Ignite

June/July 2015

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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June | July 2015 | Ignitemag.ca | 53 Maximize your investment in Brand You return on you The multi-day convention was beginning. Lights dimmed and bagpipe music started. And then a wait-staff member emerged from between the stage curtains to deliver water to the podium. "But when he came across the stage, the Velcro from the cur- tains caught on his pants and he brought down the entire row of pipe and drape during my opening ceremonies," says Heather E. Reid, principal planner and owner of Innovative Conferences & Communications in Delaware, Ont. Once order was restored, Reid knew she had to speak to the employee. "So I took most of the day to cool down and collect my thoughts and then sat privately with him and said he needed to be present in this job. There was nothing I could do to make this kid feel any better or make the client feel any better, but for me it was about what could he do moving forward," she says. As Reid and others know, criticism can be almost as tough to dole out as it is to receive. Here's how to do it effectively. TIME IT WELL Try to give feedback as soon as possible, suggests John Wright, president of the Toronto-based Canadian Management Centre. Not only will all parties have a more accurate recollection of events, but it won't affect your management credibility. "If you keep put- ting it off, you'll impair the person's ability to function properly in their role," says Wright. The Critical Path by Astrid Van Den Broek How to give negative feedback in a positive way CONSIDER YOUR COMMENTS Be a manager who is already giving positive feedback as well so you've developed a path of communication with your employee. "And think about the frequency of feedback," says Wright. "If you're a person who doesn't give feedback often, then it's more problematic because you're now trying to set up a conversation with somebody in a way that you don't normally do it." MAP OUT THE CONVERSATION Contemplate what you'd like to say, what results you'd like to see and even how long it should take. "Thinking about the flow of discussion forces you to think through your thoughts and jot down the facts you'd like to discuss," says Wright. THINK ABOUT THE MEDIUM Deliver it in person. Never by email, never by memo, never in a meeting with other colleagues. In a pinch, phone or Skype will do. REMEMBER YOUR LANGUAGE "Avoid using 'you' because 'you' makes the business situation deeply personal," says Wright. Instead, frame it as "your behav- iour" or "your decision" to avoid escalating emotional reactions. Think through your thoughts and jot down the facts you'd like to discuss. " "

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