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9 Ways To Give Great And Positive Feedback

9 Ways To Give Great And Positive Feedback

No matter what level you’re at in a company, you’re inevitably going to need to provide feedback sooner or later. Whether it’s your boss, coworkers, or subordinates, someone’s going to slack or make a mistake. When that time comes, you can give feedback confidently with these nine tips.

1. Provide Warning

    No matter how good your intentions, some people just don’t respond well to criticism. Be mindful of this. It’s always best to ask prior to providing feedback. This will mentally prepare the other person for any criticism they’re about to receive. Take them aside to avoid embarrassing them in front of other people, which will immediately put them on the defensive.

    2. Be Timely

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      If you’ve ever housebroken a pet, you’re aware feedback has to be provided immediately. If you wait too long to explain to someone they’re doing something wrong, you’ll be fighting a habit rather than a mistake. Habits are hard to break, so don’t delay in correcting unproductive behaviors.

      3. Focus on Processes

        Never point out flaws in a person – this will be taken as a personal attack. The reason people believe in concepts like luck and fate is because they have trouble internalizing mistakes. You’re not about to change this, no matter how much of a people person you think you are. Instead, point out a flawed process they’re following. This allows them the out of not knowing the correct procedure and making a change.

        4. Be Straightforward

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          Don’t dance around a subject. People prefer a direct criticism (“Your breath stinks.”) over a veiled one (“Have you tried this new gum?”). You may think you’re being polite, but you’re just making things worse. Don’t waste people’s time beating around the bush; come out and say specifically what was done wrong.

          5. Explain the Why

            Don’t just tell someone to start doing something another way – that won’t stick. Explain to them how their incorrect procedure affects the full process. Let them know why they need to change what they’re doing. Hearing that auditors are looking for certain things or that more money can be made by doing things a certain way makes more of an impact than just telling them “because I said so.”

            6. Suggest Alternatives

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              There’s always more than one way to do things. Don’t just tell someone the way they’re doing things won’t work – give them options for different ways that will work. Find a compromise between what they’re doing and what you want them to do. It helps to prepare what you want to say in advance so you don’t find yourself stuck.

              7. Be Gracious

                Always focus on the positives. For every negative point you have to cover with the person, counter it by mentioning something positive. Just make sure you keep a 1:1 ratio or you run the risk of your actual criticism being lost. People only remember at most 70% of what they hear, so balancing the positive and negative is essential to ensure you get your point across without sugarcoating it or being mean.

                8. Avoid Shaming or Threatening

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                  The more you rule with an iron fist, the more likely people are to rebel. Look at the world around you: oppressed people always rise against their rulers, and those dictators have weapons. If you’re working in a cubicle, you’re certainly not going to scare anyone. Instead you’ll likely end up in trouble yourself. Treat people with respect, and they’ll respect you back. Treat them like they’re beneath you, and they’ll either leave or work against you.

                  9. Solicit Feedback

                    Feedback is a two-way street. When giving feedback, encourage feedback on how you’re doing. You may learn something new about yourself, or you may learn the person’s true feelings. By encouraging open communication, you’re leaving room for everyone to improve, which is great for business in the long run.

                    Featured photo credit: DT via pixabay.com

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                    Last Updated on July 10, 2019

                    30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

                    30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

                    What do your 3pm fridge raid and perfectly alphabetised bookshelf have in common?

                    You most likely did both of them when you should have been doing work.

                    Procrastination is one of the most human behaviours. We’re all guilty of putting off what we know is important from time to time, and it seems the more pressing the task at hand, the better we are at avoiding it.

                    Sure, it means that every time we have an important deadline we end up with a spotlessly clean house and a completely empty inbox, but the real work gets left until the very last minute and is finished in a frenzy of stress and caffeine.

                    But we can gain control over procrastination by noticing it as soon as possible and stopping it in its tracks. On the contrary, you know you have a bad habit when you’re aware you’re putting something off, and you continue avoiding it anyway.

                    To start you off with combating procrastination, here are a few quotes to get you in a motivated frame of mind, because if procrastination has any enemies, it’s motivation to work harder.

                    A Few Home Truths

                      “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
                      ― Mark Twain


                      “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
                      ― Leonardo da Vinci


                      “Someday is not a day of the week.”
                      ― Janet Dailey


                      “Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.”
                      ― Israelmore Ayivor


                      “The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.”
                      ― Craig D. Lounsbrough


                      “Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.”
                      ― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret


                      “Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.”
                      ― Noelle Hancock, My Year with Eleanor


                      “Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.”
                      ― Matshona Dhliwayo


                      “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
                      ― Abraham Lincoln


                      “A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”
                      ― Bill Watterson, There’s Treasure Everywhere


                      “By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?”
                      ― Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes


                      “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
                      ― José N. Harris


                      Some Practical Advice

                        “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”
                        ― Hilary Mantel


                        “Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
                        ― Robert Herjavec, The Will To Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding


                        “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”
                        ― Pablo Picasso


                        “It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.”
                        ― Lon Milo DuQuette, The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema


                        “Do first what you don’t want to do most.”
                        ― Clifford Cohen


                        “How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.”
                        ― Stephen Richards, The Secret of Getting Started: Strategies to Triumph over Procrastination


                        “How to stop procrastinating starts with believing you can overcome procrastination.”
                        ― Robert Moment, How to Stop Procrastinating


                        “Never put things off…you will wake up and find them gone.”
                        ― James Jones


                        Some Tough Love

                          “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.”
                          ― Paulo Coelho, Aleph


                          “If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.”
                          ― George Bernard Shaw


                          “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
                          ― José N. Harris


                          “What is deferred is not avoided.”
                          ― Thomas More


                          “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”
                          ― Chuck Close


                          “If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.”
                          ― Roy Bennett


                          “Your ideas have legs and just as they run through your head, they could be running through someone else’s head and it’s just a matter of who gets to the finish line first. Nothing is new under the sun so act on your ideas.”― Sanjo Jendayi


                          “You may not be punished for your procrastination, but for sure you will be punished by your procrastination.”
                          ― Debasish Mridha


                          When You Need Pulling out of Procrastination

                            “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
                            ― Denis Waitley


                            “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
                            ― Karen Lamb


                            Print these quotes out, stick them on the wall in front of your desk – do whatever it takes to remember why you shouldn’t be putting your work off, or getting distracted by a desire to rearrange your socks into colour order.

                            It won’t be easy, but being aware of how detrimental procrastination is to your longer-term goals is the first step towards overcoming it.

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                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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