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10 Signs You Have The Best Older Brother Ever

10 Signs You Have The Best Older Brother Ever

There is nothing that can replace an older brother in your life. They are the ones that showed us how to fight, patiently explained the rules of baseball and were always there for us when we needed someone to lean on. Here are ten more reasons they are immeasurable in our daily lives.

1. He showed you how to be strong

One of the most important life lessons you learned from your older brother was the necessity of developing tough skin and fighting your own battles. From playground disputes to middle school drama, he was always there to show you the importance of standing up for yourself. Even as grown-ups he continues to encourage you to be strong, whether it is standing up to your boss or getting rid of a toxic friend.

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2. He taught you the importance of healthy competition

Having an older brother as a mentor showed you that it’s important to be the best version of yourself in every task that you undertake, whether it’s securing a spot on the varsity soccer team in high school or getting your dream job. As adults, he continues to help you achieve your goals and calls you out when he thinks you can do better.

3. He highly influences your taste in music

One of the benefits of having an older brother is being able to discover great music through his impeccable taste. You might have not acknowledged it when you were younger, but now you fully appreciate having someone to recommend songs you should download for a stellar playlist that will brighten up your commute or your daily errands.

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4. He taught you about the world

Having an older brother who had already had his fair share of life lessons is beneficial for you when you are seeking life advice. Whether you want to learn how to drive a car or need a different perspective on something, you know he will always be there for you when you need him. You know that you can always call him late at night, when you need someone else’s perspective on a problem.

5. He will defend you to the end of the world and back

Whether you needed someone to side with you while you were fending off the mean girls in middle school or needed an ex to take hike, he was always at the ready to be by your side and fight for your honor. Even now that you are older, he still takes the role of older protective brother quite seriously and always will.

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6. He knows how to make you laugh

When you are having a bad day you know that calling him will be the perfect remedy to make you feel better. Your repertoire of inside jokes that you share with him is the ideal cure that you need when you are feeling blue. He also has always told you to not take yourself too seriously and that it is important to laugh at missteps that you have had that do not seem like a big deal in retrospect.

7. He knows how to really listen

Likewise, when you need someone to just to lend their ears and listen to your problems, you know he will always be there. When you were younger he always was there when you were having a bad day, knowing exactly what to say. You know he will always be on the other end of the line, while you vent about a fight that you had with your mom or a job interview that went south.

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8. He patiently explains sports terms to you

When it seems like football is another language, he is always there to take the time to teach you the ins-and-outs of his favorite sport. After he is done explaining the rules, he is more than willing to demonstrate how it’s done through a game of catch or shooting some hoops.

9. He gives you an ideal example of what to look for in a partner

When you are in a romantic relationship, you always hold all the men you date to high standards due to always comparing them to your older brother. He taught you from an early age that it’s important to find a mate that respects women, one of the most valuable life lessons you have learned. You respect yourself when it comes to men because of him.

10. He tells you the truth

If something does not feel right he will let you know. Whether it’s a career choice or a personal decision you have made, it’s this level of honesty that allowed you to gain a large amount of respect for him as a person. You trust his advice because although it is hard to hear the truth at first, you know he is always right and that he comes from a place of love.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay 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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