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17 Things Only Slow People Would Understand

17 Things Only Slow People Would Understand

Have you been called a “slowpoke”, a “sloth”, or just plain “slow?”  Have you ever been told to “speed up”, “hurry up”, “think fast”, or “spit it out”?  If you have, this article is for you!  You’re slow, you’re good at being slow, and you’re probably better off for it! This may be a fast-paced world, but you know that the quick way isn’t always the best way.  Here are 15 great reasons why you may be “slow.”

You Make Sure Everything is Correct

I learned within 10 minutes at my first job at Burger King that I would never make a good drive-thru “pusher.”  I was just too slow!  I knew how upset people got when their order was incorrect, and I think I spent 3 precious minutes bobbing my head up and down between the food in the carry-out bag and the overhead order screen.  Management quickly sent me back to front cashier.  Slow people can be very methodical.

You Want Everything to Be Perfect

Slow people can also be perfectionists.  This means it may take a long time to get the results, but they will be fantastic when you finally get them!  The last person to finish tests is often the person who is carefully checking answers.  I was one of those students who spent hours on my homework each night but also got straight A’s throughout my school career.

You’re Waiting for the Right Timing

If you’re slow, methodical, AND a perfectionist, you are also likely to be a procrastinator.  You know you’re not a slacker — you have very good intentions — you’re just afraid that your project may take a very long time.  In fact, this very article is past the due date!  The best thing for you slow, perfectionistic, procrastinators like me is to make sure you break those projects into manageable chunks and then schedule them in throughout the week, reworking your timing as needed.  If you can manage your time, you can put that perfectionism to great use!

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You Are in “the Zone”

Do people complain that you are slow at correspondence?  This may be because you find responding to e-mails, phonecalls, and texts very disruptive!  I often find that I get into a flow throughout the day, and responding to a “very important” phonecall or e-mail can throw a wrench in my productivity machine.  I feel much more at ease when I can sit down and respond to all my e-mails at once.

You Give Your Full Attention

I also much prefer completing one project at a time, which I’ve discovered is actually better for you!  Studies show that in order to multitask you actually need to split your brain activity, which means less focus and less efficiency! Remember that on your next job interview!  Finally, I’m uncomfortable answering the phone if I know my mind won’t be fully present.  This may make us the wrong choice as an emergency contact, but it makes us the right person for a heart-to-heart conversation.  When we talk with others, they know that we have time for them, and we’re not checking our e-mail while we’re doing it.

You Choose Your Words Carefully

Unfortunately, those who can spit out rapid-fire responses get noticed, while those with well-developed answers get the shaft!  Introverts in particular take quite a long time to process information.  They run their thoughts through a complex system of tests and tweaks before they are satisfied enough to share their response.  So, often others think they have nothing to say!  If you are one of those big analyzers, be sure to say, “Let me think on that a minute,” so that others know that you are still forming your response.  Also, remember to find a healthy balance.  Rapid-firers may regret speaking before thinking, but deep thinkers can fall into the trap of over-thinking.

You Think More Deeply

Not only do you spend quite a bit of time analyzing, you may go pretty deep with your thinking, too.  You prefer profound thoughts to small talk, and there is so much knowledge and learning to consider!  Deep thinkers may not be the life of the party, but if you ask the right questions — you might open Pandora’s box!

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You’re a Good Listener

Or maybe you’re not deep in thought. Maybe you’re actually listening!  Many people aren’t good listeners because they’re not giving their full attention to the person who is speaking; they’re too busy formulating what they will say next. Good listeners still their minds and do not form a response until the other person is finished.  These are the people that you really want to talk with because you know they’ll hear everything you have to say.

You Consider All of Your Options

Some may call you indecisive . . .  but how about open-minded?  I’m sometimes the last person to place my order because I won’t settle for “the usual.”  I’m brave enough to try something new but conscientious enough to thoroughly read the menu and try to make my best choice.

You’re An Artist

When it was time to go out, and I was running behind I used to joke to my partner that I was having a “girl moment.”  Truthfully, I was getting my inner artist on!  I would experiment with make-up, adding a little of this and taking away a little of that, looking at my face from every angle in the mirror.  And I would sometimes change my whole outfit 5 or 6 times because I just couldn’t find the top to match the bottom. And then it was accessories, accessories, accessories!  That’s also why we spend so much time trying on clothes?  We know what looks good, and we’re not stopping ’til we find it!

You Enjoy Your Food

Are you considered a “slow-eater”?  Good for you!  This is much better for your health.  As a classroom teacher, by the time I made it to lunch after wrapping up for the morning, I usually had 10-15 minutes to shovel down food.  During a visit to my chiropractor I asked about my issues with bloating, and I was amazed by the simplicity of his response: “Chew your food more slowly.”  Sure enough, my condition improved immediately after I changed my eating style!  Besides allowing your stomach to more properly digest your food, you slow-eaters are more likely to enjoy your food.  You’ll have more time to taste it, to smell it.  Slow-eating is encouraged to help prevent over-eating, as well.  If I’m craving a cookie, and I’ve crammed it down my throat, my body has missed the satisfying taste and smell, and I’m more likely to grab another one.  Slowing down your eating also gives your stomach a chance to catch up with your eyes!  Those who eat more slowly are more likely to recognize when their stomach is full and to stop eating when they are satisfied.

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You Want to Fully Get Something

How much do you remember of those tests you crammed for?  How much did you really get from that article you skimmed?  I enjoy a book much more when I take my time reading it.  I get a lot more out of a movie when I rewind parts that I missed.  The more you slow down, the more you understand.

You Care

Which gifts do you appreciate the most and remember the longest — the ones that took two seconds to buy or the ones that took careful thought and much effort? Some people will go on a hunt until they find that perfect gift.  Others make them, infusing their precious time and love into their gifts.  This past Christmas my dad’s gift to me was a beautiful miniature stained glass window of lighthouses (my favorite image) that he had created himself.  You can be sure that will stay in my window for the rest of my life.

You’re in the Moment

Do people complain that you walk too slowly, run too slowly, ride too slowly, or drive too slowly?  Besides being a safer person, you are also more likely to be relaxed and in the moment!  Think about those “Sunday drivers” that drive you crazy — or maybe you’ve been one of them!  Why do they drive so slowly?  They are relaxed.  They are not rushing to work or to an appointment.  They are spending the day with family and friends, in a state of peace, doing the things they love.  Isn’t that a great place to be?

You Enjoy the View

When you take a brisk walk through the park, do you remember the flowers that you passed?  Do you catch the birds that fly overhead?  I’ve found that I can’t remember much of what I did on the days that I rushed from place to place, and I don’t see any of the trail when I’m biking for speed.  My mom is notorious for lagging behind on nature walks because she stops every few feet to take pictures!  She says that taking pictures has opened up a whole new world for her.  She sees things that she never would have noticed before.

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You Want to Be Safe

There’s nothing wrong with slowing down and leaving yourself enough time to get where you want to go.  I’d prefer to be safe and read a book for a bit if I arrive somewhere early.  If people are honking behind you or passing you left and right — so what?  I’ll bet you have a great driving record and are less likely to be found in a ditch on those bad weather days!

You’re Worth the Wait

So what that you’re the last one ready, the last one to speak, or the last one done?  You’re worth it!  You take your time, you do it right, and it turns out well.  You’re a happier, more relaxed person, a genuine listener, a dependable employee, and you look amazing!

So, the next time someone tells that you are slow, take it as a compliment!  Know that by slowing things down you are enjoying the view and keeping your life from speeding on by.

Featured photo credit: Just Colorful Bubble by Victor Hanacek via picjumbo.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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