Fast Friday with Diane Sawyer, Journalist

Posted March 18, 2011 in Communication, Latest News & Insights

One of the things that I’ve personally always struggled with as a manager is giving negative feedback.  Not “constructive” feedback, but truly negative “you’ve really f*@!#d up” feedback.  Partly because I just wish people would do what they’re supposed to do (why can’t everyone just read my mind??), partly because I have a need to be liked, and partly because it’s often hard to find the right words.  Sure I’ve sat in classrooms and learned about the “hamburger method” plus tons of other acronyms invented by consultants to help you remember how to structure a piece of tough feedback (funny how none of them ever come to mind in a pinch).  I’ve read “Fierce Conversations” and “Crucial Conversations”.  Then, I heard Diane Sawyer say this…


“A criticism is just a really bad way of making a request, so why don’t you just make the request?”

How brilliant is that?  Instead of trying to come up with some “hamburger” method of feedback (which is just a dumb way to go anyway), make a request.  So, next time you’re sweating over an impending conversation, give it a try.  I know I will.

Happy leading!

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