Make a praise sandwich!

I was in a management training workshop all day at work yesterday. And boy was I psyched for this! (I’m not being sarcastic.) Before you go clicking away from my bloggie because I sound like an office drone, let me tell you why. Despite holding a “manager” role for almost two years, I still have a lot to learn about managing. I work in a creative office and my fave part about my job is the leading part (making decisions, rallying coworkers, organizing projects and teams, identifying solutions to problems, leading brainstorm meetings, etc). On the other hand, I am not good at having difficult convos with my staffers. When someone is late or misses a deadline or shirks or generally does anything yucky, I basically huff and puff in my cubicle and don’t address the issue. Instead of dealing, I hope the problem goes away. It is very, very wimpy…I hate confrontation!! Yesterday’s workshop was cool because we practiced how to have those uncomfie conversations with role playing and other interactive exercises. The instructor said that before going into a difficult meeting/conversation, I should….

1) Prepare Think about what I want to say and find specifics to address my point. For example, if an employee is consistently missing deadliness, I should make a list of the late assignments. That way, I don’t go into a meeting saying, “You’re always late with your articles!” and instead say, “I’ve noticed that you’ve missed your deadline by more than a day for the last three weeks.”

2) Address emotions Does the issue at hand make me angry? On the verge of tears? Figure out what I’m feeling and get a handle on it…summon my composure.

3) Make a praise sandwich I loooove this idea! The instructor quoted some research that showed people react better to feedback that bolsters their self esteem. So, even if you have some not-so-fun constructive criticism to deliver, fold it in between two positives. That way, you start and end on a good note. It’s supposed to make the person more receptive, less defensive and also makes them feel more confident and skilled….good stuff as they go back to work.

So, in honor of my quest to become a better manager, here’s my own praise sandwich for the day:

Positive: I woke up in a really good mood that stuck around even after the CD19 negative OPK. While waiting for the bus, I sent the hubs a funny text about the lack of a line. Ohhh, TTC humor, you are so funny! 🙂

Constructive criticism: During a moment of weakness and, er, procrastination, I googled TTC stuff for about 10 minutes right after lunch. My constant need to sleuth out info on hormone levels, cramping, ovulating, Clomid doses, OPK accuracy, etc etc etc has reached unhealthily epic proportions. I am driving myself crazy, freaking myself out and generally acting really ridiculous. It is not cool to Google “no CM negative OPK 50mg Clomid” on a work computer. I need to squash this obsession before my boss (or anyone else!) happens to walk up behind me.

Positive: I’m headed back to the RE on Friday and that fills me with hope! I know the news may not be what I’d hoped for going into this cycle (no ovulation), but on the upside, I can move forward from there. I always feel better doing something, even if it is getting blood taken!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Make a praise sandwich!

  1. Praise, sandwich…I like it! I was always told, kiss-kick-kiss as the way to deliver bad news. Same concept and definitely a useful adage!

    Good luck at your RE appointment. Mine isn’t until January…so I’m anxious to hear how yours goes!

  2. Those are great manager/life tips. I am SO making a praise sammie today!! Thanks for the thoughtful comment!
    Have a great day Good egg!

  3. I love the praise sammich idea! 🙂

    Thanks so much for your comment today– it was exactly what I needed to hear.

    Best of luck at the RE tomorrow– I hope that maybe you’ll get a nice surprise on your P4 results. Even if you don’t, like you said, it’s always better to be DOING something. You’re on the right track and your RE will help you make a plan for next cycle!

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