Do you dread giving feedback that’s negative or do you march right in and let someone have it? While telling people what you really think mightn’t be too hard, I’ve found getting the results you want as a result of this conversation can prove a little trickier.
I used to find giving feedback that was less than appreciative to people pretty challenging. Why couldn’t they just get things right and get on with it!
Gladly when I started my studies of positive psychology, I gained a whole new toolbox of interesting ideas to play with when it comes to giving feedback. It helped to turn my “confrontations” into “conversations” that created safe spaces for learning, growth and much better outcomes.
Let me show you what I learnt.
Do you crave business success? Want to climb your way to the top of your profession and know without a doubt you’re among the very best?
When I was just twenty-six years old (a long time ago now!) I hit my head on the ceiling of business success. I went from public relations graduate to General Manager of a boutique agency for one of Australia’s largest advertising houses in just five short years.
It was a business success moment of “wow”! With a dash of “whoo hoo” thrown in.
But it didn’t last.
You see I thought if I worked really hard, then I’d be successful, and then I’d finally be happy. I soon learnt the hard way that I had the formula for business success completely arse about. Let me explain…
Are you dealing with difficult people at work? Chances are you said “hell yeah” as for most of us our relationships with others – in particular our bosses – are the most stressful part of our jobs.
I have to confess dealing with difficult people used to drive me mad. I spent way too much time letting them get under my skin and obsessing about the things they were doing wrong and ways to extract my revenge (I know not very positive psychology!).
Eventually I realized no matter how “right” I was, my reaction to their behavior was robbing me of my sanity and joy for life. There had to be a better way to dealing with difficult people.
Luckily I found there was…
Do you know how to be happy at work?
I spent years being pretty successful at work, but not very happy. To be honest I wasn’t sure “happy” was something I could afford when it came to climbing my way to the top of my profession. Surely work was meant to be “hard” not “happy”.
Eventually, I became so stressed and strung out that finding out how to be happy at work became a necessity rather an luxury. I had to figure this out, if I was going to find the energy each morning to walk through the front doors.
That was when I realized I had no idea how to intentionally be happy at work. Where on earth would you start?
Do you know how to tell your boss anything?
Is it the project you know won’t be delivered on time, or the customer who recently threatened to complain? Maybe your pay rise is long overdue, or you feel you’ve been overlooked for promotion?
Personally, I was a bundle of nerves trying to figure out how to tell my boss I was pregnant. I didn’t want to leave my team short handed. I also didn’t want to go to the back of the line when it came to career progression – I’d spent years working too damn hard. And mostly, I didn’t want to have to compromise my family’s happiness all in the name of my job.
I discovered that learning how to tell your boss anything and get a happy outcome was quite an art. So let me show you how I got the maternity support I longed for.
Do you know how to reduce stress at work?
This question sounds obvious, but when I think back on my career learning how to reduce stress wasn’t something I learnt at school and was certainly never covered in any company induction program.
In fact, I don’t think it was until as a young PR consultant having been given a project far bigger than I could manage that I started desperately seeking guidance on how to reduce stress, rather than be crippled by it.
At the time it seemed no matter how hard and long I worked I just couldn’t make head way on this project. At night I’d toss and turn, worrying about what I hadn’t yet done and what might still go wrong. By the time I got into the office I was an exhausted, nervous wreck.
As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t stop thinking about my work. Then I discovered the “how to reduce stress” secret.
I hate my job should not be the first thing you think each morning when you’ve worked so hard to land a job you once dreamed of.
Yet despite our best intentions and efforts, I meet lots and lots of successful people who are miserable in jobs they coveted.
They’ve studied hard to qualify in a field they love. Fought off all the competition to secure their imagined “dream job”. Then one day walk into the office only to realize “Oh man, I hate my job“.
But what happens next?
When it comes to your success and happiness at work, a long-term study has found that your relationships have the biggest impact on your career achievement, occupational success and income.
Other research suggests, people who have at least three or four very close friendships at work are healthier, have higher wellbeing and are more engaged in their jobs. In fact your relationships at work are likely to predict your willingness to learn, to motivate you more than money or power and to improve your effectiveness and performance.
Think of it like this …. when it comes to getting ahead at work “other people matter”. Enormously!
So what are you doing to build and protect your relationships at the office?
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
This might sound a little unusual at first, but the best career advice I was ever offered was to learn to fail, or fail to learn. And you’d be amazed after hearing it once how many great leaders I’ve since heard espouse the benefits of failure.
Thomas Edison claims he: “Failed his way to success.” But does this kind of career advice really work in the modern world?
Are you making the same career mistake as millions of women?
It turns out most women hold back from putting themselves forward for a new role or promotion unless they believe they can meet most of the criteria required for the career step up. Men, on the other hand, jump up at the first chance no matter who ready they feel for the promotion believing they’ll learn it as they go.
When it comes to our career, why are women holding themselves back?