Fish out of Water

20 Nov Fish out of Water

Content or Cover

Everybody is a genius, is the message, however each of us have had different experiences and levels of trust in the person who delivers the message.   It reminds me of a book I read some years back titled “ZAPP! The Lightening of Empowerment” by William C. Byham.  The book is over 28 years old, however the messages are still very relevant in today’s working environment.  The book is written in a story format where key learning points are shared.  The main character in the book learns about the true meaning and actions for empowerment and the damage certain words play in relationships.

Did you know these two words THANK YOU are the two most under utilized words in our vocabulary.  These two simple words, spoken with honesty, humility and meaning can unlock the power and potential within your team.  It’s more than just a “thank you”, it’s about saying, “thank you for putting in the extra effort”, “thank you for staying a little extra today, I know it took you away from your family.  Tomorrow leave a little early or come in a bit later.”  This let’s your staff know you really appreciate and value their efforts.

Thinking back, before you learned how to give meaningful feedback, do you remember using words like BUT and SHOULD?  Something like, “You did a great job on the presentation, but maybe next time could you . . .; or maybe “I appreciate the effort you put into the presentation, should you have pointed out. . .”  Do you see how the words but and should detract from the positive message you hoped to deliver?  What could we do to reframe this so the feedback is seen as a ‘gift’ not as a ‘dig’?

For example, use probing questions like “How do you feel after delivering your presentation?”  “What did you think went well?”  “Was there anything you thought could have gone differently?”  “What did you like about how the presentation went?”  “What feedback did you ask for/receive from the audience to gauge how they received your message?”  Feedback is the gift for future development, and being open to hear it.  It is also your choice on whether to accept and use the feedback; or to ignore it depending on the level of trust you have with the person offering you the gift.

As a leader, the ability to share positive and constructive feedback is an important skill.  There are numerous articles and books available for you to hone your craft.  Remember how you felt when feedback was delivered in a less than positive way?  What can you do differently so others have a more constructive and positive experience?  Will you help the fish into the water, or allow it to remain in the tree?