By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to motivate quality behavior. Reading time 3:57.
You’ve lost another account. Two staffers are threatening to quit. Your boss has painted a target on your back. And you’re forced to listen to some tough love feedback from those around you.
You’re mad and you’re just not going to take it any more. Your response to all that feedback is just two words and the last word is YOU.
“Thank you” is the only appropriate response when people you know and trust offer you a candid assessment of your behaviors—both what you are doing and what you may not be doing—and a candid assessment of how you are perceived by those around you.
No matter how much you disagree. No matter how defensive you feel. Your response is always the same. Thank you.
Even if someone does not abide by the First Rule of Feedback – asking you for your permission to give you their feedback—your response is the same. Thank you.
But before digesting their feedback, the most effective leaders have to first make sure they are not too full of themselves. They have to first savor a slice of Humble Pie before swallowing their feedback.
Leaders know their feedback –their breakfast of champions as leadership author Ken Blanchard popularized the value of feedback–could be the most important meal of the day even if some might not yet be ready to digest it.
Yet in time the most enlighten leaders learn to endure if not enjoy the breakfast of champions at various times and places throughout the day at the water-cooler or over a cup of coffee or during an elevator ride or stroll down the hallway.
Leaders know their careers are better nourished feeding on feedback on a regular basis in real time rather than being force-fed your feedback in formal annual reviews when the discussion is so contrived and programmed and treated as a mere formality to check the box.
But with on-going feedback in real time both you and your direct reports have an opportunity to CHECK OUT each other’s potential not CHECK UP on each other’s liabilities.
In Checking Out each other you take a look at each other for what’s working and why. You gauge each other’s temperature. You adapt and adjust to each other to make tomorrow even more productive and profitable for and with each other.
In Checking Up on each other you look for what is not working and whom to blame. You inflame each other’s temperature. And you reinforce your adversarial view of each other.
Then your feedback backfires. You start choking on your own ego. You wallow in your own shadow. Meanwhile the most effective leaders swallow their ego and feed on their feedback with a heart-felt, Thank You!
Digest your daily feedback to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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