Prepare Employees for Constructive Criticism

Prepare Employees for Constructive Criticism

Many people find it difficult to be on the receiving end of corrective criticism or feedback.  It can feel like an attack—especially if it isn’t delivered thoughtfully and with empathy. 

It is important to frame corrective action as an opportunity for continuous growth and improvement.  When an employee can effectively process corrective feedback, they will be happier and more productive.

Here are a few practices for your employees from

1) Actively listen. Repeat and affirm what you’ve heard. This gives the brain time to process without becoming defensive. Body language is also a component of active listening.  Check your posture.  Are your arms folded?  If so, relax your arms and maintain good eye contact.

2) Thoughtfully consider the feedback given to you.  Avoid quickly rejecting or accepting the person and take time to evaluate the information. Consider the impact of the requested change.  Reflect on how frequently you receive similar feedback from other coworkers or in other environments, i.e., at home.

3) Remain open…ask followup questions using the start, stop, continue format.  Begin by asking, “What is something I am not doing that you would like me to start doing?”.   Next ask, “What is something I am doing that you would like me to stop doing?”.  Finally ask, “What is something I am doing that you would like me to continue doing?”.

Try these tips in your next feedback session.  You may find satisfactory results for clearer understanding and amazing opportunities for improved employee productivity. 

Share your best practices for receiving corrective feedback in the comments below.   Make it a great day!

High Schoolers: An Important Note About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

High Schoolers: An Important Note About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

As a high school student, you may be experiencing tremendous pressures to succeed…in academics, community activities, social activities, and more.  All of these factors culminate into the idea of becoming a successful adult with accountability.  While it is considered unfair by many, it is a fact that one of the measurements of successful adulthood is earning power in the workforce.

According to, highly emotionally intelligent individuals earn an average of $29,000 more per year than those who seemingly lack a socially acceptable degree of emotional intelligence (EQ).  Here are a couple of reasons they earn more:

1) They tend to manage their emotions with a level of grace and control in personal and professional circumstances.  Let’s be honest.  Emotional outbursts are frowned upon in most school and professional settings–it reflects a lack of self-control.  Using self-awareness and self-management, emotionally intelligent individuals are able to manage their emotions and thus project an image of stability and maturity. 

2) Given the fact that they understand how to manage self-control, they tend to be effective communicators.  They are thought leaders who don’t mind casting vulnerabilities aside.  They fearlessly share intriguing ideas with peers, mentors, teachers, and parents.  They successfully lead old, young, men, and women to greater heights and brighter paths.  

If you have the ability to put others at ease, it speaks volumes about your ability to inspire trust and to cultivate relationships.  These are but a couple of examples of what a respected and admired leader look like.  Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a powerful component of success.  Use it wisely.

Go forth and make it a great day !!

Generation Z Should Know 4 Facts About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Generation Z Should Know 4 Facts About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence.  What is it?

Successful leaders have the ability to connect with others.  This ability is often labeled as charisma, however, those charismatic traits are strongly correlated to emotional intelligence (EQ).  Let’s briefly review the idea of emotional intelligence and what it looks like.

Oxford Dictionary defines emotional intelligence as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”  In a nutshell, EQ is our ability to connect with others utilizing our understanding of the emotions of others, as well as our own.

Harvard Business Review further breaks down EQ into four components:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship management

Self-awareness:   I’m able to quickly and accurately ascertain my feelings.

This looks like:  I have a tight deadline for an upcoming project and as a result I’m feeling stressed which is causing me to be irritable and impatient with myself and others.

Self-management:  Because I’m aware of my emotions (good, bad, indifferent, obstinate…), I manage my behaviors in a positive manner. 

This looks like:  I know my project deadline is stressing me out and making me irritable and impatient.  I look for ways to work more efficiently, practice stress reduction techniques, and prioritize my responsibilities.  I take responsibility for having self-control.

Social Awareness:  I’m able to accurately ascertain the emotional state of others. I understand and respond to their needs.

This looks like:  My colleague who normally greets the team every morning goes straight to his/her desk without speaking to anyone.  I gently approach my colleague to say “hello” and prepare to listen to what they may want to share (if anything).

Relationship Management:  Because I’m aware of my emotions and the emotions of others, I’m able to successfully manage interpersonal experiences.

This looks like:  An agenda item in today’s sales meeting is about the deadline for an important project.  After the roundtable discussion about the project, it is clear the work was not evenly distributed among team members.  I notice frustrated body language from a few colleagues and I respectfully suggest how to equitably re-distribute the tasks based on individual expertise.  Management and the team agree with my suggestion and now everyone is visibly more relaxed and upbeat.

EQ is so much more than “having a great personality”.  An emotionally intelligent individual is highly conscious of his or her own emotional states and is tuned in to the emotions that others experience.  Emotional signals from within oneself and from one’s social environment could make one a better friend, parent, and yes, a better leader.

So, now that we know a little more about EQ and how to manage it for ourselves, let’s go out there and make it a great day !