Responding to Negative Feedback 

With the excitement of the holiday season comes lots of free floating stress.  In schools, the combination of report cards and Winter Concerts and overtired kids and adults can be challenging.  Festivities with family can bring a plethora of opportunities for negative feedback.  Although a season of nothing but good will and joy would be ideal, it isn’t always the reality.  I regularly receive THE MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY compliments of the Harvard Business Review.  Always interesting food for thought.

December 3, 2015

Decide How You’ll React to Negative Feedback

When criticism arrives unexpectedly, remembering how you should react to it is tricky. Getting caught up in the heat of the moment can overwhelm our best intentions. Think through the reaction you want to have now, so that you’ll be ready when the time comes:

Listen carefully to what’s being said. Is the criticism of you fact or opinion? And is it accurate? What’s the intent and motive of the person giving you feedback?

Don’t get defensive. Even when your criticizer is factually wrong, saying so isn’t helpful. Listen to what the person is saying, then ask questions to make sure you understand it.

Ask for time to consider what’s been said. Doing so defuses the immediate situation, shows the person you consider the feedback important enough to be considered carefully, and gives you a chance to decide whether the criticism is true.
Adapted from “How to Handle Negative Feedback,” by Dick Grote.

The goal for the season:  Listen carefully and think long and hard before you speak 🙂  Easier said than done 🙂  Good luck.

 

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The Culture of “Fitbit”

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The Fitbit.  Call it a fad.  A conversation starter. Big brother.  A motivator.  Health and Wellness is a well chosen initiative for many school districts in British Columbia.  The focus on pro-active measures to support staff is  a simple way to decrease absences by increasing the focus on physical health and stress management. It is a well developed program with support services and educational materials to provide staff with the required supports to address the high stress levels, exposure to EVERY virus around for employees of the population of educators and support staff.

I resisted the FITBIT initially. I did not need a device to impact my decision to take the stairs or the elevator.  To enjoy a good walk along the beach.  To go for a bike ride or hunker done with a pot of tea and a good book.  The reality is I don’t need it when I’m relaxed and making deliberate decisions about balance in my life.  When I need this handy little device is when time is in short supply and my focus is on my Things To Do list.  The Fitbit not only provides the incentive to strive for 10,000 steps a day but also is a reminder to go to the gym and NOT to stuff that amazing cookie or delectable chocolate into my mouth.  It has also inspired me to do more take a greater interest in health and wellness of my staff and to read and share more resources.  The Fitbit crew on our staff is steadily growing.  We compare steps and equate the busyness of the day with the multitude of steps or complete lack of steps.  It’s fun.

I like THE MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY: Harvard Business Review.  The tip on November 6, 2015 provides a good active idea for very small or very large meetings that require some processing time.

Get the Full Benefits of Walking Meetings

Walking meetings are a growing trend, replacing a traditional sitting meeting in a coffee shop or boardroom with a little exercise. The benefits are plentiful: Research has found that walking leads to increases in creative thinking, and anecdotal evidence suggests that walking meetings spur more productive, honest conversations. Here are some tips to help your next walking meeting go well:

Include an “extracurricular” destination. Passing a point of interest provides more rationale and incentive for the walk.

Don’t add unneeded calories. A meeting that ends with a 400-calorie beverage undermines its health goal.

Stick to small groups. Walking meetings work best with two or three people.

Don’t surprise colleagues or clients with walking meetings. Notify people in advance so they can dress appropriately.

Have fun. Enjoy the fresh air – research has also found that people who use walking meetings report being more satisfied at work.
Adapted from “How to Do Walking Meetings Right,” by Russell Clayton et al.