Iron Sharpens Iron

News flash! Ignorance is not bliss.

It’s amazing how many companies, organizations and teams there are these days that don’t give each other feedback. Feedback is critical to being a better communicator. Too often, leaders don’t take the time to ask for feedback and they never get better. But iron sharpens iron, and instituting a culture of feedback in your organization can be a game changer.

The most important thing about feedback is that it’s constructive—and balanced. Too often, feedback is a shine job. “You’re so great,” “I loved that…” etc. If you’re a top leader reading this, you might find yourself nodding your head. It’s on you to change that culture and to let your team go there and share something that needs work. On the other hand, sometimes we’re too critical of ourselves, and we dwell on the negative. Rarely is feedback balanced.

We use the 3 x 3 Rule. It’s a system that allows us to be more intentional with our feedback for each other. By using it, everyone stays more engaged and quickly identifies how they can get better.

Here’s how it works: After your next presentation, ask your audience for three things you did well (those are keepers) and three things you could have done better (improvements you need to make). Great leaders are open for feedback—both good and bad. Getting feedback from others makes you more self-aware so you can improve. And when that happens, it’s game on.

I was just talking to a longtime client of ours, the CFO of a Fortune 500 company, who told me that his team still uses our 3 x 3 method for feedback. He said that the feedback he’s received has made a drastic improvement on their teams’ quarterly business reviews.

So just like that CFO, the goal is to ask and use the feedback given to you to improve. Hopefully, in the end, your iron is sharper, too.

Team in Training — for Communication

I’m guilty of waiting to floss until the day before my dentist appointment. Last minute rush to fix what needs to be fixed. I’ve spent the last few weeks at different company kickoffs, product rollouts and industry conferences to do a quick “floss” before they go live. But as my … Continue reading

The Vampire Effect: Do Your Messages Suck or Stick?

Have you ever seen a cool ad, but can’t recall what it’s actually for? You’re experiencing the Vampire Effect, a term coined after a study conducted by MediaAnalyzer Software & Research, which results concluded that attention-grabbing content—from sexy images to celebrity endorsements—was sucking attention away from what the ad was actually trying … Continue reading

You Are Your Presentation

It happened again. Another case of PowerPoint abuse. This time the offender was House Speaker Paul Ryan—and we’re just waiting for an SNL skit on this one. ICYMI: Last week, he held a press conference to explain the newly proposed healthcare plan—a massively debated issue. And he used a PowerPoint … Continue reading

Don’t Be A Pushover

If you ask most leaders or decision makers, they’ll tell you that they prefer not to surround themselves with ‘yes people’. Instead, they want to be challenged. Leaders want to know that critical thinking has been put into decisions—and that there’s value coming from the other side of the table. … Continue reading

Are We Defensive In How We Communicate?

When is being on your heels a good thing? And by that, I mean, being defensive. We’ve all seen it before in sports, most recently in the Super Bowl. One team is up, and then there’s a momentum shift and the tide turns. I’ve had sleepless nights while coaching my 4th … Continue reading

Yada Yada Yada

There is so much focus on the importance of storytelling in business. From brand to leadership to managing client relationships, storytelling has become the “silver bullet” for how to approach something better. This post is not about when or why to tell a good story. Instead, I want to call … Continue reading

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

It’s a term that doesn’t get used often, although we all talk about it quite often. You know someone who bought a car or was thinking of buying that car. Then all of a sudden, they see the same car all around them and wonder what happened? That’s Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, and it … Continue reading

Club Trip? Yes, Please!

So many companies reward their top people with a trip. Destination: Hawaii, Mexico, Sonoma or somewhere exotic that feels like a getaway. Earlier this year, I even saw a bunch of top medical sales professionals in Park City, Utah enjoying a club retreat (as we were on day 10 of … Continue reading

Did You Read My Email?

If you’ve ever said or sent that question, you need these email tips. What’s the matter with emails? We read (and write) them when we’re sitting at our desks, moving between meetings (or sometimes even during meetings), hopping on the subway, standing in line for lunch, watching Netflix or even … Continue reading