Tag Archives: communication

Do You Give Good Feedback?

Do You Give Good Feedback?

I don’t mean good as in positive. I mean do you know how to give feedback effectively?

Giving feedback to employees is an art. There are some rules to follow to make sure that you’re doing it well.

First off, make sure it’s timely. Think of dog training. If a dog poops you need to let it know immediately that it was bad, not 3 hours later. I’m not saying that your employees are pooping dogs, but, well, this metaphor is getting away from me. But I think you get the point. Don’t wait 4 months to tell your team they’re doing well or that they need improvements in certain areas. (or else they’ll just keep pooping on that carpet…)

Be calm, and stick to the facts. Is it feedback if you’re shouting and throwing a report that your team member did incorrectly? Or is that just anger and rage? I don’t think anyone is going to listen well to whatever constructive criticism you may be offering in a wild scream. Also, if you pepper the “criticism” with epithets like “You freaking moron”, the new behavior you want to see is unlikely to stick. So stay calm, and stay focused on the facts.

Since you’re now having a nice calm conversation, take a moment to ask the other person what they think. You may get some interesting information from them, and they may well in line with what you were going to tell them. Getting their buy-in on the required changes should make it go a little easier.

Need more help? Check out C4CM’s upcoming audio conference, Delivering Highly Effective Feedback: Tips, Techniques, and Best Practice Strategies to Communicate More Effectively, coming up on April 16 at 2:00 PM ET.



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Warning! Difficult People Ahead

You may love the work you do, but if you don’t like the people around you all day, chances are you’ll grow to dislike your job. I’m talking extreme here, incredibly annoying co-workers who start to make your daily life a misery.

It’s rare that you get to pick your co-workers, so you need to learn how to handle them. And as HR, you need to be able to help other employees manage their relationships with different people in the organization. Not everyone gets along. Some personality types can really rub one another raw. So what can you do?

Turns out there are positives to the different types, not just negatives, so take a look at some of the positives.

Narcissists: (We’d better start with them, as they’re not the best listeners….) They can actually be motivational, if they’re a boss or executive. (so just annoying in a colleague) The key? Learning to share praise, making your own contributions subtly known and ensuring that the narcissist doesn’t rule your work life.

Office Gossips: Believe it or not, gossip can be a force for good. Gossip can make offices run more smoothly and improve productivity, helping to keep underperforming workers in line while fostering camaraderie. As HR, though, it’s up to you make sure that you keep lines of communication open so workers aren’t gossiping about inappropriate topics. Get more help from our resources Effective Management of Workplace Gossip (a guide) or Taming Toxic Chatter, Gossip and Backstabbing Busybodies (a recording).

Workaholics: Rule-bound, with high standards, workaholics can be constructive, inspiring colleagues to be more dedicated.

And if this isn’t enough? There are strategies to handle specific types. Once you identify someone’s type – and that’s usually pretty easy, go ahead, try to pick out the narcissist in the group! – you can start applying the appropriate strategies for that type. Check out C4CM’s Managing Difficult People at Work for in-depth techniques you can apply immediately.


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Body Language Decoder

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How To Be Heard (Without Shouting)

Do you feel like you say things and they’re either ignored or completely misunderstood? It may be how you say things, rather than what you’re saying. Communication expert Erika Anderson recommends the following three tips for better communication:1. Avoid using “always” and “never.”2. Make requests vs. complaints.3. Lead with agreement.Read the whole piece over at Forbes if you have time. If not, just remember these three easy steps above, and share them with others who may need help better communicating with their colleagues.


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Are Your Company Policies Hurting Your Employee’s Morale?

A recent survey conducted by a major communication training and leadership development company, Fierce Inc, revealed that employees desire more accountability in their jobs than they are currently receiving. Close to 800 people, including executives and employees across multiple sectors, participated in the survey, which revealed that a full 44 percent of employees responded that their employer’s workplace practices hinder both employee productivity and employee morale.

Communication and Best Practices Problems

Based on Fierce Incs. Study, accountability problems are a major issue in workplaces, as organizations create best practices that may be ineffective or that may get in the way of the company achieving its desired aims. In fact, 47 percent of employees suggested that not only do their employer’s practices hurt their morale but they also make progress and results more difficult.

A number of potential problems were reported that make company policies on accountability and best practices problematic. For instance:

  • 50 percent of those surveyed indicated that they had too little input into company decisions and that there was a lack of transparency across the company
  • Less than 1/3 of the survey respondents suggested that companies would be willing to adjust their practices or policies based on employee feedback of what actually works.

Solving the Problems 

While the survey result revealed some bad news, it also revealed some good news: 70 percent of survey respondents said they would approach company decision makers with suggestions about policies they felt needed to be adjusted.

This suggests that employees are willing to share and work with employers to improve bad policy, if only employers will listen.

As a member of HR, part of your job can be helping to facilitate ways for employees to communicate and encouraging managers and decision makers to accept and respond to valuable user input from those in the field.

Accepting the status quo is a good way to alienate valuable employees and continue to hinder productivity, while taking more active steps to listen and evolve can help take a business to the next level.

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Being “Too Nice?” The Psychology of Effective People Management

Often, human resources get a load of complaints about managers who are too mean to their employees. On the flip side, being too nice can lead to just as many problems.  

In a comparison, this article examines therapist Lori Gottlieb, who had diagnosed patients who were unhappy because their parents had been too supportive, too accommodating, and never gave negative feedback during their childhoods.  

Likewise, the communication tactics used in HR and business management have an impact on employees – their satisfaction with the jobs they do, and how they grow in their careers in the company.

For instance, here are a few tactics to avoid:   

  • Never admit to yourself or others that your workers may make errors.
  • You should only give positive feedback.
  • You should always say yes to your workers.
  • You should solve every problem.
  • Your people never move up, just out.  

Read the complete BNET news article

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Employee Mobility Important in Small to Mid-Sized Companies

According to a study published by Portfolio.com, 71% of small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) are “mobile businesses” adopting wireless technology to allow their employees to work effectively outside of the office.  

The findings point to the business habits of the rising number of SMB mobile professionals – those who work outside of the office more than 30% of the time.  

“It’s no surprise that advancements in technology are moving at a fast clip. What is a surprise is how much more successful those business owners are who can be rightly called mobile professionals,” says J. Jennings Moss, Portfolio.com’s editor.  

“This tech-savvy group is spending more time doing business outside of a traditional office by staying connected via smartphones or tablets, and are already looking ahead to the next step – cloud computing.”  

  • 64% of small business owners who are considered mobile professionals spend 8+ hours connected to their business via computer, smart phone, or iPad.
  • 88% use social networks, including 60% who leverage social media platforms to market their businesses on a regular basis.  

Obviously with more business managers traveling for sales, and generally working while on the go, there is a valued perk of work mobility for future talent in the workforce. More business professionals are looking for careers that allow them to work effectively out of the office.  

Read the Mobile Enterprise news article

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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