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Welcome to the December e-letter from Crystal Clear Consulting. We have lots of changes coming in the new year......new Associates, an updated website, and more opportunities to learn with us.  Crystal Clear Consulting enables new leaders and leaders with changing roles to quickly maximize their effectiveness. Through coaching, team development and cohort development, Crystal Clear Consulting helps leaders address their current challenges, imagine new possibilities and create leadership practices that support their goals and vision.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

It can be difficult to accept critical feedback about our communication style because we do not purposefully confuse or disrespect others. Yet it happens, and when it does, we are fortunate if we are given the gift of feedback.
 
If someone shares critical feedback with you, here are steps you can follow to turn it into “the gift that keeps on giving:”
 
Step one - Say thank you. Most of us are hesitant about giving critical feedback. Our discomfort, coupled with lack of practice, can result in rather inelegant presentations. When someone overcomes these hesitations, the most constructive response you can give is “thank you.” This is in appreciation for receiving information about your impact on others, thereby allowing you to make more informed decisions about how you act in the future.  By gratefully acknowledging feedback, you give the gift of gratitude.
 
Step two - Do some research. Now that you have one perspective, it’s a good idea to gather others. Depending on the situation, a coach might be helpful in this process. Collect relevant perspectives from people whose opinions you value. By soliciting feedback from others, you give the gift of respect.
 
Step three - Share your intentions. If you decide to make changes, tell those around you. It is difficult to change behavior and even more difficult to change the perceptions caused by old behavior. Sharing your intentions has a true multiplier effect: it demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning; it makes others more likely to notice and appreciate your efforts; and it encourages others to have a similar appreciation for feedback. Sharing your intentions creates the gift of a learning community.
 
While all of the above occurs before actually practicing new behaviors, by responding to critical feedback in this manner, you change the conditions that created the critical feedback in the first place!
 
You can further encourage a culture of sharing constructive feedback by doing it yourself. Our article, “The Gourmet Chef’s Guide to Giving Feedback,” compares providing good feedback with preparing a gourmet meal. With practice, both lead to satisfying results.

 
Best wishes for the new year,
 
Francine Crystal
President
Crystal Clear Consulting

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

The Emerging Leaders Workshop will be offered on January 14, 2014 at Endicott House in Dedham.  The workshop is for administrative staff in higher education who aspire to broader leadership responsibilities. Topics include the differences between supervising, managing and leading, a leadership journey exercise, how to prepare for difficult conversations, and work on a development plan. 

Our new Just Promoted:  Now What?  Workshop will be offered on January 28, 2014 at the same location.  This is a day of reflection and planning for individuals recently promoted to greater managerial and leadership responsibilities. Participants will obtain a deeper understanding of the culture of their organization, as well as tools for maximizing their effectiveness. Topics include understanding culture from multiple perspectives, strategies for a successful transition, potential adaptations in supervisory style, and how to build critical reflection and planning into the work day.

For more information on both these programs, click here.
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Quote of Note

“I know what I have given you... 
I do not know what you have received.” 

― Antonio Porchia
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