Tag Archives: relationships

Family Wealth Alliance Webinar – Sept 14

15 Aug

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Criticism–used well, this powerful leadership tool can promote positive change and strengthen relationships in business and life. Is it possible to use criticism at work without breeding resentment?

Dr. Deborah Bright, best-selling author and business coach, joins Family Wealth Alliance CEO Tom Livergood for a free webinar and fireside chat about the highly misunderstood topic of using criticism positively in the workplace.

Dr. Bright offers valuable techniques from her most recent book, rated by getAbstract as one of this year’s top 5 business books! She pulls tips from her book The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change to help us:

  • Understand the essential role of criticism in the workplace
  • Overcome common mistakes made when giving criticism
  • Gain insights on handling difficult work-related situations

Register now for this free 1-hour webinar on September 14th, 2:00PM EDT. Turbocharge your workplace and career by learning to strengthen relationships and enhance performance with criticism!

Note: Dr. Bright’s 30-minute fireside chat will follow Bob Legan, of Whitnell & Company, discussing unique issues and planning opportunities with family owned or closely held businesses.

Are the People You Work with Truly Your Friends?

6 May

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Are your co-workers genuine friends?  This is a much easier question to raise than it is to answer. Depending on who you ask, you would probably get a different response. Most of us think of a “friend” as someone  we can trust and who we think trusts us.. We might even think a friend might be someone we can depend on to help us when times are tough. While we may categorize friends on a sort of scale that runs from “occasional” to “good” to “best” to “very best”, in all cases they are persons we respect and feel comfortable around and with whom we  share some degree of intimacy.  Very importantly, we expect a friend to be truly happy for our successes and is uplifting and fun to be around.

But when it comes to the workplace, we may want to take a slightly different perspective. Friends that form in the workplace are joined together  because of the mutuality of the work and the workplace itself.  That commonality leads to a lot of conversations.  What is oftentimes overlooked or dangerously underestimated is that underlying a friendship at work is the fact that the workplace is competitive. Because of the competitive nature in the workplace, when push comes to shove if someone needs to or has the opportunity to enhance their position in an organization, workplace friendships may oftentimes take a backseat or, to put it mildly, not be at the forefront of individuals’ priorities.

This ambition factor can manifest itself especially as it regards people of lower ranks in the workplace who are friends of those in upper ranks. As a result, it’s important to think about whether or not to differentiate workplace friends from just friends.

The idea that today we are friends and tomorrow we are forgotten often times depicts workplace friendships.  Think about what happens when  a co-worker leaves. The common bonds that once  held the friendship together wither rapidly or they simply are  no longer there. That’s because mutual interests really never went much farther than workplace matters.   Over time, the relationships that were once vibrant and full of chatter tend to fade away as the parties realize that they have very little in common outside of the workplace. Reflect on your own workplace experience when co-workers retired or found a new position in another company;   how many of your fellow colleges have you stayed in touch with once they have left?

Co-workers do need to embrace those elements that friends share such as respect and trust. These are factors that are very necessary among those who work together. … and they may be even more necessary in a working relationship than they need to be with just friends.. If you are a manager, it’s imperative that you address this issue with your people who work with you and with one another. People don’t have to be friends to get along and work with one another, In fact they don’t even have to like each other! But, they do have to respect and trust one another or the working relationship will never work.

Deb Bright, Ed.D., is founder and president of Bright Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm devoted to enhancing performance. Her roster of clients includes Raytheon, Marriott, Disney, GE, Chase, Morgan Stanley, and other premier organizations. She is also a best-selling author. Her newest book is entitled The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change (AMACOM Books).

The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt

10 Oct

Truth Doesn't Have to HurtTake a moment to think about and answer the following questions regarding the people you manage and/or interact with on a daily basis at work:

  • Do you find that managing other people can be very stressful, especially when you are trying to offer suggestions for improvement?
  • Are you desirous of establishing open communications with your staff or peers but are having difficulty making that happen?
  • Are you hesitant to point out anything that staff or peers can do better because you are concerned about causing tension in the relationship?
  • Are you interested in learning how to better influence others?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions then I recommend that you give some thought to the role criticism plays in relationships and bringing about change.

Interestingly, not everyone associates the questions above with the subject of criticism. Yet you will find that criticism is an underlying element in each of these questions. In my newest book, The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt, How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change, you will learn that helpful criticism is directly linked to strengthening relationships – the kind of relationships rooted in trust and respect, improving performance, and promoting positive change.

What’s so exciting is that after investing over a year to write, I’m pleased to announce that The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt is now available in bookstores and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Deb Bright, Ed.D., is founder and president of Bright Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm devoted to enhancing performance. Her roster of clients includes Raytheon, Marriott, Disney, GE, Chase, Morgan Stanley, and other premier organizations. She is also a best-selling author. To learn more about Deb Bright, visit her website at www.drbright.com.

Using the Matched Relationship Expectations Package

24 Jan

Any meaningful relationship, whether in the workplace, with friends, or at home, has as its foundation a clearly established matched relationship expectations package.

A matched relationship expectations package is a negotiated agreement between two or more people in which the important expectations of each have been expressed and essentially harmonized.  Building a matched expectations package goes beyond simply talking and involves engaging in an open exchange for the purpose of establishing a mutual understanding. By engaging in a meaningful exchange, each party gets to know what the other wants and needs in an effort to work effectively, directly, and build a trusting relationship

Besides defining the employee’s job in relation to organizational (and personal) goals, a matched expectations package will also include a discussion of the work relationship between manager and employee, as well as an identification and validation of unspoken expectations.

Both managers and employees benefit when expectations are clarified at the outset. Job performance is heightened as work gets done accurately and with quality, energy is positively directed, and there is a greater willingness to be more open and honest on the part of both manager and employee. When mutual expectations are kept, ironically, there is less of a need to criticize. Expectation packages are the architect’s blueprint to building strong relationships.

Receiving Criticism: Tip #5

14 Dec

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Keep an open mind to criticism

Chances are great that if someone approaches you and you don’t like the person, or don’t respect them, you’ll tune the person out regardless of what they say—especially if they are criticizing you.

Rather than reject the criticism, keep an open mind—all you’re getting is information.  It’s important to separate the message from the messenger.  Even an enemy might give you some valuable information, or at least bring your attention to a specific behavior that you need to change. After all, that’s the intent behind the familiar expression, “Stay close to you friends and even closer to your enemies”!

Visit us at www.drbright.com

Receiving Criticism: Tip #4

12 Dec

Let Go of the Criticism

Holding on to criticism for days on end isn’t very healthy, nor does it do much to resolve the issue.  Brooding over criticism is a means of acting on it, but is this action what you really want to be doing?

Building from our premises that we aren’t perfect and that criticism is designed to bring about action that will lead us closer to a desired end result will then make it easier to use Bright’s Wastepaper Basket Quick Charge.

This skill is practiced by mentally writing down all your thoughts, especially your troublesome ones, on an imaginary piece of paper. After mentally placing all your thoughts on the paper, visualize crumpling up the paper and throwing it into the wastepaper basket, where it immediately gets burned. Depending upon the severity of the situation, it may be necessary to practice this skill several times. Remember, after you’ve carefully examined the situation and have learned from your mistake, then it’s important to “let go” of the criticism by practicing Bright’s Wastepaper Basket Quick Charge.

Giving Criticism: Tip #5

2 Nov

Tip:  Engage the receiver in the solution – “How can you do it better?”

When determining how the receiver can correct their behavior, or do something better, if you do not have the solution, or know the corrective action ask the receiver his or her ideas. Engaging the receiver in how to correct the situations establishes a trust between the giver and receiver and strengthens the relationship.

For example, Vivian’s employee has been producing reports with grammatical errors, which is causing Vivian to have to spend additional time editing them. Vivian simply says, “you need to improve your grammar skills”.  More than likely, the employee is going to say, “Ok” and nothing will happen.  Here is the same criticism, but has value and engages the receiver in the solution, “You mentioned to me in the past that you would like to write a book some day. Keep in mind that if you want to achieve that goal, you need to have better grammar skills. What ideas do you have for improving your grammar?”  The employee responds by saying, “How about I take a grammar refresher class at the community college?” 

 In this example, Vivian asks her employee what ideas she has to improve her grammar skills which allows for the criticism to be well received and strengthen their relationship.

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