Keeping Your Cool: The Role Value Plays When Focusing on Results

by Frank Swiatek

One of the key principles in the book is the notion that managers who focus on results must also possess respect for others.

In today’s blog I would like to give you a handy rule that will enable you to determine pretty quickly if respect is present in any conversation, discussion, or interaction that you are a part of, especially in difficult situations where there may be negative feedback.

And, in fact, if you master this rule, your ability to treat others in a respectful manner goes up exponentially.

The rule is simply, “Value Yourself and Value Others.”

If devaluing occurs in any interaction, then there is generally a loss of respect that occurs on the part of the manager and/or the person that the manager is communicating with.

Here is how this rule has daily application in the workplace.  Managers receive all kinds of daily feedback from their boss, internal peers (e.g. other departments), external peers (e.g. customers) and the staff that reports to them.

Typically positive feedback (e.g. “that report was right on the mark”) or neutral feedback (“I see that you are going to use some of last year’s slides to begin your presentation”) does not present any real challenges to the valuing concept.

The real challenge in valuing, of course, comes when negative feedback enters the discussion.

There are two real challenges for the manager:

  1. How the manager reacts to negative feedback
  2. How the manager gives negative feedback

If a manager responds to negative feedback by over-reacting and becoming hostile, defensive, passive, or arrogant, he or she has violated the “valuing yourself” rule.  The manager is over-sensitive to negative feedback.

On the other hand, if the manager gives negative feedback by embarrassing, demeaning, belittling, or in other ways, disrespecting an associate, the manager has violated the “valuing others” rule.

As Denny Strigl says, “It’s important to keep your cool.”

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