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Small Business Advantage Brief Week 3, 2017

When Giving Critical Feedback, Focus on Your Nonverbal Cues

Leadership | By Emma Seppala, Harvard Business Review

Most Valuable Insight?

Giving feedback can be difficult for many leaders, but it’s essential in any business that aspires to have a healthy culture that fosters growth and engagement.  We posted a strategy for providing feedback on Modern da Vinci (see “Effective Feedback Made Simple)” that included a video, podcast and Process Guide. This post from HBR provides additional insight on the importance of Nonverbal Cues as a critical aspect of the feedback process.

Additional Insights

  • By using a positive, open, and supportive feedback style, you end up establishing trust. Employees are particularly sensitive to signs of trust in their managers. Our brains respond more positively to empathic bosses, as neuroimaging research confirms. In turn, employees who feel greater trust show improved performance.
  • Whether we realize it or not, we are always reading each others’ facial expressions and body language. The nonverbal cues to which we pay the most attention are:
    • Facial expression
    • Eye contact
    • Voice
    • Posture
    • Attention

Rather than seeing the feedback situation as “work” or something you need to just get through, see the conversation as an opportunity to connect with another person.  If you are giving feedback, you will probe into what has prompted your employee to act a certain way and you will find the right words to encourage a different type of behavior. Research shows that employees feel greater loyalty and are inspired to work harder for managers who are compassionate and kind.

Read the full article >

Further Reading

One Final Thought

You can be a great leader, marketer, salesperson. You can build great teams, and work your tail off to be successful. But one thing all small business owners have is a lack of time…

So when I saw this article, I had to give it a read: This Morning Routine Will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week >>

Whether saving 20 hours (half a workweek!) per week is possible, I like the tips they propose:

  1. 8-hour workday? Not the most productive according to the author. Find your rhythm, mix intense work with resting and relaxation, and be shamelessly “results oriented” with Every. Single. Thing. You. Do.
  2. Working on a tough problem? Go for a drive. The scenery will prompt different memories, making connections you couldn’t make while sitting in front of your computer.  
  3. Do your most important work when you are most creative, alert, and have the most willpower… the first three hours of your morning. After a good breakfast and reflection on your goals for the day, of course.
  4. Protect your mornings. Don’t let anyone take your creative, productive, most important work-time from you with unnecessary (or even necessary) meetings.
  5. Don’t forget to stay healthy, and play. It’s all about staying balanced to maintain “peak performance.”

PS. I read all of these articles twice as fast using Instapaper. Don’t know what that is? It’s a reading and learning productivity app. Check out our short video on it here: How to Get Superhuman Productivity with One Remarkable App.