“You cannot love a person into creativity, although you can avoid their dissatisfaction with the way you treat them” – Frederick Herzberg. Words are powerful. The words you choose and how you say them have the power to build people up or tear them down. Drawing attention to a person’s mistakes is not going to be received well. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t take “constructive criticism” personally. According to Collins Dictionary “construct” means to build while “criticism” means to pass judgement on someone. How can you build someone up while passing judgement on them?
You have a choice to make. You can either dwell on what they’ve done wrong or congratulate them on what they’ve done well – and what they need to do to improve. It can be as simple as replacing the word “but” with “and”. You can either dwell on the fact that they have made a mistake – or you can get past it by accepting the fact that everyone makes mistakes and move on from there. What is – is. What happened – happened. Change your mindset in a positive way by thinking about the mistakes people make as teachable moments. Use the opportunity to praise them for what they’ve done well and teach them what they need to do the next time , so they don’t keep repeating what went wrong.
Creating a teachable moment is an opportunity for both of you to grow. You’ll grow as a teacher and they’ll grow as a person by learning a new skill that will help them perform better in the future. The next time you have an opportunity to create a teachable moment use the sandwich technique. “Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise” – Mary Kay Ash. It’s a great way to keep your emotions in check and to turn the situation into a positive experience for both of you. You don’t want to change them – you just want to change what went wrong.
Step One: Start the conversation off by saying something positive about them or what they’ve done. Or how they contribute to the overall success of the team, department, organization, etc.. Remember – You are not looking to change them – you just want to change what they are doing that’s not getting the results you are looking for.
Step Two: Let them know the negative impact their actions are having and what problems they are creating. Let them know you are there to help them succeed. Ask some good open-ended questions to drill down and find out why these mistakes are happening. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge. Get their input on what needs to be done to fix it. Agree on a plan of action. You need to get buy-in so be sure to include their ideas in the plan.
Step Three: Let them know that you are looking forward to working with them. Let them know that you will be following up with them to make sure that the plan you’ve agreed on is getting the desired results. If not – you need to agree on a new plan. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up, follow-up and then follow-up some more. You need to change the habit to change the result.
Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker or planning an in-house training session? Brian specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. Contact Brian today. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out what Brian can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com
Perception is reality and reality is what ever you perceive it to be. The things you do most often becomes you. If you believe you aren’t worthy then you will continue to hold yourself back. If you believe you aren’t deserving of the all the good things that may come your way, then you’ll continue to put yourself down. We know that behaviors can be managed and improved upon, and results are simply the cause and effect of your behavior. Your level of self-esteem is in direct proportion to your internal dialogue – the things that you tell yourself and what you think of yourself. We all feel insecure and unsure of ourselves at times. We all have bouts of self-doubt – especially if we are attempting to do something we’ve never done before. No one wants to look silly in front their peers or make a mistake. Most humans would rather walk backwards into the future than turn around and face new challenges head-on. What would be worse? Taking on new challenges and discovering what you are capable of or letting your low self-esteem banish you to live your life in the land of shoulda coulda woulda forever.
Worth Remembering – “Lack of confidence in oneself is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence in oneself.” – Cicero
There are a number of great books on how to develop your self-esteem. One of my favorites is Nathaniel Branden’s book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem”. Dr. Branden has done more than any other theorist to advocate the importance of self-esteem to your well-being. He believes the value of self-esteem lies not merely in the fact that it allows us to feel better about ourselves, but that it also allows us to live better – to respond to challenges and opportunities more resourcefully and more appropriately. If you have a poor opinion of yourself, and remember an opinion is rarely based on fact, then that poor opinion of yourself translates into a lack of confidence – which causes us to think negative thoughts. Negative thoughts in turn causes us to hold back and give up easily rather than face tough challenges. Self-doubt is a deal breaker in so many ways.
Worth Remembering … “If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams and endeavors to live the life they have imagined, they will meet a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau
Read over the list below and decide where you want to start. Remember – You are the boss of you. No one has the power to take your self-esteem away without your permission. You must believe in your heart of hearts that you are worthy – because the truth of the matter is – you are.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique. There is no one else who is exactly like you. Different is just different and different is OK.
- Stop putting yourself down with negative thoughts. You are good enough. You have all the tools you need – you just need to get out of your own way.
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. The truth is not everyone wants you to be successful and leave them behind. But do it anyway.
- Get involved in the work and activities that inspire you. If you knew you couldn’t fail – what would you rather be doing? Go and do that.
- Give more of yourself to those around you. Volunteer, become a Big Sister or Big Brother. Pay it forward. Help those less fortunate than you.
- Respect your own needs. Stop putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. You have nothing to feel guilty about. You have a right to be happy.
- Stop trying to be perfect! You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be good enough.
- Stop listening to the should-do’s. Stop listening to people who tell you that you should be doing this or doing that. Do what you think is right for you.
People with low self-esteem see themselves as unworthy and undeserving. They will discount any good fortune that comes their way as being a fluke. If others are nice to them – they tend to think the person must have an ulterior motive – they must want something besides my friendship. In the words of author David McRaney, you tend to fulfill the labels you accept. It’s time you start accepting all the good fortune that is coming your way. Your lease has expired. It’s time you move out of the land of shoulda coulda woulda. 🙂
Copyright (C) 2013. Brian Smith. Looking for a speaker, planning a lunch-n-learn or organizing a training session? Brian specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Contact Brian today – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.