Mar 17 2010

CRITICISM: Dishing Out and Taking It In

First of all,




Public is the place


for praise only!


     There is no career more demanding of thick skin than that of a writer. Because everyone thinks they can write (which is of course a massive misconception), writers live in a breeding ground of rejection and criticism. They learn how to take it in. They learn to not take it personally, to process the thinking behind it, and to make it be constructive.

     But most people in other careers will cry, or bitch, or stomp their foot, or kick the dog, or return with a gun. Unfortunately, many of those who dish it out, rarely concern themselves with sensitivities on the receiving end.

     Business and professional practice owners and managers who believe they are the best at what they do (that’s like what?  99.7%?) tend to have massive egocentric personalities. Many think they know it all. They seldom concern themselves with the feelings of those they criticize. And some simply don’t care what others think or feel.

     The most successful bosses are neither tyrants nor mollycoddlers. They are the ones who save critical comments for behind closed doors, who start and end with sincere compliments, who explain themselves and their rationales, who ask questions about why something was said or done in a way they don’t like (just in case they might possibly be wrong in their assumptions), and then who make a major point of criticizing the behavior involved, not the person involved. 

     Remember that asking someone “Why” something happened is never ever as useful or important as asking “How” something happened — or better yet — “How can we prevent this type of thing from happening in the future?”

     Why not “Why?” Because asking someone “Why?” simply sets up getting an excuse for an answer. “Why were you late again today?” will get you “My car broke down, my dog ate my sock” kinds of replies.  

     Asking “How?” gets you real solutions because it forces an assessment of the process involved in the screw-up. Once we know HOW something went wrong, it’s easier to fix it. “How?” is even more productive when it’s followed by a pointed request such as: “Can you please give me a bullet list by noon (or the end of the day) with the three steps that need to be taken (or that you need to take) that will help us eliminate this problem altogether?”  

Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT DayBlog emails free via RSS feed, $1/mo Amazon Kindle. GRANDPARENT Gift?

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Aug 20 2009

OK, BOSS who listens, do you DO stuff too?

Listening skills alone 


do not a good boss make!


     Just when you thought  you were doing a great job of  communicating because you’ve been working so hard at listening better and more actively and more attentively, along comes this snot-nose blog writer to tell you that you’re only halfway there!

     Careful listening is a wonderful thing,  and it gets you to the fifty-yard line every time. But if you’re not taking ACTION on what you hear from your staff and associates, and if you’re not giving the source of the ideas and information due credit, touchdowns are not in your future!

     You’ve heard about  criticize in private and praise in public? Well you can’t do too much (genuine) praise of good ideas, good behavior, good attempts (even when they fail!), good attitudes, good productivity, good referrals and networking, good overall performance.

     If your response to this  is to off-handedly toss a mumbled “Yeah, right!” on the table, you need to seriously question if you are getting too old too fast. When was the last time you were the object of some one’s sincere praise? How did it feel? What action did it prompt?

     Every time you can  express appreciation for innovative, success-driven thinking and behavior, and of course in public, you are fostering more positive thinking and action by that individual, and by everyone else around. Trophies, plaques and certificates are nice, but there’s nothing like an on-the-spot exuberant compliment and accreditation, a pat on the back.

     Small, frequent on-the-spot rewards  for a job well done (or well-attempted) have always served to motivate and encourage repeat positive performance better and much more effectively than any other form of “attaboy” treatment.

     Pulling an employee  (not physically, I should probably mention!) from her work station to thank her for a great effort in front of whoever is there (customers, other staffers, vendors, passerby, delivery people) and treating her at that moment to coffee, or lunch or a walk around the block will generate more positiveness than annual award dinners and golf outings.

     Spontaneity counts!    

     Nurturing  company-wide opportunities to contribute counts!

The feeling that one’s opinion counts in the grand scheme of things provides an enhanced sense of self-worth, and people who feel good about themselves because of the work they do, will in turn feel good about the employer who makes this possible.”

—Martin Yate from KEEPING THE BEST And Other Thoughts on Building a Super Competitive Workforce 

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Hal@Businessworks.US 302.933.0116

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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