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8 Powerful Thoughts That Can Make All Your Relationships Easier

8 Powerful Thoughts That Can Make All Your Relationships Easier

Thoughts. We create them nearly every second in our lives. We cannot help it. It is part of our nature. Our parents, friends, and environment have a strong influence on our thoughts. Our most powerful thoughts are often attributed to the influences of our surroundings. Your thoughts and natural processes can change the way your relationships develop. Overcoming your natural inclinations and taking time to show compassion for all people makes all of the difference in your life. Here are eight powerful thoughts that can make all of your relationships easier.

1. Race Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Race is an attribute that was inherited by birth. Some people are born of a race that faces more racial discrimination. In contrast, there are others who are born of a race who faces less racism. The reality is that racial discrimination exists all throughout the world. The best thing that we can do is show compassion towards others. Try to understand what it would be like to be of a different race and how you would feel being faced with those challenges.

Utilizing empathy can dramatically enhance the quality of our relationships. Do not view the world as a spectrum of colors. Love does not care about colors and it will always exist, regardless of the color of someone’s skin.

2. Gender Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Gender is an another attribute that was inherited by birth. Some people are men. Some people are women. Besides our genitals, we are no different. The unfortunate reality is that there are people who will favor one gender over another regarding career opportunities.

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Gender inequality is a real issue, which is why it is important to show compassion towards others. Try to understand what it would like to be a man or a woman and how you would feel being faced with those challenges. If we want people to show us empathy, we must give empathy.

3. Religion Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Religion is often something that we embrace during childhood. Commonly, our parents tell us why they subscribe to a religion and why we should subscribe it too. Religion is a choice. Whether we were raised in a certain religion or chosen one later in life, it is still our choice.

Nonetheless, religious discrimination is still an occurrence. I cannot control the demeanor of others but I can control my own demeanor. I like to look at the good qualities of someone’s religion and make that my focus. It is one good way to preserve or enhance the quality of your relationships. If you don’t know anything about a certain religion, take the time to learn about it. You might be surprised to see just how similar a lot of our traditions are to one another.

4. Sexual Orientation Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Like religion, sexual orientation is a part of who you are. Forcing someone to be a heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual is no different than forcing a horse to eating food that he or she hates. Sexual attraction differs from person to person. There is nothing wrong with any sexual orientation. People are entitled to make their own choices.

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How much is it going to cost you to show compassion towards others? Nothing. So, why not do it then?

5. Politics Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

Besides religion, politics is another thing that often keeps us divided rather than united. We all have our own political views. I personally do not care to argue about them. People share different political opinions because of their external influences. If you were born and raised in a household of Democrats, it is very likely that you are a Democrat now.

I do not care about your political views. I am just happy that you care about political issues within your society. Learn to appreciate the people that care about the nation’s issues.

6. My Diet Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

I have found dietary lifestyles to be less of an issue overall. Although, there are groups of people who think they are better than others because they eat a certain way. I am a holistic nutritionist who cares about health – particularly my health. I do follow a diet that others may find unacceptable. However, their opinions do not matter to me. My health does matter to me, so I will do whatever is necessary to keep my body in the best condition.

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Many people fail to realize that there is not a blanket diet that suits everyone. There are so many factors to consider – blood types, genetic predispositions, and food sensitivities to name a few. The reality is that I do not care about your dietary lifestyle. I am just happy to see you enjoy your favorite foods.

Instead of judging someone’s diet, learn to appreciate the people that care about their health.

7. Cultural Customs Will Not Impede My Ability To Show Compassion Towards Others

If you have visited or lived in another country, I am sure that you have realized that life abroad was not quite the same as life in your native country. It can be easy to become insensitive to the customs of another country when you are not familiar with that way of life.

It is not only respectful to be adaptable but it is honorable to the citizens of that country. Some people may argue that they do not want to travel and prefer to stay their native country. Although, it is impossible to ignore that immigration exists In almost every country.

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So, while you may not opt to go abroad, you will still encounter immigrants who are new to your country. Some natives are unwelcoming. Some are empathetic. Why not choose to empathize? As stated before, how much will it cost you? Nothing!

8. I Am A Human With Flaws Just Like Everyone Else

The one thing that we share is flaws. They may differ a bit but we are born with some. However, our ego often refuses to accept the reality. It just makes us ignorant and arrogant, which ultimately destroys a lot of our relationships. Over the years, I have learned that I cannot kill my ego. It is part of me. Although, I know that it does not contain my best personality traits. Therefore, it is better for it to lie dormant.

Not only will a dormant ego save your relationships but it will birth new ones. Furthermore, it will allow you to accept help from others – something that will transform the quality of your life.

None of us is perfect. We all have weaknesses. So, why not let someone who is stronger in your weaker areas to help you out?

Featured photo credit: geralt via pixabay.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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