Archive for February, 2009

Feedback Promotes Growth – Welcome it!

Thursday, February 26th, 2009


Frequently I am asked to include a segment in my communication keynotes and workshops on how to give and receive feedback. Critical feedback can sometimes be difficult to give, and sometimes even harder to receive. However, we all need constructive feedback for personal and professional growth. High achievers and successful people thrive on feedback – they welcome it. I learned from my days in the theatre that when a director did not give a certain actor ‘notes’ (theatre speak for ‘feedback’) it meant that he or she likely lost interest in the person’s performance. Why? Because when the director previously gave ‘notes’ the actor either got defensive, refused to listen, or didn’t know how to implement. So if your boss or colleagues never give you feedback that may not be a good thing. It is said that the four deadliest words in business are, “I know that already.” There is always more to learn, always!

Here are a few suggestions on giving and receiving critical feedback:

Giving Feedback:

  • Choose words carefully
  • Express your ideas with conviction
  • Be mindful of your tone and tact
  • Present factual observations
  • Suggest solutions
  • Describe benefits of implementing solutions
  • Specify consequences to ignoring solutions
  • Anticipate questions and concerns

Receiving Feedback:

  • Listen carefully and patiently
  • Do not interrupt
  • Control defensive response
  • Communicate receptive body language
  • Inquire for details and examples if feedback is vague
  • Ask for help or suggestions
  • Express your appreciation whether you agree  with feedback or not
  • Compare the feedback with people you respect and trust

More communication best practices

Finding Optimism in a Winter Wonderland

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009


Recently I was hiking with friends along the Bruce Trail in Niagara on a picture perfect winter day.  The conversation was as invigorating as the exercise. The top of mind subjects were the economy, global unrest, and the relentless exposure to gloom-and-doom media.  As many others have expressed in their blogs, we agreed this incessant negative bombardment was not good for the human spirit. Negative thoughts attract negative events and foster toxic energy. We made a pact that we would help shift the collective mood and mindset one person at a time, and we would advocate a ceasefire of negative chatter in our homes and our workplaces. Our conversation soon shifted to The Golden Globe Awards, Wii games, and the iPhone versus the BlackBerry. We gave thanks for the air we breathe and the fact that we were still breathing.
 Life was Good!

As a motivational speaker, I am fortunate to have a platform on which to communicate my messages; however, every person can create a portable platform and have an impact on friends, family and colleagues. The sky is not going to fall. We will overcome these challenges, as we have so many times through history.  And we don’t have to be miserable or fearful waiting for these turbulent times to settle. I am not in denial, nor am I burying my head in the sand – I simply don’t want to work and play in gloomy surroundings until it all passes.  Do you?

What are you doing to elevate your spirits? Help others to elevate theirs.

View Lorraine helping to elevate your humour