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8 Surprising Signs You Might be a Natural Born Adventurer

8 Surprising Signs You Might be a Natural Born Adventurer

When you think of adventurers, you likely think of historical figures that you learned about in books, such as Christopher Columbus or Magellan. You may also think of modern travelers who sell everything so they can explore the world or live on a beach. A part of you might wish you were like them, but you might believe you don’t have what it takes. Many people with natural born adventurer qualities just don’t realize they DO have what it takes. Their inner adventurer is lying dormant, waiting to be activated. If you have any of the following eight qualities, we say you ARE an adventurer. You should begin planning your next adventure today!

1. They wonder what’s over the next hill.

Adventurers are fueled by the unknown. When you are out and about, do you find yourself curious about what’s in the next block, down the next road, or over the next hill? Then you have what it takes to be an adventurer too. Curiosity pulls adventurers toward adventure like a magnet. Discovery is one of the great joys of being an adventurer.

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2. They are the ones who think of things to do.

Whether you are spontaneous or a planner, if you find yourself getting ideas for solo or group activities, you have what it takes to be an adventurer. If you are often the one who says crazy things like, “Let’s go chase alligators at that new state park. Or we could spend Saturday making homemade airplanes. Anyone for bungee jumping?” – then you are an adventurer.

3. They’d rather fund a trip out of town than pay bills.

We all have to be responsible, but you find yourself thinking about the places you could go with the money you have to spend on bills instead. This means you have what it takes to be an adventurer! Adventurers are willing to give things up to pay for gas, hotel, camping, mega-flashlights, bear spray, and other costs of adventuring.

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4. They find adventure everywhere… even in the ordinary.

Nobody said you have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles away from home to be an adventurer. Those who have adventure in their blood find it everywhere. When you ride your bike downtown or leave the office to do errands, do you imagine you are on a great adventure? Then you have the heart of an adventurer.

5. They gather gear and gadgets. They can’t help themselves.

Adventurers are gadget and gear lovers. They adore their backpacks, multi-tools, and clever containers. If your shelves at home hold handy gadgets and gear you bought “just in case you need it,” then you are an adventurer just waiting to come alive!

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6. They are resourceful and imaginative.

Adventurers are clever people who love using whatever is at hand to solve challenges. No lighter for the campfire? Use your taser (carefully). Nothing to write down an address? Etch it into paper with a toothpick or write it on the windshield in lipstick. Your friends might start referring to your resourceful solutions using your name as a noun, like: “It’s another Sheila!”

7. They never give up. Some might say they are stubborn.

Adventure has its share of challenges, but that’s part of the fun. If you don’t give up easily and choose to be positive about even the most difficult problems in life, then you have the spirit of an adventurer. Those who give up, miss out on the most beautiful forests, highest mountains, and most majestic bears.

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8. They easily lose track of time.

An interesting thing about adventuring is that you become immersed in it. If you often become engrossed in what you are doing, and feel hungry to learn more about it, then you’re adventurous. If you love studying every angle and easily shut out everything else while you are exploring an idea, then you have the mind of an adventurer. You already have the ability to absorb your surroundings, learn as you explore, and truly enjoy your adventures. Just because you haven’t yet traveled the world or decided to live on a beach or climb a mountain doesn’t mean your aren’t an adventurer. Let the natural born inner adventurer in you out today; wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing. What’s over that next hill? Do you know someone else who might be an adventurer? Send them this list to encourage them!

Featured photo credit: Woman Standing On Red Rocks Celebrating Success/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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