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The Most Excellent You: How to Get the Advice You Really Need

Feedback is:

    • Evaluative
    • Focused on past performance
    • Often linked with compensation/grading
    • Historical
    • Influenced by in-the-moment impressions and feeling

Feed-forward is:

  • Coaching-oriented
  • Aimed at helping, supporting
  • Future-focused
  • Focuses on improving results/performance
  • Provides guidance, pointers, tips

Most of us want to become more effective, more successful as professionals.

What areas are you open to receiving guidance about, tips and pointers?

Any forward-looking advice that would help make you better, from the superficial to the profound. Examples:

– Your hairstyle

– Your dress choices for work

– How you sign off in e-mails

– How your outgoing voicemail message sounds

– How you greet colleagues, senior people – e.g. handshake, hug, kiss, etc.

– Whether you use people’s first names too much, too little

– How much you disclose about your personal life

– Your spelling, punctuation, and grammar

– Your tone of voice in meetings

– How much / how little you say in meetings

– How direct and concise you typically are

– Your ability to read political situations and get along with most people

– Your strategic thinking and offering of suggestions for approaches/tactics

How do we get better? Who can we turn to for help, guidance, tips, suggestions, to point us in the right directions?

Who could give you this sort of guidance?

“Think about people – teachers, coaches, former colleagues – who you could have a chat for 30-40 minutes.”

They could be anywhere in the world right now. Use Skype. Send them an e-mail, schedule a chat.

The question you might ask these ad hoc coaches and mentors:

“I want to get to the XYZ level in my career. How do you think I can get there? What do I need to work on? What do you think my blind spots might be? When you’ve seen people succeed in this area against the odds, what have they done that others haven’t? When you’ve seen people fail when they were expected to succeed, how do you think they got in their own way, how did they trip themselves up?