Road Cyclist

What Is Your Feedback Frequency?

Shortly after moving to Arizona I noticed more people riding road bicycles than I had ever seen in Utah or Idaho. Talking with my retired uncle I found out he rode his bike several miles a day, multiple times a week. It got me thinking that cycling is something that I could do. On a whim I went to the local bike shop and purchased a used bike for $200. That was the amount I was comfortable losing if I didn’t end up riding the bike. It turned out that cycling is something that I enjoy! Reaching The Next Level […]

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A Doctor and a Woman

Finding a Healthy Balance with Feedback

Sometimes we’ll pick and choose what feedback we want to listen to, and the rest of it goes out the other ear. Why bother with advice that doesn’t align with how we view ourselves? No one likes to be reminded of their weakness or blind spot even though the blind spot could be the very thing that threatens their personal or professional ambitions. With any potential change, we hope it doesn’t require too much of our time and effort. Most will put it off as long as possible. That’s what I did, and I learned the hard way. On New […]

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Two Businessmen Talking

Do You Know What Is Expected of You?

“Do you feel like you know what is expected of you?” That is one of my favorite questions to ask employees because it can lead to a lot of clarity. First, I should acknowledge that I encountered this question while reading, How to be a Great Boss, by Gino Wickman. While I appreciated the whole book, this one question alone made the time investment worthwhile. It also introduced me to another one of his books, Traction, which I also recommend (but that is another story). Benefits of Asking When you ask an employee, “Do you feel like you know what […]

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Tips for Survey Items

10 Tips for Creating Survey Items

We get to work with a lot of great people who want to provide a way for their clients or employees to receive feedback. During this process, we often help develop, revise, or refine survey items. We’d like to share 10 tips about common issues we have seen with creating survey items over the years. You can also download a checklist version. Anonymity If you’re going to ask the participants to provide demographic information, be sure to avoid demographic questions that are too specific and could reveal their identity. Wording Avoid acronyms, jargon, and abbreviations—including corporate-specific or HR-specific terms. If […]

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Friendly Coworkers

When Feedback Causes Distress

“Useless! What else can you not do?” My former supervisor said to me one day on the job in front of a customer. They had asked me to complete a task I wasn’t familiar with, and I needed some help. The outburst was not the reaction I was expecting or needed. I was taken aback and left the room in tears. After the customer reported the incident, this person apologized profusely and explained that they were having a bad day. Unfortunately, it happened again soon after. This time they said it was my fault and made it clear that I […]

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Car Crash

Brace for Impact! Two Tips to Manage Feedback

My wife and I had just finished getting some groceries when we were in our car stopped at a light waiting to exit the parking lot. It was winter in Idaho, and it was snowing. I was watching the traffic and noticed a car that was coming towards us with the blinker on. As it approached, I saw the wheels were turned, but the car was not turning and was still coming towards us. “Oh snap!” was all I said while bracing for impact. The car hit us. I get that same “brace for impact” feeling when I am going […]

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Junior and Senior Employees

Timing Feedback for Junior Employees

Early in my career, I had four consecutive bosses comment, “I need another Michael.” I took that as a real compliment and very much appreciated it; however, my one complaint—especially with the first boss to say it—was regarding the timing. In that particular case, I was a research assistant to a professor in my second year of grad school. The year was almost over, and I was about to graduate with my master’s degree in information science. The professor made this comment to the department secretary who would be helping him find a new research assistant for the next year. […]

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Troy Blaser

Dealing with Feedback Anxiety and Switching Things Up

Feedback Anxiety Have you ever learned something at work that turned out to be helpful in your personal life too? My wife, Sally, is taking a course toward a professional certification. Once a month the class has an observation session where they each receive feedback from their instructor and their fellow students. These sessions caused a good deal of anxiety for Sally (as I think they would for most people) and I wanted to help her with that anxiety. Fortunately for me, LearningBridge has recently started a podcast called Simply Feedback, and I suggested that she listen to a few […]

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Father and Daughter in a Field

Building a Legacy with Feedback

My parents immigrated to the US in 1988 to fulfill their dreams of owning a home with a backyard in a neighborhood where their children could ride their bikes freely. It was challenging. They came here with nothing; my mother cleaned airplanes, while my father was a bus driver. With no college degrees of their own, my parents fought to give their children a chance for a better life. They struggled to build their legacy and reminded us daily that if we worked hard enough, we could make it anywhere. I kept that sentiment after my college graduation when I […]

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Father and Son with Father Leaving for Work

Help Your Team with Their Goals

Growing up I lived in the same house until I left for college. I remember my dad catching the bus down the street, and taking it to the station for the train into San Francisco. When I entered college, I thought I would be in the same job for a long time after I graduated. I have now graduated from college, gotten married, started a family, and have a career. It’s clear to me now that it will be a process to get to the state my dad was at. I will need to make goals and achieve them to […]

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