Artisan Blog

New Hire Onboarding Best Practices

Thursday, September 20, 2018

New Hire Onboarding Best Practices

Today, creating and maintaining a great company culture is top of mind for many firms, and is one the highest reasons for candidates to select one company over the other.

Developing a strong onboarding plan is one way to communicate company culture with new hires and potential candidates. However, some companies mistake orientation with onboarding. While they are clearly linked, they serve different purposes and are two sides of the same coin.

Onboarding vs. Orientation and Training

Most companies have an orientation system and training in place to help candidates learn the nuances of their specific roles and meet team members during the first week.

Onboarding is an on-going plan that continues long after the initial orientation period has ended. It’s intended to help a candidate’s long-term success to continually grow in their role.

An additional component of a successful onboarding plan is to give your new hire the chance to talk to their manager about opportunities, challenges, or concerns they might have at the 3 and 6-month points in their new role. Creating an open dialog allows for a safe space to discuss the job from their experience, and share lessons learned and best practices to make them more productive.

Often, unless given an opportunity, a new employee will keep to themselves, fly under the radar, when in actuality proactive communication could improve the situation for everyone involved.

It is also a good opportunity to communicate company expectations, vision and core values, and create clarity around setting short and long-term goals and understanding as to how and when they will be evaluated.

Tips for Onboarding:

  • Develop a real plan--Don't assume that new employees will find a way to get what they need or want. Make a schedule to meet with new hires at regular intervals and stick to it.
  • Tell them about it--Make sure your new hires know that they will have chances to talk with you about how things are going for them. Ask them to complie a list of  questions to discuss together during your meeting.
  • Follow through--Don't let your onboarding plan fall through the cracks if a new hire is doing well. Even if it’s just get together to share how great it's been so far, you can take the opportunity to let your employee know that they are valued and that you recognize that they are doing well at this early stage.

 

New hires need to know how they’re doing, how they are contributing to the team's success, and that they’ve made the right decision to join your company.  Give all your new hires a chance to feel great about their role and you will reap the rewards of a happy and productive workforce.

 

At Artisan Creative, we believe creating a strong culture helps with hiring and retention.  Contact us today to learn more.

We hope you've enjoyed the 489th issue of our a.blog.




Employee Ghosting and the Value of Respect

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Employee Ghosting and the Value of Respect

Which one of these do you feel is harder: to be rejected outright, or to be simply ignored? Today, many employers are facing this question almost on a daily basis.
 
In dating and romantic relationships, the practice of one partner ignoring another - not responding to texts and treating all attempts at communication with radio silence - is known as "ghosting." Similar practices are steadily creeping into the business world, with a wave of talent and prospective employees not showing up for scheduled interviews and agreed-upon start dates, or even for jobs they've already committed themselves to. Ghosting is giving hiring managers and employers a scare.
 
How We Got Here
The United States is in an era of low unemployment and sustained economic growth. As the demand for new talent outpaces supply, employers have struggled to find the right people for all of their open opportunities. Talent and employees thus have much more power than they did during the Great Recession when many lost their jobs with little fanfare and interviewers often ignored candidates they didn't want to hire. The new reverse imbalance manifests in cavalier employee behavior such as unannounced absenteeism and a failure to communicate.
 
According to USA Today, as many as 20% of workers in some industries now engage in ghosting practices. This trend is negatively impacting large and small businesses, along with their customers. On the other hand, it's inspiring conversations about how workers and employers can treat each other better, to foster more healthy and successful relationships down the line.
 
In order to facilitate mutual growth, the culture of work requires trust, respect, and core values to be shared between employers and employees. As any discerning politician can tell you, it is foolish to pin one's fate to shifting, unpredictable trends in economics. We advocate that employers, employees, clients, and talent use the advent of ghosting as an opportunity to get reacquainted with the core values that can sustain them through booms and busts.
 
Communication
As a talent, it’s ok to reject opportunities that aren't right for you, however, do it in a manner that respects the offer and lets any relevant stakeholders know. Honest compassionate communication always makes the truth easier to convey, and with an appropriate heads-up, everyone should be able to move on more smoothly. When leaving your current job, give two weeks' notice when possible, and offer to tie up any loose ends in your work to facilitate an easy transition.
 
As a hiring manager, when you decide not to hire a candidate after an interview, let the candidate know. If you can, provide some constructive feedback, even if it may not be what the candidate wants to hear. It can be difficult to deliver bad news, however, it's worth it if it means supporting a culture of openness and mutual respect. It is also important to acknowledge that it's a candidate driven market, and many candidates are experiencing multiple interviews. Providing timely feedback is key, especially if you are interested in the next steps with a candidate.
 
Transparency
When we give accurate information to others, we empower them to make better-informed decisions in the future. We also invest in the strength of our own reputations, because everyone appreciates those who deliver the truth with respect and understanding.
 
As your circumstances change, make sure everyone around you knows what they need to know to prepare for any impact this may have. As a talent, this means letting your employers or recruiters know if you are available. As an employer, it means keeping your team informed about the state of the company and letting them know you're all on the same side.
 
The world is small, and life is long. As technology makes us all more closely interconnected, our reputations, previous actions, and patterns of behavior are more likely to open or close new opportunities for us. If you must exit a difficult situation, and you do so with grace and full disclosure, you will more likely find support from your former colleagues when circumstances change and may be less in your favor.
 
At Artisan Creative, we believe a culture of respect is paramount in all human endeavors. We give our talent and clients the tools and support they need to succeed when they lead with their values. Contact us today to learn more.
We hope you've enjoyed the 488th issue of our a.blog.


Career Advice from a Creative Director

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Career Advice from a Creative Director

Daniel is a seasoned designer and creative director with over a decade of experience in crafting beautiful design, experiences and product development. He’s worked for the likes of Nike, Google, Adidas and many more brands you’ve most certainly heard of. Inspired by talented artists such as Barry McGee, Mike Kelley and graphic novels (he also publishes his own), Daniel has a unique ability to combine different art forms to craft stories through design.

Artisan Creative caught up with Daniel to find out about his unique background and how he approaches his career and successes. If you’re looking to get started in your career or you’re wanting to seek inspiration and guidance from the world around you, read on to find out the valuable insight Daniel has to share.

Seek inspiration from what’s around you

Daniel believes we can focus on the positives and negatives to keep balance. “Be inspired by both good and bad creative directors. They teach you what to do and what not to do. Not everyone you work with is going to be awesome, so learn how to manage yourself to be successful.” No matter what your job is, if you’re working in a creative field what you’re doing is storytelling and understanding tropes. When you’re looking for inspiration and you’re going to talk about a product or a service, consumers will always have certain needs. “Start understanding story structure and how it goes into creative development. How does an audience bond with a message? Do they have an emotional attachment?”

Become unstuck from creative block

Daniel likens creative block to surfing which is a great analogy in this situation. “When you’re surfing and you paddle onto the ocean you won’t always catch a wave. Let it go, play a game, read a book, watch a movie.” In surfing, it’s expected that you’re going to fall off the board and get back on again (and again). It also teaches you to be unafraid of both risk and failure until it’s second nature. And while you may not have any creative ideas right now, you can rest assured the waves will start coming with perseverance. In times of creative block, you may also want to think about the state of your surroundings and do some digital housekeeping. “Workflow will always help. Organise your files, do some of the busy work to get on top of things. When you sit down the next day, you’ll feel much more ready to get things completed.”

Be a realist when it comes to your job search

With unemployment at one of the lowest levels in recent years, the job market has never been so competitive. Job seekers can afford to be picky; however, that doesn’t mean it’s not tough out there. “Be realistic when you’re looking at the job market and think about what you want to be doing in your next role". If you’ve been designing emails and want to transition into mobile, what can you highlight on your resume and in your portfolio that shows the breadth of your skills and understanding? “Make new projects to showcase in your portfolio if you don’t like the work you’ve been doing. Keep at it and keep going. And breathe!” It’s easy to become discouraged during job searches, “always aim high, accept rejection and eventually you’ll get to do something really great.”

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 487th issue of our a.blog. If you are looking for your next career opportunity, or if you are looking to expand your team, please connect today and start the conversation!

 

 


9 Apps to Boost Creativity

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

9 Apps to Boost Creativity

As creative professionals, it’s important to be able to generate a steady stream of new ideas. Professional creativity means having a regular creative practice. It asks that you cultivate a life in which creativity can take root. It means thinking playfully even when you may not be in the mood. If you encounter a creative block, you can take a break, find inspiration in the outdoors, and come back with a fresh perspective.

You can also utilize the many tools, exercises, and habits to give you a jumpstart as needed. Here are a few free or low-cost apps you can download to your mobile device and use when you need a quick creative spark.

Blip Synthesizer

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a musician, riffing on musical instruments is a proven way to limber up the creative areas of your brain. This Android app is one of the simplest music-making apps available - it turns simple visual patterns into catchy miniature melodies. If you’re deep in a detail-oriented project or need to revive a spirit of play, it’s great for a quick hit of inspiration and joy.

Brainsparker

Created by the creative and leadership coach Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker is one of the more popular and widely-used ideation toolkits in the agency world. With 250 built-in creative prompts, it’s a randomized card game that facilitates group or solo brainstorming on the go.

Coolors

A new color combination can carry a bounty of new moods and ideas. If you’re a visual artist or graphic designer, you’re working on a new brand package, or you’re at all energized by color combinations, give this palette generator a try.

Evernote

The more deftly you can organize your information, the more cognitive bandwidth you’ll have left over to make connections and get fresh ideas from your data. With its robust integrations, this massively popular note-taking app is a go-to if you want to keep all your raw material in one place.

GLTCH

In the art world, glitch art is a movement based on digitally manipulating images, often in weird or irreverent ways. With this app, you can warp, corrupt, and mutilate any image you choose. It can help you see old concepts in new ways, and it’s a lot of fun.

Insight Timer

A regular practice of mindfulness meditation is one of the most time-tested habits to calm and clear the mind and to take heart in the face of the unexpected. With goal setting, rich analytics, hundreds of free guided meditations, and a worldwide community of practitioners, Insight Timer is one of the most popular and versatile apps for meditators at all stages.

Oblique Strategies

Created by the musician Brian Eno and polymath Peter Schmidt and inspired by the art movements Surrealism, Dada, and Fluxus, this set of cryptic and ironic instructions can help you take your work down unexpected and counter-intuitive avenues. Variations on Oblique Strategies exist for iPhone, Android, the web, and Slack.

Simplemind

Creativity is a connection, the art of forging new connections between existing points. This user-friendly mind-mapping program can help visualize clusters of ideas and information, making it easier to spot patterns, draw new throughlines, and find order in apparent chaos.

UX Companion

The multi-faceted discipline of user experience brings together some of the most vital and relevant thought in the areas of design, technology, research, and human behavior. This annotated glossary of UX concepts provides a useful introduction to ideas that are shaping the way we interact with our constructed worlds.

At Artisan Creative, we believe creativity should be fun, and we believe in sharing the resources that help the pros keep their creativity flowing. Contact us today to empower your mind and energize your creative career.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 486th issue of our a.blog. 

 


Are you a Digital Nomad?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Are you a Digital Nomad?

As humans and especially as creative professionals, we must learn to maintain a delicate balance between security and adventure, as our minds and hearts deem appropriate. If you are the sort of person who tilts toward adventure, or you crave a lot more risk in your life and career than you have currently, have you ever considered the life of a digital nomad?

Digital nomads take advantage of the wondrous interconnectedness provided by flourishing digital technologies. The consumer internet has only been around for a bit more than two decades, and these digital nomads live to explore new landscapes both virtual and geographical.

To be a digital nomad, one condition is to hone the skills you can do remotely, such as web design and development, copywriting, social media marketing, or any other creative trade that requires only an agile mind and a laptop. You must also cultivate your adaptability, learn to strategize, and develop a whole range of travel and interpersonal skills, some of which are so specific that they don't have names.

You can start to live a successful life as a digital nomad, with all the romance and adventure that come with it, if you can master these four core principles.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Before you travel the world on your own steam, get smart with your money. Eliminate as much debt as possible and cut expenses to the bone. Own only the property you absolutely need - place most of your items in storage, and if you own a home, consider renting it out on AirBnB for extra income. If you don't own much, don't owe much, and lead a simple life, you will have an easier transition to becoming a digital nomad.

Plan Ahead - Take Care of the Details

The life of a digital nomad involves lots of improvisation. That's much easier to manage if you handle as many potential variables as you can before you go. Figure out your communication strategy - how will you stay in touch with clients and creative recruiters on foreign soil? Plan your itinerary - where are you staying, and where can you stay if those plans go awry? Do you need travel insurance, or extra guidance and protection? Use your networking skills to find a community of mentors and peers who have overcome some of the challenges of being digital nomads. Their friendship, camaraderie, and insight will make your travel experience less lonely and more fun and fruitful.

Put Your Assets to Work

As a digital nomad, you won't have access to the same professional networks you would if you were anchored in one location or community. You can make up for this if you create assets that will work in your favor when you're traveling or go offline. Make sure your online resume and digital portfolio are attracting new business while you sleep (especially if you're sleeping in an unusual new time zone). If you have unique skills to share, you might create an online course - this can generate passive income to help you get through any rough patches.

Keep an Open Mind

The most important skill of a digital nomad is adaptability. This bold lifestyle will teach you how to embrace unpredictability, dive into the unknown, and change your mind on the fly.

"Travel has a way revealing that much of what you’ve heard about the world is wrong," says Rolf Potts, author of the acclaimed travel lifestyle manual Vagabonding. " Even on a day-to-day level, travel enables you to avoid setting limits on what you can and can’t do. On the road, you naturally ‘play games’ with your day: watching, waiting, listening; allowing things to happen. There’s no better opportunity to break old habits, face latent fears, and test out repressed facets of your personality."

At Artisan Creative, we can help you conquer the challenges that matter to you as you claim the life and career you want. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 



The Power of Mental Representations

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Power of Mental Representations

As a child, you were an adept and effortless daydreamer, immersing yourself in your imaginary experiences with the dedication and enthusiasm of a film director. The richness of your inner experiences could rival that of real life. The skills associated with making mental representations of imaginary experiences tends to fade with age, and if you deliberately cultivate them, they can help you make more mindful and deliberate decisions to change the course of your career.

In a piece for Aeon, the philosophy professor Armin W. Schultz ponders what evolutionary purposes our mental representations might serve. Inner movies, he writes, "allow the organism to reason about what the right thing to do is. Very often, organisms that rely on a system of reflexes to manage their interactions with the world have to cope with much redundancy. Many perceptions of the world call for the same behavioral response, and many behavioral responses to the world are variations on a theme." If you can learn to think outside the restrictions of your unconscious reflexes, you can open new possibilities your reptilian brain didn't know you had.

Here are a few ways to use these skills to your professional advantage.

Make a Mental Movie

"Let’s say you are offered a new job in a different city, and you need to figure out whether to accept it," Arvin writes. "How are you going to do this? Most likely, you will think about what the job offer means to you: what will the new city be like? How fulfilling will the new job be? What about the pay and other benefits? How does all of this compare with where you live and work now? It’s not trivial, in the end, you’ll manage to make up your mind."

Experience, in your mind, the details of a typical day on the job, how your life and mindset will shift because of it, and what your work and your achievements will mean to you, intellectually and emotionally.

Running elaborate mental simulations of possible future experiences - taking it three-dimensional - can give your gut more information to work with. Sometimes, you may end up "going with your gut" in the end, even after all the rumination. Which is still a good exercise to have gone through.

Try Different Models

There is much wisdom to be found in consciously adopting certain intellectual frameworks, and then shopping around until you find one that is particularly useful to you.

When working through a difficult decision, experiment with a range of possible scenarios, based on different variables. You can then make a more wholly informed decision, and prepare yourself for different realities that may present themselves.

Try different sensory modalities, as well. If you are not a visual thinker and you are more comfortable focusing on sounds and feelings, try hearing or feeling your way through a decision. You may get some fresh insight just from imagining the physical sensations walking through your new office space.

Don't Mistake the Map for the Territory

Our mental representations never square precisely with reality. For difficult questions about your career, sometimes the most powerful answer is "I don't know." Then actively seek out “to know”.

When you work with mental representations, acknowledge that your thinking is biased by factors both conscious and unconscious. Do plenty of research and always keep your mind open to new information. Mental representations empower us to anticipate change, including change we never could have expected.

With the rise of AR and VR technologies, we may soon be able to work with simulations that are even more rich and useful. Be prepared to keep dreaming bigger and better.

At Artisan Creative, we love to share all the tools that can empower you to have the career and the life you want. 

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 484th issue of our a.blog.  Get in touch today to continue the conversation.

 


Resume Refresh Checklist

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Resume Refresh Checklist

Are you starting a new job search? Could your ongoing search use an energy boost? Have trends in your industry shifted? Have you accomplished those professional goals you committed to at the start of this year?

If you answered yes to some or all of the above, it could be a good time for you to review your resume to give it a quick update and polish.

For most recruiters, hiring managers, or connectors who find you through a LinkedIn search, your Linkedin Bio and resume will be your best chance to make a first impression. You will approach the job market with more confidence if you’re sure your resume is as strong and polished as it can be.

Have a look now at your resume to make sure it meets all the important criteria.

Is it fresh?

If you haven’t spent any time on it in more than a few months, it pays to give your resume a close read, especially if you’re actively sending it out. You may be able to improve some awkward phrasing, use more modern formatting, or even catch a stray typo. Grammarly and Hemingway are two popular and trusted tools you can use to improve and tighten your writing.

Is it current?

Clearly, if you change jobs or achieve new professional goals, you should update your resume to reflect the new you. You must also be mindful of changing trends and language in your industry. Any expert who reads it should know that you know your stuff. With the rise of applicant tracking software, exceptionally strong SEO is one of your best friends during a job search. You are your own marketing department, so familiarize yourself with the latest SEO tricks and techniques that marketers use to boost visibility. Also, read job descriptions for jobs you want and rework your resume to use similar keywords. Make yourself easy to find.

Is it exciting?

Write in the active voice to present a stronger sense of who you are and what it might be like to work with you. Rather than “responsibilities” or “duties,” focus on your accomplishments and how you provide value and ROI. Rather than your “objective,” be descriptive – every line should be lush with details about what you know, what you can do, and what makes you different. Grab your reader’s attention and lodge in their memory.

Is it on brand?

Your resume works in concert with your social media profiles, your online portfolio, and the rest of your overall digital presentation. Make sure they all present a consistent sense of your personality, your professional values, and your realms of expertise. Create a buyer persona to represent the hiring manager whose attention you want to attract, and redesign all aspects of your digital presence to communicate directly with that person.

Is the design appropriate?

Always emphasize content over form. Every element of your resume should add; none should distract. Unless you are a visual designer with a distinctive aesthetic, stick with common typefaces and simple formatting. Trends in aesthetics and language change rapidly; present yourself in a manner that will have perennial appeal. If you’re in doubt, find a mentor or a peer you respect and ask if you can use that person’s resume as a model for your own.

At Artisan Creative, we know that building your dream career isn’t just about attention to detail – it’s about knowing which details matter.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 483rd issue of our a.blog. Get in touch today and continue the conversation.


Turning Your Passion Into a Career

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Turning Your Passion Into a Career

How do you turn your passion into a career? People are often advised to follow their dreams and passions, but let’s face it--turning a passion into a career is easier said than done.

In the first blog of our new feature, Artisan Advice, we spoke with Basir, a writer we recently placed at our client’s Texas location. Basir is one of the few who turned his passion into a career.

When Basir was young, he voraciously read automotive blogs and publications. He dreamt of being an auto journalist and reviewing cars but ended up pursuing business and marketing--that is until he took a 180-degree turn and decided to chase his passion.

He’s since worked for the likes of the BBC and TIME in New York, startups in San Francisco and now as a writer working on automotive with our client. So how did he manage to achieve his dreams and what did it take to get there?

Find a Mentor

As a fresh graduate, Basir landed a writing job at the BBC. Their past interns were mostly journalism majors and lacked the same thing--automotive knowledge. Basir’s deep knowledge of the automotive industry impressed the Editor in Chief so much he hired him without any writing experience. Thanks to the Editor’s faith, Basir learned firsthand the skills needed to write well. Many people we’ve spoken to have shared similar experiences with us. Do you have a mentor or a former supervisor who has taken a chance on you?

Start Your Own Blog

Starting your own blog is solid advice, especially when you need to bolster your portfolio or submit some samples to an application. Think about what topics you’re passionate about and start a Medium or Wordpress site. “Your blog doesn’t have to be the next big thing, but when it’s time to apply to gigs you can send your samples. It develops your skills, too. Not only that, but clients can see how serious you are.” In Basir’s case, it’s clear that clients will take a chance if they see potential, but you need to prove yourself, too. A blog is a great way to quickly convey your interest and passion before you even get to the interview stage.

Know Your Value When You Lose Inspiration

How do you place a value on something you write or design and how do you know if it was a success? If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a creative rut, take a look back at some of your successes and see how many times your article was viewed or shared. Seeing the fruits of your labor and results can help you to feel inspired again.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 482nd issue of our a.blog.  Get in touch today and start the conversation!


Personality Assessments and the Hiring Process

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Personality Assessments and the Hiring Process

"When you meet somebody for the first time, you're not meeting them. You're meeting their representative." - Chris Rock

Businesses struggle every day to hire and retain top talent. Making professional matches is as much an art as it is a science, and even the strongest minds in HR, recruiting, and management must sometimes learn from mistakes.

In their quest to find the best candidates, many top companies use a variety of personality and integrity tests to screen applicants during their interview processes. There's an ongoing debate around this practice, with strong arguments and research supporting either side. Should you consider implementing this sort of testing for potential new hires, it's important to know the pros and cons.

Pros

- You're in good company. According to a recent survey, more than 40% of Fortune 100 companies use some form of personality testing as part of their recruiting and onboarding procedures.

- It can get results. Studies have shown that retail businesses who used integrity testing in hiring reported a 50% reduction in inventory loss. Long-term results for some other forms of testing are less clear, but anything that weeds out clearly unqualified applicants obviously saves time for HR, and money for the company.

- It can eliminate biases. Individual interviewers may be biased toward candidates they personally like, or, worse, make decisions based on unconscious cultural biases. By establishing measurements that are more objective, at least theoretically, testing can correct for this tendency.

- It can be fun. Startups such as Knack offer gamified versions of some employment-related tests, which can infuse a spirit of play into your hiring process. Some companies also test current employees after they're hired, which can be a part of an employer-employee feedback loop that improves conditions at work.

-It's a good communication tool.  Learning more about ourselves and our colleagues is a great step towards better communication and connection.

Cons

- Tests themselves can be biased. Tests reflect the values and biases of their creators. Interpreting results requires training and judgment. Placing value on certain personality traits will always be controversial. Proceed with caution, research, and awareness.

- Potential new hires can "game" the tests. The main thing a test measures is how adept the subject is at taking the test. People who are determined to get hired, despite any reasons why they shouldn't, can find ways to manipulate their results.

-Testing can entrench a fixed mindset. "Growth mindset" refers to the attitude that perceived weaknesses present opportunities for improvement. According psychology professor Art Markman, there is a significant risk in testing if it carries the message that skills and characteristics are innate or that people are fixed entities, hardwired from birth for success or failure. Employees deserve the chance to improve over time through their own initiative, which is easier if they don't think of themselves as fixed data points on a scale.

One tool that the Artisan Creative team uses as a group is the CliftonStrengths Assessment, where we use our top 5 strengths to communicate via a common language on a regular basis.

With decades of experience as creative recruiters, we know hiring is easier when you don't have to do it alone. Contact Artisan Creative today and leverage our expertise to make your next great match!

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 481st issue of our a.blog.


Giving and Receiving Constructive Feedback

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Giving and Receiving Constructive Feedback

In order to be constructive, feedback must be mindful, purposeful, well-informed, and well-intentioned. It must also be clearly understood and easy to act upon. The purpose of constructive feedback is not to reward or punish; it is to share valuable information and insights so the entire team will be in a better position to accomplish its goals.

Whether you're giving or receiving feedback after an interview, portfolio review, annual employee performance session, or client presentation you can benefit from ideas in the highly regarded book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. This book offers a lot of insight, along with a helpful checklist to keep in mind, whether you want to share notes with your colleagues or want to listen more deeply to mutually uncover opportunities for improvement.

"Start With the Heart"

Your observations will be of more value if you practice seeing (and feeling) the world from the recipient's perspective. Likewise, if you can hear the hopes, fears, and emotions behind the feedback you receive, you may be more able to appreciate it as a gift. If you struggle with compassion or often find yourself on the defensive, the toolkit of Nonviolent Communication can change your perspective.

"Stay in Dialogue"

For feedback to be constructive, both parties must talk to each other, not at each other. Our relevant content on active listening has workable ideas on how to keep the paths of communication open.

"Make it Safe"

Safety is one of the most fundamental human needs; if safety is in doubt, addressing higher-level needs is not as easy. Part of building strong relationships is giving colleagues space, to be honest with each other without anyone feeling threatened. The most constructive moments happen in a calm environment within an atmosphere of mutual respect and only after any tensions or distractions have been dealt with.

"Don't Get Hooked By Emotion (Or Hook Them)"

Clear communication happens above the noise and static of aggression, manipulation, or games of status. To give and receive constructive feedback, you must work around any emotional tactics and triggers and maintain your focus on what is true, what is useful, and the objectives you share.

"Agree on a Mutual Purpose"

Make sure constructive feedback is shared on a common ground. This means setting your goals upfront, being transparent about what you hope to gain, and recognizing each other as allies on the same journey, headed in the same direction.

"Separate Facts from Story"

We, humans, excel at constructing narratives; we use this skill to find patterns in our experiences and to make sense of the world. To remain open to new information and wisdom, we must practice setting aside our stories and pay attention to things objectively, as they are, in a way both parties can understand and agree upon. Things are almost never precisely what they may seem!

"Agree on a Clear Action Plan"

Every transmission of constructive feedback should conclude with a set of concrete, realistic, shared goals. The best feedback often results in a plan of action, and once the plan of action is followed through to everyone's satisfaction, then you know the feedback was constructive!

At Artisan Creative, we believe the surest path to professional growth is through better communication. Get in touch today and start the conversation!

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 480th issue of our a.blog.

 



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