Leadership

How to Prepare for Critical Feedback

Posted by on Jul 23, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “I’m totally terrified,” said a colleague. Was she skydiving or going for a big job interview? Nope. She was preparing to receive feedback—in this case from an interdisciplinary group of experts who were reviewing a draft of her book—and she was afraid of being pummeled by their critique, even though she was also excited for the opportunity. It felt a little like facing a firing squad. The fear of receiving criticism is not unique to her. Many of my clients enter their 360 feedback sessions with trepidation about what they will hear and how they will...

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Overworked? A People Pleaser’s Guide to Saying No

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com “I have more work than I can possibly do, my team is stretched to the breaking point, and the requests keep coming,” said an executive coaching client in a large tech company, her eyes welling with tears. She was not the only one to whom I gave a tissue this week. Overwork is widespread in the U.S., and research indicates that it is bad for people’s health and productivity.  An excessive workload can be caused by many different factors—a demanding organizational culture, poor planning, failure to delegate or a lack of adequate...

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What Can Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes Teach Us About Feminism?

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com As Women’s History Month comes to a close, critics and feminists are reflecting on the story of the now infamous CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes. The focus of the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley, Holmes captivated the imaginations and tapped into the greed and hubris of the (mostly male) investor class. She raised over $600 million and took her investors for a ride that ended in disgrace. Her failed product—a fast, cheap, comprehensive blood test using only a finger prick rather than a blood draw—would have been...

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Phrasing Matters: How To Be A Constructive Critic

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Are you great at spotting the flaw in the plan? Do you default to criticism rather than appreciation? If so, you could be bringing down the motivation on your team or getting a reputation as a complainer, and it may be time for an intervention. You have valuable insights to offer and it’s important to offer them constructively. Negativity bias refers to our brain’s greater sensitivity to negative information than to positive. This trait is valuable because it helps us detect potential threats and correct problems. But, when not managed well in the...

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Feedback Is Not A Waste Of Time: What “The Feedback Fallacy” Got Wrong

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Is giving feedback a waste of time? You might think so if you read Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall’s Harvard Business Review article “The Feedback Fallacy,” which purports to debunk much of our thinking about feedback. Buckingham (of the Strengths Finder fame) and Goodall argue that giving negative or “improvement” feedback is misguided, egotistical and counterproductive. But don’t despair: A careful reading of their article reveals that sensible, targeted feedback conversations are still essential to helping people improve and learn to work...

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The Confidence Gap Is A Myth But A Double Standard Does Exist: How Women Can Navigate

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com. Often when I’m conducting 360 feedback interviews for women in leadership, well-meaning colleagues say, “She should be more confident.” Most times, they are just speculating and don’t really know how the subject feels, so I ask them to describe the behavior that they interpret as lack of confidence. This often leads to some verbal hand-waving around “executive presence.” Definitions of executive presence are a lot like former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s assertion about obscenity that “I know it when I see it,” and therefore not terribly...

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