This blog is the journey of Lorenc Consulting and Entertainment as we continue to encourage creativity and innovation by using the concepts of improv comedy in everyday life. Any kind of group or organization can benefit from our improv-based corporate training, focusing on team-building, hyper listening and communication skills, and thinking on your feet.

Developmental feedback is crucial in helping others grow

by Toby Lorenc
Last week, I took an intensive leadership class at Center for Creative Leadership. I have to say, it wasn't what I was expecting, but that was a good thing.

I walked away with more information and practical applications than I can't even begin to process. Perhaps the most practical revelation was the importance of investing in others, specifically in their development.

Typically, we often use the term "constructive criticism" when approaching topics or behaviors which others need to improve. Instead, think of it as "developmental feedback." It's a whole different mindset when you're approaching an employee, team member, or friend when you take the approach of genuinely wanting to develop them, both through failures and successes.

Center for Creative Leadership teaches the SBI Model, which is an acronym for Situation, Behavior, and Impact. You're focusing your feedback on a specific and exact moment, pointing out the behavior, and telling them how it impacted you. There's no room for debate - you're giving them the facts of what they did and how you felt. This part is crucial and another incredible revelation for me: our actions don't always match our intentions.

This feedback has to be on-going and a mix of both positive and developmental feedback.  For me, it's a great way to intentionally and directly deal with conflict, but also a reminder that we all need positive reinforcement.

Your lingo may not be right on

by Toby Lorenc
As I waited for an appointment with an HR person recently, I was reminded of how important our words are in our quest to present ourselves.

I sat in "Sally's" office while she talked with a prospective employee.  She was very kind to the candidate on the phone, but as soon as she hung up she blurted, "Are you KIDDING me?!?" in frustration.

The individual was getting information on the hiring process at the company and kept repeating, "right on" after Sally told him their hiring protocol. He immediately closed the door to any opportunity with this company because of his language and gave himself a thumbs-down rating with the HR gatekeeper.

Certainly, we all know not to drop curse words and questionable jokes while talking to prospective employers, but have you thought about other jargon you use when talking to others?

Sally wants professionals and grown ups at her company, and Mr. Applicant was portraying just the opposite with his college-based grammar.  He will probably never even have the chance to interview at this company, which he felt was "right on."

Keep in mind that there is never a second chance to make a first impression. Your language can create an impression that will stop you cold and you'll never even have a chance for a face-to-face interview.

Certainly, the words and phrases you choose can create a lasting impression and it's debatable which specific jargon will stop you cold in your tracks. But be conscious of how you're presenting yourself (even over the phone) or your "right on" might become a "write off."

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