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Job Interview Tips

Job Interview Tips

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Job Interview Tips – are you ready for that interview? This interview checklist will take you step by step you through everything you need to do to be a success!

What are you going to wear?

Job Interview Checklist
Job Interview Tips – are you ready for that interview? This interview checklist will take you step by step you through everything you need to do to be a success!

The first impression you make on a potential employer can make a big difference. So you need to dress appropriately for a job interview. Check out what passes for appropriate business dress in the organization you wish to join. Ask around among your contacts. But note, a business suit is usually standard. Have your interview outfit ready to go. That means you can be ready for an interview at very short notice. If you are being interviewed online with a camera switched on, think about how you will look. And make sure the background is business like.  Check how you will look before you go online

Review your response to the advert and job description

Take the time to remind yourself how you meet the requirement. Then make sure you have your list of competencies available for the interview. Show exactly how you meet the skills, knowledge and qualities required. Emphasize those most important for success in the job. Be ready to describe successes you have had that make you the perfect match for the job. The closer your qualifications and experience match the job requirements, the better chance you’ll have of going forward.

Research the organization and those interviewing you

How much do you know about the organization itself? Before you go to the interview be sure you are well informed. Do an internet search and use LinkedIn.

Job Interview Tips – Use your contacts

Do you know anyone who is working at the organization or who has worked there recently? Knowing someone can make a big difference. They might be able to put in a good word for you. Plus your contacts can help you with inside information about the organization, its people and, possibly, the recruitment process itself.

Prepare for Interview Questions

Take time to think through questions you are likely to be asked. This will help you to organize your answers and it will help to reduce stress.  Ask a friend or family or family member to help you practice your answers. If they are prepared to give you a mock interview so much the better.

Prepare for a presentation

Check whether a presentation is required. Then find out as much as possible about the subject.  If they don’t suggest a topic,  concentrate on showing how you are fitted and how you would approach the job.  Prepare your materials well in advance if you can. Have spare copies. Have handouts ready and to a good quality.  Take enough for the panel and some spares.  Check out what technology and other material will be available for your use.  If using your own equipment, make sure it is working properly on the day. Don’t assume you can use your own without making inquiries first. Ask about plugs etc. Run through your presentation, preferably in front of a friend, beforehand.

Job Interview Tips – Have Clear Travel Directions and Allow Plenty of time

It’s important to know where you need to go for your job interview. You don’t want to be late, so start in good time. Use Google Maps to get directions if you’re not sure where you are going.  Check on parking and/or public transport so you arrive with time to spare.

Time to relax!

Check out your appearance when you arrive and then use a simple breathing technique to help you relax. Here is a link to one.

Go in there and wow them.  I wish you every success. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

How to get on with people at work

How to get on with people at work

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

How to get on with people at work
Few of us like everyone

How to get on with people at work –  getting on with people is important in all parts of your life. It is very important at work.

One the hardest lessons we have to learn in life, is that we will meet people who don’t like us. Sometimes this will be for reasons that we understand.  But sometimes, it won’t! And, of course, sometimes we may find ourselves not liking someone and it may be very hard to know why.

How we respond depends very much on the circumstances.

For example, imagine yourself sitting next to someone on a plane for a journey that lasts an hour. It make very little difference whether you like each other or not.  Very soon you will part, never to meet again. But, suppose the person you can’t get on with has a much more significant role in in your life. Suppose the person you are having difficulties with is your new boss, a colleague or an employee. Not knowing how to get on with people at work matters. It matters a lot! So what can you do about it?

How to get on with people at work

First, if you are dealing with your own feelings of dislike, try to work out why you feel like that.  What is it about this person that you find so difficult?  Take some time to think about the issue.  Is it how they look? Is it something they have said or done? Sometimes, we dislike those who remind us of people or experiences in our own past. Take time to reflect and then be completely honest with yourself. Honesty with yourself really matters here.

If you have a sense of mistrust, then try to work out why? Is there any evidence to support how you feel?

Be very honest about your own prejudices. If the way you feel is about their race, their age or their sexual persuasion or their disability, then you have some hard work to do. This problem is yours to resolve, not theirs, and you cannot ignore it!

When you have feelings of dislike, start to work on valuing the individual and the contribution they make. Think about the good things about them. There will be something if you look hard enough.

If the issue is to do with your bad memories, then don’t be afraid to seek the help of a coach or counsellor. If the real problem is your own prejudice then again seek out support from a trainer or coach. Be honest and brave enough to seek help. You will lead a much happier and more fulfilling life without that issue.

If someone dislikes you, then again, see if you can work out why. Try to put things right. How much impact they have on you depends on their role in your life.

When the problem is the boss

If the person is the boss, for example, a new boss; you may have to take your confidence in both hands and start a discussion. Be prepared to hear some criticism and respond positively to it.  Try to make sure the boss really does understand how you are contributing to the work. Then work hard to turn yourself into an asset – share you knowledge with your boss.

Above all, keep the lines of communication open.  Never fight with the boss!  Find the middle ground. At the end of the day, though, if you really can’t get on, consider a move. Fighting the boss is rarely successful and generally leads to misery.

How to get on with people at work – is the problem a colleague?

If the problem is with a colleague or an employee,again work hard to find out why you don’t get on. Talk to them and try to get to know them better. Then find the middle ground. Be scrupulously fair in your dealings with them. At the end of the day, have a professional approach and focus on the work. That way you should be able to find a way to work together even though you may not be best buddies.

How to get on with people at work – you don’t owe those you work with undying affection. Nor do they owe that to you.  But you do owe them a fair chance to do their work well and a fair hearing if they have a problem.  You should be able to expect the same in return.

If you need advice on a relationship at home or at work, then get in touch with me. I can help.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

What Kind Of Leader Are You? Well, let me ask you a question. If you had a choice, what kind of person would you want to follow? It is a good question to ask yourself if you are leader in any capacity. That means from leading a hobby group, a small work team or even a major corporation.

There are some obvious characteristics in our “good leader”, aren’t there? For example, we would all want a leader who acted with integrity. Integrity is the very bedrock of trust and we all hope that we can trust the person who is showing us the way ahead.  As for me, I want to follow someone I believe when they tell me it is safe to take a risk. I’m not going to walk across that rope bridge to a what you tell me is a bright future unless I believe that it really is strong enough to keep me out of the river. Sometimes of course you won’t know any more than I do – but you will certainly know how to find out as much as possible. And you’ll tell me clearly what the facts are and why I should take the risk anyway, if I should.

Of course, we want a leader who has a clear vision of where we are trying to go And their works can paint it so that we can see the destination too. We want someone who can paint the future in colours that lead us to have enough faith to step out with them. We need a message that gets us all turning in the same direction – marching along together. The vision needs to be bright enough to illuminate the way.

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Most of us would like to follow a leader who wasn’t working for their own ends but for ours. That is a servant leader who is prepared to act with compassion. John Maxwell put it this way: “Servant-leaders never pursue a mission at the expense of their people. Rather, servant-leaders earn the loyalty and best efforts of their people by serving the interests and investing in the development of those they lead. A servant-leader wants to see others succeed.”

Good leaders know that they’re only as good as the people who support them. They invest time and energy in ensuring the well-being and success of their team.

So, what kind of leader are you? Are you demonstrating integrity, vision and compassion? If not, what changes do you plan to make? You will need to change something won’t you? That is if you are serious about your career and expect others to follow you.

If you would like some help in developing your leadership skills please get in touch. Good leaders are modest enough to know that working with a coach really can make a difference.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

Personality Tests – Free Test 

Personality Tests – Free Test 

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Personality tests – a personality test is a questionnaire or other test designed to reveal aspects of your character or psychological makeup. They are used  by recruiters and by large organizations when making decisions about who to or to choose or promote. But you can use these kind of tests yourself. You can do this as part of your own career development. And it always helps to know what recruiters may find.

The first personality tests were developed in 1920s and used by the armed forces. Since these early efforts, a variety of tests have been developed. Most notable are the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the MMPI, and a number of tests based on the “Five Factor” Model of personality.

Today, personality tests have become a multi-million dollar industry and they can be used in a range of contexts. These can include individual and relationship counselling as well as career planning, and employee selection and development.

Below is a link to a free test is based on MBTI approach to personality. Upon completion of the questionnaire, you can find out your 4-letter type formula according to Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ theories.  As well as that, you will find an indication of the strengths of your preferences and the description of your personality type.

After that, if you put your 4 letter type into a search engine you should find lots of relevant information and resources on-line. For example, I am INFJ which suggests among other things an aptitude for writing and counselling/coaching apparently. 

Anyway try the test and if you would like to discuss your results please get in touch. Here is the link http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp  
If you need advice on a relationship at home or at work, then get in touch with me. I can help.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Managing People – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Performance review – lots of organizations carry out “performance appraisals.” Most people consider them a “good thing!” And there is lots of information around to help you do them well.

But there is more to encouraging and managing good performance than carrying out the annual performance review. Some people even question whether carrying out annual performance reviews does actually impact on the quality of performance.

Performance review – what the person being assessed usually thinks about

Let us think a little about what the person being assessed usually thinks about when a review is due.  Here’s what it likely to be

  • How is this review going to affect my bonus/performance related pay?
  • How am I being assessed and is it fair?
  • Is my contribution really going to be recognised and acknowledged?
  • How does this review affect my chance of promotion?
  • How well am I doing compared to my peers?

Performance review – what the manager thinks about

A manager thinks about the performance review in a different way;

  • How will you help the person understand what you think of their performance?
  • What evidence is needed to support your view?
  • If they are not meeting the standard, what advice should you give?
  • What action should follow on from the review?

If you are the manager, you are looking to do an assessment that helps your member of staff become more committed to your objectives. You hope they will feel more motivated, accountable, reliable, creative, dedicated, and, yes, happier in the job!

On-going and constructive review

Given the difference in perspectives, holding just one annual performance review doesn’t really seem to meet either sides expectations, does it? Surely what you need instead is a relationship that includes on-going and constructive review?

No, you don’t want spend every day discussing performance. Although there is much to be said about commenting very quickly on exceptions in performance – be they good or bad. Giving praise is as important as giving criticism.

Having a performance stock take once a month works for many! Certainly, having a more formal review quarterly where the question of the bonus isn’t part of the mix has worked for me. And then, at the end of the year it is an agreed summary of those quarterly reviews that feeds into the financial reward system.

Developing an effective relationship and an open discussion about the quality of performance is much more likely to help you and your staff member achieve your goals, both corporate and personal.

Remember, performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.

With a performance management system that works and a well developed relationship, it becomes much easier to discuss career development and the opportunities for progression.  And guess what, in this climate potential threats to good performance can be seen off before they become real issues and so everyone benefits.

Good luck with your performance review and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed at work and as a manager.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Tips For New Managers

Management: 6 Simple Tips For New Managers

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Tips For New Managers – all managers have a first day in the job.  And it is never easy!  So here are some tips to help you on your way;

  1. Understand your organization; its rules and culture.  Your team is part of a wider organization and you need to understand that wider context. How do people behave – what are the rules (written and unwritten)?  Spend some time finding out and talk to your HR department about what they expect of you as a manager
  2. Understand the work requirement.  What are you there to do and by when do you have to do it? Be clear about the objectives of your own manager and their expectations of you.  If you don’t have anything written down yet, try to agree a time to do that.  What do your team, and each member of it, think they are there to do?  Does it line up with what the organization needs and the team objectives?
  3. Tips for new managers – be consistent – firm but fair.  Don’t have favorites and treat everyone in the same way.  Try to be consistent in how you behave – don’t let your bad mood or your “off day” be reflected in how you behave. If you do it will confuse and de-motivate your team.  Above all reward or penalize the same things over time. Do your team understand the standards set for their work? Does your behavior reflect them?
  4. Kindness goes a very long way – kindness engenders kindness – show and encourage appreciation.   Being kind doesn’t mean you become a “soft” manager that people can take advantage of.  Kindness is an extension of being fair.  Do you treat people as you,  yourself, would like to be treated?  You will be surprised what a difference to your life as a manager it will make when you have your team’s support. Kindness will help gain you that support.
  5. Work on you own confidence – confidence inspires others.  Learn how to look and sound confident even when you don’t feel it.  This will hep your team to feel more secure and able to give their best work.  Do you have a problem maintaining your feelings of confidence? If so work with a coach to learn some techniques to help – my contact details are below.
  6. Learn to make quick and effective decisions – dithering bosses lose the confidence of their teams.  Do you know how to identify relevant information quickly and then to weigh evidence to help you make a decision. Be willing to take risks – making decisions means being prepared sometimes to take a risk.  Giving someone the benefit of the doubt or even delegating effectively requires you to take risks.  Do you understand risk and how to take it? Learn about risk and how evaluate how much of it you are taking and how to manage the consequences.  At the end of the day,  as the manager, you “carry the can” and that is something that good managers learn to live with.

Good luck with your new role and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed as a manager.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

How to network to find a job

How to network to find a job

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

How to network to find a job – job search networking is all about making connections with people. The people you want to contact are those who can either let you know about potential job openings or connect you with others who can tell you.

Networking means talking to everyone you know. This includes family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, previous employers and colleagues, people you play sport with, local business people, the family solicitor or accountant—everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know very many people. The people you do know might in turn know other people who have heard about a job opening.

Job search networking can be done at different levels. It can be a matter of having casual conversations with people you meet. Or you can make it an active and strategic campaign to contact people for ideas, suggestions and information.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy to help if they can. You have nothing to lose by phoning or meeting with your contacts. If you don’t make the connection, you won’t be able to tell if the person has good information or knows about an upcoming job. If you do speak with them, you might just land that job, or hear about another that suits you better.

At worst you might feel a bit uncomfortable. But, being prepared will make the discussions easier.

How to Prepare For Job Search Networking

Make a list of all the people you know.

They don’t need to be friends, or even acquaintances; you just need to have enough of a common link with them to initiate a conversation. If you can pick up the phone and call them, for any reason, they are potential networking contacts.

Prepare what you are going to say

You don’t want to just ring people up and say, ‘I work in HR. Do you know of any jobs going?’ Before you phone anyone, note down the specific details of what you’re looking for and exactly the kind of help you think they might be able to give you. For example, say:
‘I’m looking for a role in training and development within the public sector or a not-for-profit organisation. [Government department] or [organisation name] would be the kind of place I’d like to work in. Would you know of any places, maybe smaller and more local, that might be looking for trainers?’

Contact the people on your list in a systematic way

Set yourself a goal—maybe you’re happy to spend all afternoon on the phone to people, and cross twenty off your list. Or maybe you just want to work through the list steadily, making three calls a day. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, being less conversational and speaking more mechanically, it might be time to take a break.

Ask them for job leads

To make it easy for people to help you, ask them if they have any tips, leads or suggestions. Ask them if they know of any vacancies at all for a person with your skills. If they don’t, ask them to keep you in mind in case anything comes up. Most importantly, ask them if they can suggest anyone else you contact. Do they know someone else who might know about the kinds of jobs that you’re after? Do they know anyone who works for this or that company that you’re interested in joining? If they can refer you to others, contact those other people and ask them the same questions.

Follow up contacts

Often people will tell you, ‘I’ll ask around and see what I can find out for you.’ Sometimes they do ask around; sometimes they forget almost immediately, or a crisis happens at work and they haven’t the time. If you don’t hear from them within a week or so, call them back to see if they’ve managed to find anything out.
Sometimes it seems as if no one will do anything for you or ask around on your behalf. It can be frustrating, but you should stay very polite and pleasant in your dealings with your contacts. After all, you’re asking them for a favour.

Follow up leads

After your initial networking efforts and research, you’ll probably have a long list of new people to try and make connections with. A phone call may be enough, or you might want to arrange a meeting with them to introduce yourself and ask them more specific questions about their company or industry.

Networking wisdom

• Whenever you meet someone new, exchange business cards with them (or at least get one from your new contact, so you can send them your details).
• Show your appreciation for the help you receive by sending a thank-you note, or by telling your contact how their information helped you, even if it only led indirectly to a job prospect.
• Think laterally about where to find network contacts. You can find people to add to your network almost anywhere.
• Get involved in a civic, social, religious or sporting organisation that interests you. As you meet new people in the organisation, they can become new network contacts.
• Join a professional organisation related to your field. The meetings or related events are good opportunities for you to network with people in your field.
• Think about online networking, in forums and in chat rooms.
• Record and organise all your network contacts—for example, on a spreadsheet or index cards. Write down what you found out from them, and any follow-up you should do. This will help you organise your time and monitor your progress.

Keep networking

Even after you’ve found a job, keep networking. Networking isn’t just for getting a job; it can help you do your job better, and it’s a way of being part of your community and society.

Life is full of surprises. You never know when you might need your network contacts’ help in another job search.

Social networking

Social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, are becoming increasingly important tools for both job seekers and employers. Learn how to use them – if you would like some help I can recommend a first rate social networking trainer

With thanks to Australia’s Myfuture website

If you would like further advice on this please get in touch at the link below.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

What is leadership

Leadership – What is leadership and have you got it?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

What is leadership – well, what do you think? The whole world seems to be talking about leadership right now.  How good is it? How bad is it? How to improve it?  But let us think a little about what it is.

At its most basic, leadership is simply one person leading another.  Think of someone in a blindfold being led by another.  If that is going to work, the person doing the leading needs to have some idea where they are going. They need to have some conception of the obstacles on the way and how to overcome them.  Of course,  the person doing the leading needs to be able to inspire confidence in the person being led.  That confidence needs to be strong enough for them at least to take the first step.

What is leadership  in organizations?

Leadership in organizations is the same really.  A leader sees a problem that needs to be fixed or a goal that needs to be achieved. It could be something that no one else sees or something that no one else wants to see because the sight is uncomfortable. But whatever it is, it becomes the focus of the leader’s attention and they set out with determination to deal with it or to achieve it.  Then of course the leader needs to be able to bring others along with them.

This kind of leadership can be at any level in an organization.  Most successful organizations today recognize that and set up systems which empower leaders at all levels.  With information technology it is easy to give people throughout an organization the information they need to become leaders and the tools to lead.  But of course if this is to work well, leadership does need to start at the top. Then leaders throughout the organization will set out in the same direction, supporting each other. They will not be tripping each other up.

If you are supposed to “lead” your organization how a good a job are you doing at setting out a clear vision for the future?  Do the other leaders throughout your organization know where you are going so that they can lead in the same direction?  Do they have the knowledge and information to take your vision forward? If not you have a problem. What are you going to do about it?

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Reducing job choice risks

Reducing job choice risks

Career Development: The fine art of taking risks, living with “what ifs” and not having regrets

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Reducing job choice risks – we know that people who make career plans and have a career goal are usually more successful.  One occasion when having a clear plan is particularly useful, is when it comes to deciding between opportunities. Reducing job choice risksLet us suppose you are one of those lucky people who has been offered two good jobs.  How do you decide between them?   If you have a goal and a plan to achieve it, then you have a map of the territory you need to travel to make your decision.

Reducing job choice risks – have a plan

If you have a plan and a goal, you can set your criteria for selection.  These would be mine! Which of these two jobs is;

  • Most compatible with my career plan and the goal I have set myself.
  • Provides the money I need to support myself,
  • Meets my needs to exercise autonomy and express my our own special talents and creativity
  • Provides a boss I find inspiring and a team I want to work with
  • Fits in with the rest of my life 

This is my list for reducing job choice risks. You have to make your own, I’m afraid.  But, however you decide, you need to recognize that your choice brings with it an element of risk.  Even though you think you have done your homework well.  You have done lots of research on the organization, asked lots of questions and consulted contacts who have encountered them in the past.  Still, when you start , work it is often quite different to what you expected.  It may turn out not to be the exact fit you thought it was. And that boss may turn out to be human , just like the rest of us,  and to have flaws. That is the risk you take with any job.

Making no choice is not an option.  You make the best choice you can! But making a choice always comes with risks. It is always possible the other job could have turned out better.  But how much use is spending time thinking about that?Surely it is better to commit yourself to the job you have taken and do your best in it. Wasting time on regrets and thinking about what might have been doesn’t do anything good for you at all.  It simply erodes your enthusiasm and your ability to shine where you are. But remember reducing job choice risks is helped by having a plan.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism

Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism

Managing People – Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism

Advice from Wendy Smith. Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism – even the most positive and fair minded manager finds they need to criticize sometimes.  How can you do it in a way that is constructive, maintains the relationship and leads to improvement?

Here are some tips.

  • Check the facts very carefully before you begin!
  • Don’t judge the person, judge the behaviour.  A person’s behaviour is not who they are. And who they are, is not your responsibility. Deal only with what you have seen and have evidence for!
  • Be clear, specific and factual in what you say.  And, focus on what is happening now and how changes will affect the future. Dwelling on the past is unlikely to influence future behaviour.
  • Listen very carefully to the response. Pay attention to explanations and objections – treat them with respect even if you can’t accept them. Be alert to difficulties the person has experienced; listen out for training needs and follow them up. Watch body language for extra clues about how they feel.
  • Acknowledge the response. Make it clear that you understand what has been said! You can do this by summarizing. Be honest enough to admit it, if you got things wrong and apologize.
  • Express yourself assertively – not with diffidence, nor with anger or aggression. Focus clearly on the change you wish to see. Illustrate with examples, if possible.
  • Hear the response and respond to it.
  • Give the person a fair chance to demonstrate that they are really trying to make change.
  • Make sure you follow up on any underlying cause – for example, working conditions, health issues or a need for training.

Remember constructive criticism always has a positive goal and that is to make a change for the better. Keep this in mind all the time when you are giving feedback.

If you would like further advice on this please get in touch at the link below.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link