So a previous post was about how to go to work when you are just simply not having it. I get you. It’s hard. It’s really very hard. It makes many mornings feel like you’re about to explode with sadness and Sunday evenings be a slow demise. So, let’s take a deeper dive into your job. True motivation really comes from within, intrinsically, I mean, so it’s possible that some of your job disengagement is stemming from needing a quick reboot.
- What can you change? When you’re feeling not so happy on a daily basis, take a quick run-down of what’s in your control, and grab a hold of it. Set up meetings, coffees, and come prepared with a plan.
- Vent. But keep it small, and consider who you’re talking to. It’s possible you may want to lay your five minutes on your significant other each evening, but it won’t go over well. Instead, spread around the sad-train, but keep it short, to the point, and offer ideas while really listening to the feedback. If you don’t want advice, make it clear, but, everyone could use a second opinion.
- Speak up (to your boss). It’s one thing to be the grumpy gus, but if you can propose solutions and actively listen to the feedback, you can make some changes. And, you can be real with your boss about how you’re feeling and find some middle ground.
- Recognize the good. You can’t change everything, and as much as you may hate everything right now. Take a moment to identify what makes you happy there. It could be the people, the snacks, the hours, maybe the fact that when you tell someone new your job they say “oo.” By doing a quick reminder of what you do in fact like, you may be feeling a bit more positive.
- Learn. Everything can be a learning experience. It’s possible a lot of what you don’t like is out of your control, but some may be based on skill sets that you need to develop. Use your time at your job to take a hard look inward at what you could improve upon. Maybe it’s email communication, water-cooler socializing, internal politics or self-promotion. No matter what it is, there’s something to learn.
- Keep checking in. By really giving yourself a jump-start to try to love your job more, you’re invigorating all your good vibe energy. That’s fantastic! As that’s happening, continue to connect with yourself, and see how these changes align with your general well-being. If after making some changes you’re still feeling pretty crappy on Sunday’s thinking about the work week ahead… you just may want to make a change.
Feedback is a pretty essential thing in order to make people feel like they’re cared for, and that they’re doing a good job. Positive and critical feedback both helps an individual learn how they can improve and grow while understanding that their manager is investing in them.
However! Feedback isn’t so cut and dry. Have you ever seen those funny drawings of ineffective client feedback on a design? So, how do we deliver feedback that’s actionable, helpful, and above all, considerate?
- Consider the Person – does the individual clam up when they receive feedback? Do they become defensive? Are they open to feedback? Are they their own worst critic? Understanding the employee you’re evaluating will help you figure out how much to dial-up or down the pressure around your feedback.
- Consider the Situation – when something happens in the workplace that requires attention, always take into consideration the other parties and extenuating circumstances at play. It’s possible those factors had a larger effect on the employee’s response and they’re things they cannot control.
- Open the Floor – feedback can be delivered, but it also can be conversed. When you deliver feedback it’s great to also ask the employee how they feel about the feedback. Not only does it give them an opportunity to address anything concerning in your feedback, but you’ll learn a bit more about how they take feedback.
- Discuss a Plan – after the feedback has hit the floor, how do you ensure that the employee understood and agrees? A great way is to discuss how your employee will take this information and act moving forward. If they’re stuck on what to do next, you can review the situation that required feedback and discuss what could have been done differently. Let the employee lead with how they’d handle the situation differently rather than demanding a change. That way, the employee feels empowered that they have created a good plan (that you approved) to move forward with.
- Connect – do a quick check-in after all of this. How is the employee feeling? Are they frustrated, excited, sad? Make sure that they know this conversation was for growth and improvement, and offer another time to connect if they’d like to discuss further. It’s important that they understand there’s more space to discuss.
One last thing. It’s really important that when you’re delivering feedback to understand that you can really only deliver feedback to someone’s role, not their person. I.e. if Susan has a really annoying voice, you cannot tell her to change her voice (that’s impossible!) However, if Mark’s talking non-stop in client meetings and talking over others, you can chat about keeping his communications in meetings to be a little bit more concise and offering space for discussion.
Good luck on your feed-backing!