Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

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Effective Feedback: Leaders Using “And” versus “But”

 

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com

 

Last month’s newsletter (Feedback Frenzy) focused on the delivery of effective feedback. Many thanks to all of you who commented on the newsletter and asked follow-up questions. One question that was raised was how to seamlessly transition from Pluses (i.e., positive feedback) to Deltas (i.e., constructive feedback). Frequently leaders use the word “but” when making this transition. For example, they may say: “….so keep doing those positive things, but I also need you to focus on doing ____ better.” While seemingly harmless, the use of the word “but” can send a message that the flavor of the conversation is taking a 180-degree turn. In the process of using “but,” positive statements that were shared can be wiped away because the team member will now focus intently on the transition topic, which they may not view as positive.

 

So how can leaders transition a feedback session into a constructive moment without diluting the positive comments that they shared? The answer is to embrace a technique that sales people have used for years; the use of the word “and” while transitioning a conversation. The main reason to use “and” is that it serves as a connectitive. In sum, by using “and,” a leader’s subsequent comments will be viewed as an extension of the previous comments. For example, a leader could say: “….so please keep doing those positive things, and realize that you could do even better by ____.” Thus, the use of “and” will effectively connect the wonderful positive feedback that you have shared, with a bit of the constructive. The end result will be constructive feedback that sticks, without washing away positive feedback that was shared. 

 

Bottom Line: It may sound easy to use “and” instead of “but” when delivering feedback, however, it can be quite difficult. Once mastered though, the “and” feedback technique will increase the stickability of your comments. In the process, you will help your team members to improve their performance while you save yourself a boatload of time.

 

Until next time leaders, be well!

 

 

Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a Tampa Bay based leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. To learn more about leadership development programs, coaching and consulting services, visit www.leadershipsimplified.com. 

© 2013 Leadership Simplified. All rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2013-10-30 at 02:09 PM
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Leadership Leverage – Vertical and Horizontal

 

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com

 

Successful professionals are interested in growing their careers. This can be a very positive trait, as long as they are interested in growing the careers of others in the process. On occasion, professionals grow their careers at the expense of others. This hurts team morale and creates ill will in the workplace. Other times, as professionals grow their careers, they do not stay connected with former direct reports and peers. Instead, they push former colleagues to the side in order to focus on their new challenges and opportunities. The resulting disconnection can be unfortunate for everyone. You see, work is a long and wonderful game. As such, it is truly the enlightened professional who seeks to create and maintain what I call vertical leverage and horizontal leverage.

 

Vertical leverage refers to having solid relationships at all levels of an organization. In other words, as your career grows seek to maintain meaningful work relationships with those people who are above you, on the same level of responsibility as you, and those who report to you or are below your title. Horizontal leverage refers to maintaining great working relationships with everyone in the organization who is of the same title or job responsibility as you. Keep in mind that as your career grows, your horizontal peers will change. The combination of vertical and horizontal leverage will prove to be invaluable when you are attempting to drive change, problem-solve, or take on complicated initiatives. In addition, it will help to spur organizational morale. Also, it is just flat out the right thing to do! It is easy for upward-minded professionals to lose sight of past work relationships. Do not fall into this trap. Instead, be nice, stay in touch, manage by wandering around, and keep collaborative relationships strong. The results will help everyone’s career to grow and your organization to thrive. 

 

 

Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a Tampa Bay based leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. To learn more about leadership development programs, coaching and consulting services, visit www.leadershipsimplified.com. 

© 2013 Leadership Simplified. All rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2013-10-28 at 12:30 PM
coaching and consulting • (0) CommentsPermalink
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