Monthly Archives: November 2011

Is there such a thing as Constructive Criticism?

Or is it, “Hey, can I give you my opinion”? OR here are some ideas for next time?

Does constructive criticism lower the other person’s sense of value?

Are you judging their ability?

If you don’t want feedback, don’t ask! If you ask, be able to handle it- positively!

I know I am not the worse critic, however I don’t disguise the truth, and I’m not going to sugar coat it. I think people are better than that!

I have been thanked, heard excuses, and I have even heard, it’s not my fault!

Tells me a great deal about their ownership!

The problem with constructive criticism is you have just challenged them to get it right the next time.

You have brought to their attention, and you’re expecting it to change now.

Feedback is necessary; I once heard that complaints are blessings. Why? Because if you don’t know, you can’t change it.

How do we learn, change, and grow, without constructive criticism. Yes, it hurts, but we want to be successful, so getting feedback can be a good thing. I have recently been involved in a big event; there were a lot of good changes.

Venue, emcee’s, menu…some pretty big stuff.

They asked me to join them at a wrap up meeting. BIG MISTAKE! I had a list, two pages! It wasn’t meant to be “this is everything wrong” it was meant to be “we can be better”.

In my list I included the items that were awesome and I always leave it on a good note, of you did a really great job. You never want them to think you have lost confidence in them. It isn’t about being hurtful or just complaining, they need to be recognized for what was done very well, and what we can do to be better.

But be careful, the question asked to me at the end of the meeting was; would you chair this event next year! Eekkk!

No!! Don’t you get it isn’t about me it is about how WE can all do better.

Sister Mae I



Are people born unmotivated?

It seems that we are continually working with the consequences of this dilemma.

In our day-to-day lives whether at work or in our home life!

I take the view that we all too often create the people we get!

Treat people badly and only the very few will come through at the other side still complete!

They all will have memories however.

Some will reflect and mirror the life you gave them. Others will spend a lifetime ensuring what you did will never happen to them or others again.

Much about business is about the “engaged and the disengaged” We label them like the clean and the unclean! We want them!  AND not those!

Let us be clear – we create the environment and we choose to make it toxic or give them clean fresh air to breathe life, hope and energy.

Let’s not make it complicated!

People DO things to people and we get the reaction we deserve.

The problem is that the damage we do is a reflection on us, and not the  “victim” we created.

It is also produces the perception we deserve.

Too many companies talk about values when they do not understand what they really need to do to deliver them.

I believe people need to be given the opportunity to be the best version of them.

I believe that too many managers and others need to really reflect on what they espouse and who they really are.

All to often the real problem of the “values” gap of coworkers is not with those who we label.

Those senior executives who talk with “forked tongue” They are the ones who are killing your business and peoples confidence.

They are the real internal terrorists!

Remember we create the landscape!


The world has changed and recruiters need to change with it!

As an HR professional for a number of years I am consistently disappointed when I ask the simple question. What does HR do?

I guess my disappointment is that the answer I get today would have been the answer others would have received more than 50 years ago!!

I wrote a blog some time ago calling out to HR folks to “get it!”

I have been described as having an “edgy sophistication.” * If that means I am a different kind of HR professional, one who knows that my role in life is to build and develop a profitable business now and into the future, and is relentless about pursing that objective, then I take that as a compliment.

The reason for this blog is to call out a different approach to recruitment.

I am sick and tired of all the administration and “fandango” that goes with HR-Recruitment stuff that talks about fit for hire and associated administrative job descriptions!

My experience is that very few of the Recruiters – HR people who are involved in recruiting actually “feel what the business needs to be profitable.”

My simple message is throwaway traditional thinking. It might have worked 50 years ago, if it ever did, and move to one that identifies what the business needs 10 years from now and go hire those folks.

Imagination is a core competence that is rare to find and those are the people I would hire! And those are the people I would ask to do my recruitment.

(*) Attributed to me by Susan Kang Nam a friend and wise counselor

 The picture attributed to change_world.jpg


WE are the traffic!!!!

I was talking to a friend recently about their driving experiences.

I think we can all relate to what he said. This was the “conversation.”

He said:

“Driving my car is no longer something I look forward to. The traffic is getting worse and worse and someone is going to get killed! It’s just impossible with all those crazy drivers!  I believe that it is getting dangerous and people don’t seem to care about common courtesy.”  I am getting scared!”

I said: “What do you mean?”

He said:  “I am glad you asked,” rather too quickly clearly wanting to get this off his mind, “This is what I mean!” 

  • Sitting at the traffic light and as soon as the light turns green the guy behind me was honking and already slowly creeping up my fender.
  • People pass me on both sides of the freeway lane and I am doing 70! I am scared to change lane!
  • People pulling out in front of me with out using their blinker.
  • People passing the slower traffic lane at about a mile an hour faster then the car they are overtaking! Taking an age to overtake and causing a build up of outer lane traffic, just overtake for the goodness sake!
  • People cutting me off when they come onto the freeway!
  • People yelling and giving me the “middle finger” when I tried to get by them.
  • People not letting me in when the road narrows due to construction.
  • People sitting in the outside lane going slower then other cars.

“Ok! Ok! I get the message!”

I said, knowing there was much more to come due to the ever-continuing rising tone in his voice.

I later reflected on this conversation! And came to the following conclusion.

WE are the traffic!!!!

How many times do we get in the way of others, whether in a conversation or a meeting or when making a point or simply walking through open doors?

How many times do we not follow the rules with the prospect of knowing it could do harm to others?

How many times do we cut other people off when they are talking?

Are we really thinking and listening to other people when we “change lanes” and move the conversation to what we want to talk about? Are we even listening to them? Do we allow them into the conversation?

How much do we really care about others when things get tough and options are narrowed like those construction lanes? At those moments do we give way or charge forward with our ideas?

Like those drivers with road rage, who certainly give no thought to other drivers’ safety, are we any better with our “corporate rage” with the potential to also kill people!

After all isn’t that what we are doing when we dampen their spirit, take away their respect, their confidence, their self-belief and worth or when we kill their self-confidence?

Being a road hog is not just something that happens when we drive our cars’, it happens to all of us and we don’t need to be in a car. We are the traffic and we need to know that!



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