same things as when he was a team member! He failed to realize he was now responsible for providing those resources he previously complained about!  

Accepting new opportunities before you’re ready can derail your future. Don’t be in too big of a hurry to get the new job title, make more money, or enjoy the prestige of moving up in the company. Or, you may struggle and eventually derail future career opportunities.

What is Required to Get Ready Now?

Job Fit. Today, many people don’t like their jobs because they don’t fit their job responsibilities! To avoid this, use a valid job-fit assessment. The reports provide objective awareness of the strengths required for your new position and your challenge areas. Remember, you cannot change who you are. For example, as a team member, you may be fearless in talking with others (strength). But as a team leader, this same strength can get in your way of listening to the team (weakness).

Get Real. New opportunities require moving forward outside your comfort zone. They also will require new levels of communication, project management, and emotional intelligence, which are hindered by leadership blind spots. Because many of these job requirements are unwritten, shadow the current incumbent in the job. Ask questions. Don’t assume you won’t have similar challenges. (You will.) Ask them what they’ve done to overcome these issues.

Hire an External Coach and Seek Out an Internal Mentor. Be coachable! Ask for help and seek guidance immediately before you get mired in sticky situations or political relationships that sabotage your future opportunities.

Do the Real Work. While mantras can keep you focused, they don’t replace doing the real work. For example, you’ll fail if you ignore team conflict complaints and respond with mantras (e.g., “Every team has their challenges, it’ll get better.”). Resolution often needs difficult decisions (unpopular) and challenging conversations. Work with your executive coach now.

Emotional Intelligence. Mindful awareness and resilience are required in many positions today, especially leadership. There will be mistakes made and failures too. Your ability to handle these can make a big difference in being open to learning from them.

Leadership Savvy. Microaggressions, playing favorites, and not listening to others are the downfall of many in new positions. Instead, set a positive example. It starts with you and the team being trained. These workshops should include conflict resolution, brainstorming, diversity, project management, critical thinking, and execution of projects. Now, develop the habit of using these skills, and your team will follow your lead.

Project Management. Many overlook the people side and the logistical side of conducting effective meetings. Both are critical to any project or program’s design, process, and execution.

  • People side: Develop your team members, focus on their strengths and include everyone when brainstorming.
  • Logistical side: Develop and incorporate budget, technology, operations, sales, and marketing into every project or program.

There is a cross-over in these areas as well. For example, marketing is a budget item, and who is the person to best create and implement the plan? While you don’t need to be an expert, you need a good basic working knowledge of all these areas. Asking questions will be one of the most productive skills you can develop.

©Jeannette Seibly 2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She is an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note from Jeannette about being ready for new opportunities: accepting new opportunities before being ready has derailed many people’s careers. The key is to develop the leadership, communication, and other required skills before accepting your new opportunity! Are you struggling to be ready, but your boss is in the way? Let’s Chat!

Are you putting the right team members on the wrong team? Giving people opportunities before they are ready will diminish the intended results. It will also hurt their future career options. Improve your interviewing skills by grabbing your FREE copy of the best 16 Must-Read Tips for Productive Hiring Interviews

5 Tips to Keep You Moving Forward When You Want to Stop

“Words only go so far; action is what matters.” Diane Putvin, Business Partner & Coach

For those committed to success, get unstuck and be coachable! The longer you stay stuck, the harder it is to unravel the true issue. Jeannette Seibly

All of us have goals and a long to-do list. Some of us have our goals written down, while others keep them locked in their heads. But what happens when we get stuck and stop believing in ourselves? It’s all too common to give up when negative thoughts and feelings get in the way.

Here are some methods you may not have considered to get unstuck and move forward toward success.

How to Keep Moving Forward

Hone Your To-Do List Down to Only 2 or 3 Priorities. Now, honor it. Eliminate your mental or emotional need to add more and more. When your boss, team member, or family asks for help, be willing to negotiate or say, “no.” If you provide assistance, don’t take on more than you can handle. Example, if someone is having trouble setting up a YouTube channel, and it’s not your area of expertise, refer them to someone that can do it. Now, refocus on your own priorities.

Create Focused Action Steps and Don’t Rely on Mantras. While mantras can help you stay in action (e.g., “I can do this, and I do it.”), they are not enough to achieve your goals. Get into action. Work with your coach to create true action steps, and don’t change the goal to fit the progress made. Now fulfill these actions step-by-step, day-by-day. Congratulate yourself along the way. For example, I enjoy working on 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles. But these can take a long time to complete since I only have a limited amount of time to spend on them. So, after an hour, I celebrate with a “Great job!” and make a mental plan to work on a specific area of the puzzle next time.

Focus on Fun. However, do not rely on humor to excuse inactivity or lack of progress. Humor can be fun when used appropriately. But when it’s used to diminish ourselves or our team, it works like a weapon. Words matter. Focus on engaging and fun practices to make the job or tasks go smoother. It keeps you and your team in action. Remember, clear goals and fine-tuned action plans keep everyone engaged and on the same page. Example, send out an appropriate comic or update on your project daily to keep everyone informed and engaged.

Accept Feedback with Grace and Gratitude. Ask for help by talking with your coach, mentor, or friend. First, share what has been working, then no more than two areas where you are stuck. Now, listen to the feedback, take notes, and get back into action immediately. Example, a bad practice is posting your request on social media or asking more than two people to “pick their brains.” Why? You will go into overwhelm due to the diverse suggestions and end up remaining stuck. 

Eliminate Burnout. Stop adding more and more things to do, either mentally or physically. Delegate, stop doing it, or question if you should do it at all. These will avoid burnout. Add self-care to the top of your list. Now, admit you need a break and honor it. Example, if you value time to read a novel, schedule it! If you need a mani or pedi, schedule it and don’t cancel or reschedule!

©Jeannette Seibly 2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She is an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note from Jeannette about moving forward when you want to stop: too many of us have too many things to get done. So how do we keep moving forward when we want to pull the covers up over our heads or run away? Read this week’s article for ideas to keep moving forward while being kind to yourself. Do you need a cheerleader or help getting your complex issues resolved? Let’s do it! Let’s Chat!

Are you tired of pushing your team to do what needs to be done? If you are, you’ve probably selected the wrong team members. Improve your interviewing skills by grabbing your FREE copy of the best 16 Must-Read Tips for Productive Hiring Interviews.

Assumptions Limit Leaders’ Ability to Influence Positive Results

“Too often, we allow assumptions to get in our way. The truth is, we can stop them but usually don’t!” Jeannette Seibly

Leaders often take the tiniest bits of information and make various assumptions. The problem? It lacks accurate, objective data. These assumptions cause a lot of mischief, brouhaha, and negativity in the workplace. Also, these assumptions influence the ability to work with and through the team to achieve intended results. Sadly, once they occur, they are often irreversible.

The truth … we are often wrong about our assumptions. Yet we use them to justify how we treat people and view situations. And as a current or future leader, these assumptions can sideline your career.

With his boss’s support, a young man presented at his company’s board meeting. The presentation went well. The problem occurred when a board member said, “S*#T.” So, the young man mimicked him, believing it made him sound business-like. Based on this one utterance, the board assumed he didn’t have the career maturity or potential they had hoped for. His career was sidelined and he was never told why!

These types of issues occur too frequently when we rely on our assumptions. Here are some ways to avoid this career trap and cause your results to improve dramatically.

Seven Tips to Reduce Assumptions and Improve Results

  1. Check the facts. Read more than the salacious headlines from news media by deep diving and researching for the truth. In addition, ask for guidance from mentors and/or your executive coach.
  2. Embrace listening and curiosity. Leaders that listen objectively, ask good questions, and engage others in conversations are more successful. Why? People feel honored to be asked, heard, and valued! It reduces assumptions and creates new possibilities.
  3. Stop making things mean so much. When you overreact, you lose objectivity for people, situations, and things. Just because someone didn’t smile at you or return your “good morning” greeting doesn’t mean they are upset with you. Stop. Ask, “How are you today?” Then, listen. Often, their reaction had nothing to do with you!
  4. Stop invalidating people for the risks they take. Example, a condo owner listed his home $50K above market. His neighbors assumed that he was taking an unnecessary risk and that it would not sell! But when his condo sold at $20K above-market a month later, his neighbors increased the equity in their homes! (You’re welcome!) This is an example of a win-win-win! Where have you listened to someone who invalidated you and/or your risk based on poorly informed assumptions?
  5. Learn how to negotiate. It’s good to negotiate a price when buying certain items. Some businesses will allow these types of transactions, while many will not. Remember, the critical factor in making it a win-win-win process is setting aside your assumptions (e.g., they won’t give me what I want). Keys: Do not become emotionally attached to your position, price, or how it should work! This ensures a rewarding outcome for both parties.
  6. Develop emotional intelligence. Stop making everything about you. If others can easily trigger you, work with a therapist to become more astute as a leader. If you’re black and white in your thinking, learn how to include the human factor in your decisions.
  7. Stop inferring or making assumptions about people’s personalities. This is true when hiring, coaching, and managing people. For example, we infer that if a person didn’t bring a pen to a job interview, they don’t come prepared to meetings! Or when a person makes a mistake, they are in the wrong job. Nonsense! Get real! Use qualified job-fit assessments to discover a person’s true job fit traits and how to coach them for success.

©Jeannette Seibly 2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. During the past 29 years, she has become an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, and keynote speaker. Still unable to achieve the results you need to keep your customers, team, or job? Don’t wait! It won’t get better without help! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note from Jeannette about making assumptions. We’ve all heard the saying, “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.” The problem is, we still do it way too often! This trap hurts our relationships, results, and ability to keep great talent and customers! Do you need help overcoming this insidious habit and mindset? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Overcome your assumptions during the hiring and selection process. It’ll increase your retention, revenues, and results! To improve your interviewing techniques, grab your FREE copy of 16 Tips to Conduct Effective and Productive Hiring Interviews Today.

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.

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.