Friday, July 23, 2021

Building Self-Esteem through Feedback

 Fairly often people say to me "I am afraid to give any feedback anymore" or "Our employees cannot take feedback - they don't want it!".

While it may feel like one or both of those statements is what you are thinking or living, those statements are polarizing, and they will not advance relationships and/or businesses.

Instead of thinking about the negative side of feedback, please think about the positive side of it, and how feedback delivered properly, and therefore, received well, can build self-esteem.

We often talk about, focus on, and encourage/demand self-confidence, yet self-confidence is circumstantial, where self-esteem is at someone's core. For example, I have high self-esteem, belief in my ability to understand, present well, learn, and grow. That does not go away. I have high self-confidence in speaking, coaching, golfing, and hosting events because, in those environments, I have the exposure, the experience, and the expertise that provide me with many ways to contribute.

The realities related to self-esteem and self-confidence are many, and two of them are that self-esteem is something we can coach to about a person, and self-confidence is gained by layering it on circumstantially, specifically, on top of self-esteem. So, giving feedback is key to raising self-esteem, and eventually, self-confidence for most people.

An approach to providing feedback to build self-esteem is to follow these steps/approaches:

1) Be clear that your idea-sharing is feedback to move forward.

2) Share that your ideas are coaching, not criticism.

3) Ensure that feedback is a loop and not only 1-way.

4) Ask and respect how each person with whom you are engaging prefers feedback: in writing, in-person, immediately, at scheduled times.

5) Learn the type of coaching each person seeks: written to understand on their own, shown & left to their own ways to practice, shown, then they do it, or working on it collaboratively start-to-finish.

6) State a goal for a coaching and/or feedback session with the person receiving the coaching and/or feedback.

7) Importantly, close out the session by asking and hearing how the person feels, thinks, and wants to move forward.

This type of feedback is the way to build self-esteem for the person, which then can be a foundation for building self-confidence in situations and in areas of experience. And, when we focus on self-esteem, the whole person is included, and that is what/who we bring to each relationship and work assignment, after all!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Lessons Learned: Observations from Keynoting in 2021

 As grateful as I am to have been able to give away a lot of remote work content in 2020, it was good to (finally) get back to keynoting to kick off a full conference this month!

Was I excited? Yes! Was I nervous? Yes! Was this different? No, there's consistently excitement and nerves because I am grateful and care, and yet these feelings of excitement were intensified and the sense of nerves was about remembering the ways to give the audience the best so they did not miss out.

Please don't get me wrong, each engagement over the 15 years of business is special, has my gratitude, and gets some nerves for ensuring all is outstanding. This July, though, was a return to a full hotel, full conference, and fully lighted stage production, and that was WONDERFULLY familiar and a HAPPY RETURN to a scene that was once far more typical in a day, week, or month.

The lessons learned included the following:

  • It's still the responsibility of the speaker (me, in this case) to engage, entertain, keep attention, stay on time, and give meaningful, sincere tips!
  • Sincerely engaging and story-telling are now, more than ever, the way people relate to messaging.
  • People are genuinely excited to be in a room seeing and feeling someone speak and connect, and allowing time for people to share has expanded, as the interest and desire to be seen and heard has grown, so don't rush people, and plan to stick around after.
  • Gratitude, kindness, and grace have not, and will not, go out of fashion or style on or off the stage!

So, if you have the opportunity to speak, do, and give from your heart, energy, and expertise freely, with practice, preparation, and anticipation of the enjoyment you and the audience will have!