Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for December, 2010

Praising great performance? Specifics matter.

Happy Holidays! During what tends to be a hectic time of year for many of us, here’s to slowing down long enough to enjoy our loved ones and moments that matter!

I’m hopeful that this entry may come in handy as year-end can be a good time to say thank you to employees for their contributions.

“Great job!” offers a nice gesture. But if you really want to offer more powerful and meaningful feedback, offer specific examples of the person’s contributions and successes. Highlight the specific impact their work has had, or is having, on the project’s, team’s or organization’s success, and increase the value of your feedback.

If you’re outlining your own successes as part of your performance review process, your ability to offer specific examples of your own successes, along with examples or stats that reflect your positive impact on business, can also maximize your opportunity to receive recognition and reward.

So whether you’re offering someone else positive feedback, or stating your own successes, remember that specifics matter.

Enjoy the season!

Caution is good, but for best results, tell it like it is.

A common yet often unspoken red flag tells us to be less than honest at work. We’re careful about what we offer others in feedback, careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings, and careful not to generate feared repercussions.

This level of caution, in my experience, has hindered our ability to receive invaluable feedback, resolve conflict, or be effective communicators. As a professional coach and confidant, I am constantly reminded of how much more effective we would be as workplace and business contributors if we were to simply tell it like it is. Instead, we may stifle communications, build resentment, and miss opportunities to build collaborative and trustworthy relationships.

Professional communication does call for a reasonable level of caution. Use caution as it relates to being well-prepared, to being mutually respectful, to avoiding accusation and judgment, and to offering viable recommendations. These are examples of caution that can generate results.

Start a new trend at work. Approach with caution, but tell it like it is.