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.

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.

How to Stop Being a Difficult Team Leader

“Instead of blaming your team for all of the problems, take a look in the mirror!” Jeannette Seibly

Most teams experience difficult team dynamics.

But what do you do when the problem is you and your poor leadership style?

Most team leaders are not well trained. They wing it and hope for the best. They attempt to follow the latest fad or gimmick with little success. Or, they lead one great meeting and believe they have it all handled.

When things go wrong (and they will), try on the idea the problem is not your team members, it’s your leadership style.

7 Tips to Transform Your Leadership Style

  1. Be Present. This is the #1 reason your team will respect you, or not. Put away your electronic gadgets and other distractions. Pay attention. It’s critical that you stay active in all conversations. Be fearless in addressing any conflict as it arises without bias.
  2. Have Integrity. Do what you say you will do by when you say you’ll get it done. (Sounds simple but is not easy.) Be accountable when making promises and take notes so you don’t forget.
  3. Talk Straight. Be clear about what you are saying and why you are saying it. Don’t tell people what they want to hear to be well-liked. It’ll backfire. Learn how to have come-down-to-reality conversations when your team is going off track.

    “Teamwork works when they have the right team leader.” Jeannette Seibly
  4. Allow Idea Generation. Brainstorming and listening are critical to uncovering solutions. You do-not-need-to-have-all-the-answers! (Reread that sentence!) Your team has hands-on experience and will share ideas if everyone is willing to listen and be open to new ideas!
  5. Be Focused on Their It’s not about you! It’s about the project, customer, and each and every team member. You’re the conductor to ensure all areas are moving forward together. Focus on finding resources and managing processes to achieve intended results.
  6. Use Mindful Resilience Skills. Every leader has emotional triggers. Yet, successful, effective leaders take responsibility and manage their upsets and frustrations effectively, without blaming others.
  7. Hire the Right Coach. This is critical for any leader that has gone off-track. Continued derailment is not an option. Get the right help you need NOW to get-on-track before your situation gets worse. The right coach will guide you and your team to address issues and create solutions.

©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 100’s of 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 achieve dynamic results. I’ve been doing this for more than 28 years. During these challenging times, it’s not unusual to get stuck. To get unstuck, let’s talk and bounce ideas around to have you move forward. Please contact me for a confidential conversation. In your email, provide your name, phone number, the general issue, along with several times to talk. JLSeibly@SeibCo.com

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

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/

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

More Money Does Not Equal Better Results

Too often employers are held hostage when employees demand more money to do the job they were hired to do. Since most employees are paid by the hour and not by the task, it’s difficult to know when to reward someone with additional compensation, particularly when you don’t have stated and objective performance results for each position. Unfortunately, even though everyone says “money is not a motivator,” many employees have the false perception that money will indeed motivate them!

It starts with clarity in your hiring process. Since most hiring processes are fraught with improper and antiquated methods of selecting people, it’s important that you are clear on expectations for the job. Then, hire the right person based upon needs for the job, not his or her ability to sell themselves! Remember, the wrong person in the right job will rationalize poor compensation as the reason for poor performance.

Set up clear expectations on Day One. Onboarding new employees requires the boss to provide a written outline and timetable for producing the required results, along with an accurate job description. To create a win/win for a new employee, the boss needs to stay involved, working through the new employee’s honeymoon period, and beyond. Do not make mention of additional compensation opportunities until after a six-month period. Communicate a clear expectation – in writing – of the results required for the new employee to receive any added monetary perks.

Compensate based upon results. Too often, employers compensate based upon promised results. If employees who don’t deliver these results receive the money anyway, they get a pretty clear message that achieving performance goals is not truly important. It is wise to devise a plan that is performance based. Make sure the goals are objective and attainable.

 ©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Don’t Fear The Rattlers

There is a saying, “Don’t pet the rattlesnakes.” When bosses make decisions, these are not always perceived as welcomed solutions. Some employees are very attached to the current state of the business, and are not privy to financial impact or other business issues behind some decisions. Any change can cause employees to get nervous. When you look at financial results and other objective data with the human perspective factored in, the end result may be some of your employees are upset by the required change.

Your response. When you encounter a rattlesnake, you simply back up and review your options. The same response works here. Some times it’s as simple as waiting out the rattling – by communicating the changes in a factual manner.  Other times, you may need to change your implementation approach to ensure employee buy-in.

Consistent communication is the key. When you make changes, communicate in a straightforward manner. Keep it simple and smart (K.I.S.S.). Don’t get into mind-numbing details. Pick three key points and share them appropriately and simply.

Right decisions may not be applauded. Change of any kind can create uneasiness amongst employees, regardless of economic and/or political environments. When you make the right decisions for the right reasons, simply stay the course. K.I.S.S. (see point above). Eventually, most employees will concur it was the right course of action after they experience the sure-to-come positive results.

Poor decisions may not cause rattling.  Poor decisions coupled with no reaction from employees or customers may allow you to falsely believe you’re on the right path. The truth is you may have a history of making incorrect decisions, if you base them upon little or no factual information, or unable to interpret the data in a manner that creates truly new solutions. Employees and/or customers may simply seek other employers or vendors/suppliers silently.

Solution? Talk with your business mentor(s) to ensure the design and execution of your decisions meets your business needs, now and in the future. It’s critical to incorporate the human side into your process to support the success for all of your (internal and external) customers. Encourage your employees to provide solutions in a positive way, and not in a critical “all or nothing manner.”

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Generating Ideas for Profit

Many entrepreneurs and business professionals love to think up new and innovative ideas all the time. It’s fun. It keeps the ego alive and happy.  Unfortunately, an inability to take these ideas from start to profitability often impedes progress. When the ego gets in the way, the focus of moving an idea from the conceptual into the practical drops.  Some simply don’t have the business experience and fail to create a practical plan. Others are easily distracted by the “bright shiny object” and neglect to finish executing the steps necessary to finish the project.

Delve into your ideas.  Complete a strategic plan along with a reasonable return on investment (ROI). If an idea seems to have a positive ROI, make a detailed tactical plan. Again, review your ROI to ensure you haven’t inadvertently made it unprofitable. Recognize that some ideas simply cannot be made into a profitable venture.

Keep Additional Ideas.  Write these ideas down anyway and file them for later review.  It might be worth revisiting them in the future, from a fresh perspective. You can focus most effectively on launching only one profitable project at a time. 

Beware the lure of bright shiny objects. Too often the shininess of new ideas rivets our attention and we quickly lose interest in any current project. If we haven’t developed the brain power to work through ideas carefully, the cloudiness of implementation overwhelms us before we even get started.

Create Focused Action Plans. It’s crucial that you work with a Business Coach to provide clarity and ease in developing a plan for success, and to ensure financial profitability. Remember, the success or failure of any project is in the details. Hence, the need for a detailed and Focused Action Plan. 

When you hit the proverbial wall, it is time to make a critical assessment before implementing any changes.  What is working? What is not working? Knowing the specifics will prevent making arbitrary or unnecessary changes (aka sidetracked by new ideas) that sabotage success and drain time, money and energy.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010