Among my pet peeves from the conventional wisdom playbook about management, the “feedback sandwich” is at the top of the list.
You know what the feedback sandwich is. It is a way of giving feedback that goes like this: say something nice; then say the critical feedback – what you actually want to say; then say something nice again.
Getting out of your head is one of the toughest challenges you face as a founder/CEO. You have to wade through your own unproductive voices and make sure you communicate clearly and regularly with your team. It's a good time of year to remind yourself of this. I hope you enjoy this encore newsletter, which was also just featured on OpenView.
At some point in your career you are likely to run into someone who talks behind your back. The antidote to negative gossip: Two do's and one don’t: 1) Talk to the person directly; 2) Get to know the people around the gossiper; 3) Don't start gossiping in response.
You can't just build your network once and check if off your list. You need to cultivate your social capital (a fancy term for the overall effectiveness of your network) over time. The way to do this is to: 1) Re-assess your network; 2) Reconnect with your network; and 3) Reform your network.
Leading a large initiative is a great way to get recognition and advance your career. But it's not as easy as it looks! The best way to approach it is to 1) Build your influence; 2) Root out and resolve political issues, and 3) Exude confidence.
It's that time of year! Performance appraisal season. There is plenty of confusion and dread about this process. How do you make it most useful? The best way to approach it: 1) Measure outcomes; 2) measure leadership behaviors; 3) get feedback from others.
To be a great leader you have to be a great communicator. So much can get in the way of that! To ensure your own communication is impeccable: 1) Tune in to your internal voices; 2) Manage your critical chatter; 3) Communicate clearly and often.
It happens to all of us. We screw up something and then have to fix it. Often "fixing it" means having a tough conversation. Many people don't like to do that, and they certainly don't like anticipating it. Here are three tools for you to help set yourself up for success: 1) Learning lab; 2) Label; 3) Forgive yourself.
Stepping into a much larger role is exciting and nerve-wracking. It requires you to expand yourself - to get as big as the new job. You need to scale your leadership. That may sound good, but what does that really mean? Three things to do: Three tools for you: 1) Set the big picture; 2) Scale your communication; 3) Reshape your network.
You've put your time into your functional area, you've achieved some success, and then sometimes it hits you: you want something broader, something more, something different. It's time to transition your career! Even though you might feel daunted, there are ways to do that, even when you are advanced in your career. Three tools for you: 1) Build your skills; 2) Translate your experience; 3) Engage your network.
When you want to do something innovative, you have to get buy-in from the people around you. It doesn't just happen! Three tools for you: 1) Build alliances in advance; 2) Start small; 3) Appeal to their interests.
You go through a lot of transitions in your career, and at some point you will likely be promoted to manage your peers. This can be challenging! Three tools for you: 1) Message to your new team; 2) Connect with your peers; 3) Quick wins.
Reorgs happen. So do mergers, integrations, and re-assignments. Whenever you get a new set of stakeholders you have to fine-tune your influence strategy, even if you are the boss. Three tools for you: 1) Draw a map; 2) Develop a strategy; 3) Teach your people.
Being smart and great at your job is only part of the equation for success - and not the biggest part. You also need to have credibility and the support of those around you. Getting that support - especially if, sadly, you have alienated people already - takes effort. Three tactics to help: 1) Get sponsors; 2) Create positive buzz; 3) Challenge productively.
Having business confidence is essential to getting you to the executive ranks and making you successful once you are there. Confidence has two related but distinct aspects: feeling confident and coming across as confident. Three tools will help you get both: 1) increase your knowledge base; 2) get validation; 3) stand your ground.
You already know that your good work is critical, but not sufficient, for you to move forward. To get noticed, you need to be visible. One way to be visible is through succeeding in meetings, specifically 1) Get invited; 2) Prepare; 3) Exude confidence.
Sometimes it seems no matter what you do you aren't getting that next promotion. Today's article focuses on what it takes to get promoted: 1) Look with fresh eyes at your organization; 2) Get deeper feedback; 3) Bridge the gaps.
The new year brings big resolutions. But, the truth is that small course corrections are your best bet to actually make progress. Today's article focuses on the framework to make a powerful small change stick: 1) Pick a high-leverage change; 2) Get specific; 3) Make it a habit.
Some people are naturally fast on their feet; the rest of us need to develop that skill. The best way to ensure you find the right ways to handle difficult moments and political environments is to plan. Today's article focuses on planning for three scenarios: 1) Moving forward your agenda; 2) Reacting to negative comments; 3) Giving in gracefully.
Your vector is the direction you create out of your entire scope of what you have to get done at work and the force you put behind it. Today's article focuses on a recipe to help you create your vector: 1) Focus 2) Document 3) Communicate.
Moving up in your career requires that you learn how to scale your leadership. Easy to say, hard to do. Today's article focuses on 3 tools to help you right now: 1) Shift your mindset; 2) Build the team; 3) Create more process.
Your network is important for your career, and that's true no matter who you are or what you do. Many people are confused about how to network strategically. Today's article focuses on 3 tools to help you right now: 1) Meet new people; 2) Deepen existing relationships; 3) Repeat.
Let's face it: you spend most of your working day in meetings. Today's article focuses on how you can get more of what you want out of those meetings: 1) Hold pre-meetings; 2) Create a framework; 3) Make strategic concessions.
Story-telling may seem trivial, but it's an important way to make sure your message gets out. Today's article focuses on 3 key stories you should learn to tell: 1) Who am I, 2) Why am I here, 3) Where are we going.
The un-pretty truth is that you need power to move up in your career. Today's article focuses on 3 ways to get more power without selling your soul: 1) Build your influence network 2) Get in the game 3) Ask.
Executive presence is one of those terms that people throw out there and then have trouble describing. We all know one thing: executive presence matters. Today's article focuses on 3 ways to get your arms around executive presence (these are well researched by Sylvia Ann Hewitt, Center for Talent Innovation): 1) Gravitas 2) Communication 3) Appearance.
The most important thing you can do for your career growth only happens when you find ways to learn new skills. At the senior levels, these are mostly subtle, and rather than requiring a class, they force you to step out of your comfort zone. Even though this is a cliche, it's not so easy. Today's article focuses on 3 tools to help: 1) Commit to being uncomfortable, 2) practice new skills, 3) create opportunities.
No matter what you're trying to get done, no matter how senior your title, you need strong and wide relationships to be influential and have the impact you want. Today's article focuses on 3 steps: 1) Determine your key stakeholders, 2) get to know them, 3) be relevant.
High-stakes conversations are a fact of life at the executive level. If you are strategic about them, you will be more likely to influence the outcome for the better. Today's article gives you three steps to be more influential in a strategic conversation: 1) define your goal; 2) listen to the voices in their head; 3) create your strategy.
Counter-intuitive but true: sometimes the fastest way to do something is to slow down. Pausing is one of the most strategic habits you can develop. Three strategic moments to pause: 1) to start your day; 2) before key meetings and one-on-ones; 3) when you are surprised. I hope you find this useful!
Conflict. So many people think that they have to contain conflict, resolve conflict and prevent conflict. And, if they would only hone their influence skills, they could prevent conflict. Wrong. Today's article underscores that 1) conflict is inevitable, 2) so make sure you pick the right fight, and 3) learn from the experience.
Learn about generating quick wins to help you gain traction for your change agenda - a good goal for the new year! Picking quick wins in the areas of business, process, relationship will enable you to start and build on momentum.
How can you be successful when you take on a new role? Here are three ideas and what to do about them: 1) Remember that now you are "the boss;" 2) Design a learning plan; 3) Create coalitions. The second article gives you some more detail about how to create a learning plan. I hope you find this helpful!
How do you pry "feedback" out of people even though most people feel uncomfortable telling it to you straight? Once you do, then you can learn how to deal with the feedback once you get it. I hope you find it helpful!
Pick one idea and try it, or make up your own and try it. Commit to something, refine it and let it lead you to a different future. The more quickly you turn a new habit into a routine, the less effort and willpower it requires. The goal is to "embed" your new habit so you don't have to think about it, just like brushing your teeth or reading to your kids when they go to bed, just part of the routine.
Setbacks happen to everyone and they will happen to you. Successful people are the ones who consciously learn to bounce back more quickly. Pick a tool from these three and practice it to see what changes for you.
Influence is a process, not an event. Influence is one of the most important tools to help you move forward. Start now. Pick one R you want to work on and pick one thing you will do to increase your Relevance, Rapport or Reciprocity. Let me know what you decide to work on and how it goes!
Take a look at your own world. What feels overwhelming or impossible? What can you reframe so that you can take a significant step forward? I'd love to hear from you - what starts improving or changing simply because you change the way you look at it?