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10

Apr'19

How to Implement Feedback Practices Between Colleagues?

Our colleagues are with us daily, and thus are in a unique position to see how we’re developing within the organization, what our strengths are… and our more vulnerable areas as well. They’re well-placed to pat us on the back when we succeed, or provide advice on how to do things differently.

 

A team can be a fertile ground where we can learn together, develop our skills and improve in our work. Feedback is a wonderful means to this end. That said, giving feedback to a colleague is easier said than done, even if we have the best intentions (we want to help!) and whenwe word it carefully.

 

This guide uses the public declaration technique to implement feedback practices between colleagues, based on asking for feedback rather than simply receiving it. The public declaration technique helps us perceive feedback in a proactive light, as we’re requesting it instead of receiving it unexpectedly. Neuroscience has shown that our brain goes into protective mode when we receive unsolicited feedback, which it perceivesas a threat, making us much less receptive to this so-called “gift.”

 

Publicly stating what we want to receive feedback on is the best way to receive the guidance that will propel our development forward, and help make a difference.

 

  • You want the existing feedback practices in your team to become more human-centered (and less threatening).
  • You want to implement ongoing feedback practices and promote cooperative learning between colleagues.
  • You want to develop a learningculture within your team or your organization.

 

  • First, by making sure that the atmosphere in the team is one of trust and safety.
  • By encouraging each team member to state what they’d like to receive feedback on (rather than receiving it as a surprise gift!)
  • By implementing one of the practices outlined in this guide.

 

 

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08

Jan'19

How to Give Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

You’ve completed your selection process, made your decision and informed the unsuccessful candidate that they have not been selected for the position. You’d like to close the loop by allowing this candidate to receive useful feedback, as promised during the interview process.

 

Why take the time to give feedback to a candidate who won’t be a part of your organization? There are several reasons. First, if you’ve promised to do so during the selection process, your credibility and corporate image are in question. In today’s job market, this candidate may come back later for a different position, speak favourably about your organization, or even become a client. Furthermore, this feedback may be useful for them in future interviews and help in developing their skills.

 

In the case of an internal candidate, you’ll likely want to be proactive in managing the impact of this decision by offering a career management plan, a development plan or added responsibilities related to their strengths. This situation must be managed properly, to avoid creating feelings of disengagement or rejection, which may be toxic for the entire team.

 

  • Feedback must be planned from the moment of the interview: we commit to properly analyze the candidate’s application and thereby reduce the risk of being stuck with unjustified biases. There’s a big difference between giving feedback like “I don’t feel a connection” or “I don’t think it’s going to mesh with the personalities we have in the team,” and a decision based on rigorous criteria that reduce subjectivity.
  • It’s better to present this feedback some time after telling the candidate their application was unsuccessful. They’ll likely be more attentive to what you have to say after this emotional moment has passed.

 

  • Remember that even if you’ve given a candidate the opportunity to hear your feedback, choosing to receive it and taking it seriously is their own responsibility.
  • In the case of an internal candidate, opt for an in-person meeting. For an external candidate, you can use an online scheduling platform, and invite the candidate to select a time to get the call. This will automate the process and empower the candidate.
  • Prepare your key messages in advance.
  • Let the candidate know you’ll also ask for their feedback on the selection process.

 

Giving feedback isn’t easy. You want a more solid background before talking to a candidate about what they should watch out for? This book will give you several context-specific, tangible keys: Le candidat viscéral : un guide pratique en sélection pour un regard approfondi sur le candidat. M. Guénette et C. Bédard, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2017 (In French)

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26

Sep'17

How to Ask for and Receive Feedback

It can be uncomfortable, unusual, sometimes terrifying or even painful, but receiving feedback is a quick and essential means of self-development. As well, having a good idea of how others perceive us is important to boost leadership, even if this perception is not necessarily an accurate reflection of who we are. However, it is difficult to receive feedback and to apply it, even if the other person’s intention is to help us. It has to do with ego and with the human mind which reacts to “danger” and prefers rewards…

 

So why wait to receive it at a time when you least expect it or only at the annual meeting with your manager? Why hesitate to ask for feedback when it could accelerate your professional development? Because feedback is not always well worded, especially when we are talking about feedback on areas in need of improvement. The answer? Ask for the feedback that you want to receive (at the time when you want to receive it) and instruct the person giving feedback in how you want it to be formulated.

 

  • You feel that you are repeating the same mistakes and want an alternative.
  • You want to get out of your comfort zone and accelerate the development of a specific skill.
  • You wish to establish relationships based on trust and authenticity.
  • You want your team and colleagues to openly and respectfully tell you that there is something not working and that it involves you.
  • You want to set an example, and contribute to the creation of a culture of improvement on honest exchanges.

 

A few tips to repeat to yourself to optimize your position, before and during feedback:

  • No one is perfect, and there is no use in comparing yourself to others.
  • This is a learning opportunity, a gift that the other person is giving to you by providing you with information that is useful for your development.
  • The other person’s intentions are to be helpful, and you are asking them for something that is not that easy to do.
  • You have room to manoeuvre and options regarding the feedback you receive.
  • You can always ask for specific information to ensure that you have completely understood now or later.
  • The relationship with this person will increase trust.

 

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06

Aug'19

How to create winning conditions for team development

On your way back from a conference on the evolution of performance management practices, you’re thinking, “Wow! Continuous dialogue is exactly what I want for my organization!” Your colleague shares an article on feedback that changes your perspective entirely and you start thinking, “We’d learn so much faster if we asked for feedback amongst ourselves…” And yet, in the same breath, you start wondering if your team is ready to implement all this. Are your team members willing to work together that closely to learn and foster their development?

True, some basic conditions need to be present if we want to openly share our strengths and development opportunities with our colleagues. But learning this together is a powerful development accelerator – so why do without? Several factors foster open and authentic exchanges between colleagues. Are they present in your team? Is your team ready to go even further in its development?

 

This guide provides you with a list of key indicators so that you can have a critical look at the situation and identify if the right conditions are present. You’ll also find simple practices to implement so that you can learn and grow as a team… in case you need more inspiration!

 

  • You want to learn together to accelerate your development (individually and as a team).
  • You want to implement continuous feedback and dialogue amongst colleagues.
  • You want to check if your team is ready to take on bigger challenges, like a significant change, developing a specific skill or a cultural transition (e.g., agile mode, self-organization).

 

  • Complete the self-assessment and ask your team members to do the same.
  • Discuss your results as a team.
  • Discover new ways to learn together and grow as a team.

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23

May'19

Custom Guides

Let us create the custom guide you need

Give your organization the opportunity to foster excellence, boost performance and improve wellbeing.

Customized guides

You need a specific guide that doesn’t exist yet? You’d like to have guides developed for your organization’s specific needs?

Whether it’s to develop a specific skill, reinforce a positive behaviour, foster professional development or any other challenge your organization faces, we can develop practical and personalized guides that will fully meet your needs.

You have a need in mind? Trust your instinct! Give your organization the opportunity to learn what it needs to foster excellence, boost performance and improve wellbeing.

The creation of these custom guides includes:
  • A meeting together so that we can fully understand what you need
  • Researching and identifying content that responds precisely and relevantly to the need we identified together
  • Two rounds of validation and edits, to ensure you’re 100% satisfied
  • A tangible, easy-to-implement Boostalab guide, that presents a high-quality process which takes into account knowledge, know-how and interpersonal skills.
Here are a few examples of custom guides we created for our clients:
  • How to Develop a Skills Profile
  • How to Develop Collaboration Within Our Organization
  • How to Ask for Client Feedback
  • How to Start Collaboration With Key Stakeholders
  • How to Launch a Project in an Engaging Way
  • How to Generate Solutions as a Team
  • How to Make an Enlightened Decision
  • How to Create a Prototype
  • How to Foster Trust When Managing Remotely
  • How to Prepare Employees for an Open-Plan Workspace
If you agree, we can then depersonalize the contents and make them available on Boostalab, so that our entire community can benefit. That gets you a 50% rebate!

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29

Jan'19

How to Address a Performance Issue

You notice, again, that Eileen isn’t respecting the quality standards established to provide consistent service to clients, despite the meeting you had the previous day on that very subject? Mark still isn’t sharing the information his colleagues need to move forward, despite your reminders? Julian’s work rhythm is still inconsistent, despite having been offered support?

 

Whether the question is unsatisfying performance or inappropriate behaviour, a discussion and a plan are necessary to address a performance issue directly, and go beyond simple feedback. Perhaps you are hesitating to have this discussion by fear of triggering a crisis or losing a team player? Maybe you are so discouraged by the situation that you can’t see how you can broach the subject again and look at different solutions?

 

Having an honest discussion on what you’re observing is a question of fairness for others, respect for the person involved, and in the interest of your clients and your organization. This guide will help you have a respectful, empathetic and honest discussion, while keeping the focus on finding solutions.

 

  • You notice a gap in one of your team members’ performance, and simple feedback hasn’t been enough. The situation is serious enough that you need them to understand there will be consequences if the situation isn’t resolved.
  • You need to meet one of your team members to shed light on certain behaviours that aren’t meeting expectations, or that don’t align with goals.

 

  • Prepare the meeting adequately: your observations must rely on facts and your intention must be specific.
  • Follow the main steps outlined in this guide to have a clear and constructive discussion, focused on solutions.
  • Above all, don’t skip the next steps you’ve committed to.

 

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01

Oct'18

Are You Trustworthy?

Whether we trust someone or not is something that we very much feel. But have you ever wondered why you trust a particular person, and not another? You may have found yourself saying something like I don’t know why, but I don’t trust this person

Trust is at the root of healthy work relationships. And yet, we don’t always know how it’s built, nor how it deteriorates. It may be helpful to envision trust as an ATM: some behaviours constitute deposits, and work to increase trust, while others are more like withdrawals, which damage the relationship. One thing is certain — withdrawals cost a great deal more than deposits!

Lack of trust has dire consequences: we distance ourselves from the other person, we are reluctant to give them more responsibility, we multiply follow-up efforts, we start to micromanage…

With this guide, you’ll discover how to increase the value of a trust savings account, through the four pillars of trust. Within a few minutes, you’ll be able to assess your trust-generating behaviours.

 

  • You want to foster a culture of trust within the team and take stock of your relationships with each team member, from a trust standpoint.
  • You want to take a conscious look at your own behaviours to see if they generate trust with your colleagues and your team.

 

  • You can use it two ways: either you assess your trust relationship with a specific person, or you use it as a self-assessment.
  • As authentically as possible, look at every element on the list to see if it’s a strength or something to watch out for — there is no in-between.
  • Take it one step further: ask for feedback from someone you trust.

 

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02

Feb'18

How to Lead a Team Towards Greater Autonomy

Do you dream of a more autonomous team? Of course, as a leader, you have an important role to play, but you can probably guess that it shouldn’t include micromanagement. Are you ready to challenge some of your management practices to increase individual and team performance? Many studies have shown a positive correlation between autonomy and both individual and team performance. It makes it definitely worth tweaking your management style to boost autonomy, doesn’t it?

But how do you know where to start? By asking those directly concerned! This short questionnaire will help you gather feedback from team members on how you can best implement the success factors required to foster commitment and autonomy within your team.

This process takes guts, both on your team’s part and on yours, as it requires a great deal of openness and trust. Remember that requesting feedback increases trust and cooperation within a team. That’s a good thing, since trust is a crucial success factor in developing autonomy. Furthermore, you signal to your team that you are a confident leader who strives to improve, so as to better contribute to their success.

 

  • You have at least a few months of experience working with your team.
  • You really want to receive feedback on your team management practices.
  • You’re willing to question some of your practices in order to foster team autonomy.

 

  • Start by performing a self-assessment, using the questionnaire on the next page. Note your personal observations regarding those 15 practices.
  • Get your team members’ input using the feedback sheet. Be forthright about the purpose of the process, and explain why this feedback matters to you.
  • To help ensure your individual success and the success of our team, I’d like your feedback on what I could be doing differently, and what I should continue doing to increase autonomy within our team.
  • Mention what you’ll do with the information, and how you will report back to the team following the results.
  • After I’ve taken in your feedback, we’ll set aside some time during a team meeting so that I can share how I understand it, and perhaps ask you to elaborate on some points. One thing is for sure: I want us to get on the same page about what I’m doing well, and what I can do differently.
  • The list of statements included in this tool isn’t exhaustive. Don’t hesitate to add the elements on which you want to receive feedback.

 

  • You can also gather this feedback during one-on-one meetings with your team members.

 

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08

Dec'17

How to Lead a Project Monitoring Meeting

A project team has a mission: to deliver expected results within agreed-upon deadlines. Each person has their own responsibilities, but it’s through the team’s collaboration that this mission can be accomplished. The project monitoring meeting is an efficient way to share information and report on progress, but too often it ends up being a way to simply confirm that the team is on schedule. Yet, this project monitoring meeting can also be a key to more efficient teamwork, a place to share best practices and to work together to find solutions to the – oh so many – issues that will arise during the project. For this to happen, the project monitoring meeting must foster synergy. This is what this tool is all about: a way to lead the project monitoring meeting so that it is both thorough and efficient about the progress of deliverables, while creating synergy within the team.

This 2-in-1 tool includes:

  • The agenda to organize and lead the meeting.
  • The project tracking sheet for feedback on deliverables and team synergy.

 

  • According to the frequency established during the project launch.
  • As the project is progressing, when you feel the need to take stock as a team.
  • When you notice that the team needs to realign on the project goals, or that better teamwork could be beneficial to the success of the project.

 

 

  • Have this project tracking sheet filled by all parties before the meeting (choose the PDF version of this tool, or use this ready-to-use shareable Google Sheet).
  • Prepare the meeting in light of the feedback received from the project team.
  • You can either push the meeting back if you notice that everything is as it should be, or plan for a meeting duration that fits with the specific issues to be addressed.
  • During the meeting, take the time to go over priorities, but also address team synergy.
  • As a team, commit to finding solutions together.

 

 

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05

Oct'17

How to Lead a Focus Group

You’ve been asked to lead a focus group. Or, you’re thinking of setting one up to get more feedback from people who could be affected by a decision. Whether you’re doing it for the first or the tenth time, it’s useful to review the basics of leading focus groups. Remember that they are not the same as work meetings: the point isn’t to reach a consensus, to work through a topic or to make good decisions on the spot. The main point of the process is to obtain as many perspectives as possible on a given issue.

The part played by the leader is often key to the focus group’s success. The leader is the one setting the tone, structuring exchanges and providing participants with the proper conditions so that key points can arise, leading to better decisions down the line. This tool will help you lead impactful and efficient focus groups.

Remember that the leader’s role is that of facilitator. As such, the leader must remain neutral, avoid taking part in the discussion, and refrain from influencing its results. Essentially, the leader is the custodian of the process.

 

Proper preparation is a must:

  • Clearly define the goal of the meeting (this is especially important if you’re not the initiator of the process).
  • If you don’t know the group, obtain information on the participants (their interest for the subject at stake, their relationship with each other, the key issues for the organization, etc.)
  • Prepare the meeting sequence as well as the core questions you will ask the participants.
  • Get the necessary material ready in advance.
  • Set up the space in a way that fosters participation:
  • Place tables in a ʺUʺ shape so that participants can see each other.
  • Or set-up tables of 5-6 people if you have a larger group.
  • Prepare a ʺparkingʺ flipchart page to note all the points that will need to be addressed at a later time.

 

  • Bens, Ingrid. (2012) Facilitating with Ease! Core Skills for Facilitators, Team Leaders and Members, Managers, Consultants, and Trainers, 3rd Edition. The Jossey-Bass Business and management series.

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26

Sep'17

How to Step Into Discomfort to Accelerate Your Development

Experiences and events leave a mark on our lives, whether it be important risks you have taken, turning points in your personal or professional life, your proudest moments or those where you have felt most destabilized. Although often difficult, these moments are the foundation of our development and those who are open to grow see in these events incredible sources of learning.

When we feel destabilized—that is to say, when we are unable to integrate new information or a new experience in our current reality and are forced to develop a new frame of reference—well, we learn at great speed. Our scope of action expands and our ability to adapt quickly—our agility—develops. Learning with agility is, first and foremost, choosing to lead one’s own development. Is this not inviting?

Good news! There is no need to look very far to develop a new skill, nor do you need to wait on some training course… It is likely that the mandates within your reach have all the potential to be sufficient sources of discomfort to sustain your professional development, on the condition that you choose to learn from these experiences. This tool will help you kick-off your destabilization plan and inspire you to learn with agility.

 

  • As soon as you decide to get behind the wheel and own your development.
  • When you wish to accelerate your development through your current mandates, and sustain a superior performance over time.
  • During an important transition in your career: integration into a new position, a new organization, at the start of an important project…
  • When everything seems to be accelerating, becoming more complex and ambiguous, and you want to pause and take stock of your development.

 

  • Using this destabilization plan, « Take Stock » of your professional development, by first bringing to mind the most pivotal moments and what you learned from these events.
  • Then, answer the questions in the « Kickstart» section to identify how you will use discomfort to learn with agility.

 

  • You like this tool? You want to go further? Contact the author to access the full destabilization plan and self-coaching approach.
  • To learn with agility, ask for feedback from different people around you to verify your assumptions. The tool How to Ask for and Receive Feedback can help you with this.

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20

Sep'17

6 Steps to an Outstanding Pitch

Imagine that you’re a business owner and that you’re given the opportunity to sell your idea to a group of investors. You’ll need an outstanding pitch and—trust us on this!—you better be prepared. Most of the time, you’ll have as little as one or two minutes to convince your audience, even if your presentation time is technically longer. People’s attention span is shrinking, which means that the first minutes are crucial to your success. The “elevator pitch” technique is your best bet: you have between the 2nd and the 17th floor to get your audience on board with your goal.

Whether you’re a business owner or not, you can use this technique to secure buy-in from the management committee, or to get colleagues rallied around a project. While this technique doesn’t guarantee your results—so many elements can influence how a message is received, including body language, tone of voice, attitude, etc.—you will have structured your content in a winning manner!

 

  • When the stakes are high in terms of influence, and you can’t afford to miss.
  • When you’re aware that whoever you’re talking to will only listen for a few minutes before taking control of the conversation… or exiting the elevator!
  • When you’ve already been told that you should better structure or synthesize your presentation.
  • When you want to have a real impact!

 

  • Prepare your message using the steps outlined on the following page.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The more you master your message, the more attentive you can be to all the elements that surround it: your audience’s responsiveness, emotional reactions, your own demeanor…
  • Practice your pitch in front of an actual audience—colleagues or friends—to get their feedback and improve what needs improving.

 

 

  • How to Prepare an Influencing Strategy

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