Whether you like it or not, if you (or your client’s) business is online, your reputation is also. With more than 90% of consumers now looking at online reviews before they buy from a company, you have the potential to gain, or lose that 90% based on what your consumers can find or cannot find…
Anyone looking to run a successful online business in 2022 & beyond… needs to take their online reputation back into their own hands. As a business owner (in any niche) you need to create an active online standing to help boost your brand’s legitimacy and credibility.
Potential customers need “social proof” before making a purchasing decision. In fact, 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Showcasing this feedback can increase conversion rates by 270%.
This sales bump can happen because customers will trust online reviews as much as their friends and family. They will base their buying decisions depending on what others have said.
LocalCetric connects Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, Yelp, TrustPilot, Capterra, Amadeus and easily monitor and respond to reviews in real-time, improve local search engine rankings, track performance, enhance your reputation, and drive additional sales. See more details here..
Across four experiments — including a field experiment conducted in an executive education classroom — researchers found that people received more effective input when they asked for advice rather than feedback. You just gave a great first pitch to a major client and landed an invitation to pitch to their senior leaders. Now you want a second opinion on your presentation to see if there’s anything you can improve. What do you do?
Conventional wisdom says you should ask your colleagues for feedback. However, research suggests that feedback often has no (or even a negative) impact on our performance. This is because the feedback we receive is often too vague — it fails to highlight what we can improve on or how to improve.
Our research suggests a better approach. Across four experiments — including a field experiment conducted in an executive education classroom — we found that people received more effective input when they asked for advice rather than feedback.
In one study, we asked 200 people to offer input on a job application letter for a tutoring position, written by one of their peers. Some people were asked to provide this input in the form of “feedback,” while others were asked to provide “advice.” Those who provided feedback tended to give vague, generally praising comments. For example, one reviewer who was asked to give feedback made the following comment:
“This person seems to meet quite a few of the requirements. They have experience with kids, and the proper skills to teach someone else. Overall, they seem like a reasonable applicant.”
However, when asked to give advice on the same application letter, people offered more critical and actionable input. One reviewer noted more specific action items: “I would add in your previous experience tutoring or similar interactions with children. Describe your tutoring style and why you chose it. Add what your ultimate end goal would be for an average 7 year old.”
In fact, compared to those asked to give feedback, those asked to provide “advice” suggested 34% more areas of improvement and 56% more ways to improve. In another study, we asked 194 full-time employees in the U.S. to describe a colleague’s performance on a recent work task. These tasks ranged from “putting labels on items” to “creating new marketing strategies.” Then, we asked employees to give feedback or advice on the work performance they just described.
Once again, those who were asked to provide feedback gave less critical and actionable input (e.g. one wrote, “They gave a very good performance without any complaints related to his work”) than those asked to provide advice (e.g. one wrote, “In the future, I suggest checking in with our executive officers more frequently. During the event, please walk around, and be present to make sure people see you”).
We further replicated these findings in a field experiment using instructor evaluations. In an end-of-course evaluation, we asked 70+ executive education students from around the world to provide either feedback or advice to their instructors. Again, advice more frequently contained detailed explanations of what worked and what didn’t, such as: “I loved the cases.
But I would have preferred concentrating more time on learning specific tools that would help improve the negotiation skills of the participants.” Feedback, in contrast, often included generalities, such as “This faculty’s content and style of teaching was very good.”
Why is asking for advice more effective than asking for feedback? As it turns out, feedback is often associated with evaluation. At school, we receive feedback with letter grades. When we enter the workforce, we receive feedback with our performance evaluations. Because of this link between feedback and evaluation, when people are asked to provide feedback, they often focus on judging others’ performance; they think more about how others performed in the past.
This makes it harder to imagine someone’s future and possibly better performance. As a result, feedback givers end up providing less critical and actionable input. In contrast, when asked to provide advice, people focus less on evaluation and more on possible future actions. Whereas the past is unchangeable, the future is full of possibilities. So, if you ask someone for advice, they will be more likely to think forward to future opportunities to improve rather than backwards to the things you have done, which you can no longer change.
To document this effect, we ran another study that was very similar to our first. In this experiment, we again asked hundreds of people to provide feedback or advice on a peer’s job application. But this time, we also asked feedback providers to shift their focus toward “developing the writer.” When removed from an evaluation mindset, by focusing more on developing the recipient, feedback providers were just as critical and actionable in their input as advice providers.
Is asking for feedback always a worse strategy than asking for advice? Not necessarily.
Organizations are full of opportunities to learn from peers, colleagues, and clients. Despite its prevalence, asking for feedback is often an ineffective strategy for promoting growth and learning. Our work suggests this is because when givers focus too much on evaluating past actions, they fail to provide tangible recommendations for future ones. How can we overcome this barrier? By asking our peers, clients, colleagues, and bosses for advice instead.Jaewon Yoon is a PhD student in the organization behavior program at Harvard Business School. Her research focuses on time communication and feedback exchange.
There’s no question that being positive and optimistic both cushions the blows of adversity and makes it easier to notice and take advantage of opportunities when they come your way. But staying positive is difficult if you’re forced to deal with negative people, a category that unfortunately includes a large percentage of the workplace population.
Here’s what you can do to ensure that the complainers don’t bring you down with them:
1. Avoid them when possible.
This probably goes without saying, but the absolute best way to deal with negative people is to cut them out of your life.At work, don’t hang out with them at the water cooler or sit next to them at lunch. Uninvite them to any meeting at which their presence is not absolutely required.
If they’re customers who you can’t avoid, stay cordial and friendly but don’t get sucked into a deeper relationship. If you’re online, don’t read the comments sections on political blogs or anywhere else where people vent anonymously. That’s like drinking from a sewer.
2. Don’t go Pollyanna on them.
When you must deal with negative people, the worst thing you can do is get all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Your display of positivity won’t cheer them up. Quite the contrary. They’ll see it as a challenge and amp up their negativity to compensate.
Being optimistic around a pessimist is like painting a target on your forehead–a target at which the pessimist will aim his or her hatred and unhappiness. Don’t believe me? Google “I hate optimists” and read some of the spew. Negative people are invested in their negativity. You’re not going to jolly them out of it.
3. Agree, then weaken by rephrasing.
Negative people express themselves using negative, emotionally charged words (such as hate, sucks, crap, effing, and so forth). Because such words are loaded, they make the negative person more miserable and negative. It’s a classic feedback loop.The only way to help negative people out of that loop is to edge them out of it by putting yourself on their side.
To do this, you immediately agree with every negative statement that they make. Then, as part of that agreement, you rephrase what they said using words that are less loaded.
Debbie: “I absolutely hate it with a passion when…”
You: “Yes, it’s irritating when that happens…”
Debbie: “This totally sucks.”
You: “So true. There are some real challenges here.”
When you do this, you’ll notice that the negative person will actually change her physiology. Her body straightens, her glowering frown lightens up.Do this long enough and you can actually erode a person’s negativity to the point where he can take off the crap-colored glasses. It can take a long time, though.
4. Clear your head afterward.
Dealing with negative people taxes and drains your energy. Therefore, whenever you’re forced to deal with such folk, take time afterward to recharge your emotional batteries.
The best thing to do after dealing with a downer is to call or visit a kindred spirit who shares your basically positive attitude.If that’s not possible, go for a walk, listen to some music, read something inspirational. Do something–anything–that creates a mental break.
Failing to do this is like failing to wash yourself or change your clothes after wading through mud. If you’re not careful, negativity can and will stick to you. In fact, that’s the reason that negative people are negative. It’s a learned behavior. After all, most children are natural optimists.
Microcoaching: the next generation of personal development...getty
As the modern workplace evolves, its associated practices must too. An office used to mean a fixed location, now it’s anywhere with an internet connection or something to write with. A multi-million dollar business used to require heaps of staff and complicated infrastructure, now it could be a teenager with a Shopify site. Meetings used to always be face-to-face. Emails used to be faxes. Instant payments used to be cheques. You get the idea.
Ambitious entrepreneurs are maximising their time; fitting in more of what matters and doing less of what doesn’t. More is automated, delegated and eliminated than ever before. It makes sense that coaching is up for discussion.
What is microcoaching?
Microcoaching is an alternative to traditional coaching, consisting of smaller and more frequent questions, guidance and assistance. Rather than scheduling hour-long calls or face-to-face meetings, microcoaching might involve a five-minute chat every few days, and the exchange of voice notes or text-based questions and prompts between coach and client. The principle is that frequent doses of guidance might help keep someone on track better than an in-depth discussion every two weeks, for example.
Microcoaching is used by coaches looking to adapt their practices to a changing workplace, as well as the evolving demands of a modern entrepreneur. It’s used within larger organisations, to enable senior team members to offer support to junior ones, or to enable peer-to-peer development. It might be used within entrepreneur networks or between friendship groups. Whenever you’re spending time with someone who is helping you find solutions or holding you accountable, you might be on the receiving end of microcoaching.
Formal, structured coaching has its place, but for some clients of coaches it’s surplus to requirements and shorter, more frequent bursts of motivation, inspiration and nudging may prove more beneficial.
What makes microcoaching so effective?
Microcoaching, by its very nature, enables more frequent catch ups and a real-time method of keeping in touch. This means challenges can be assessed and dissected and a plan of action made without waiting for the next scheduled session, which may be weeks or even months in the future. This is particularly useful if the microcoaching recipient feels they may have made a mistake, could have handled a situation better, or they have a big decision they’d like to discuss.
The faster implementation of microcoaching can make the recipient more effective in their work. Whether self-employed or an employee, they are less likely to waste time pursuing practices that are ineffective or go too far down a rabbit hole before they’re caught. Feedback loops are far shorter meaning actions can be redirected accordingly. Furthermore, the microcoaching receiver can access frequent doses of motivation, keeping their levels topped up rather than allowing for boom and bust.
One of the key benefits of microcoaching is its flexible nature, especially when communication is delivered asynchronously. This means the coach and their client can exchange thoughts and questions in their own time, whenever is convenient. This removes the need to find time in two busy schedules and block out an afternoon for a call and review period. Long coaching calls can be draining for both parties and they’re not always effective. Furthermore, long coaching calls might require an initial phase of catching up, which microcoaching negates the need for.
How can entrepreneurs benefit from microcoaching?
Ambitious entrepreneurs are hungry for knowledge, including feedback and pointers of how they can improve. They can open themselves up for microcoaching by letting key individuals around them know that regular feedback is welcome.
Within a formal coaching relationship, where an entrepreneur has commissioned a coach, they might adapt the schedule so they communicate in smaller bursts and incorporate ad hoc phone calls, shorter catch ups or voice notes, saving the longer sessions for when deep dives are necessary or when there’s something significant to discuss. This adaptation may be welcomed by their coach and make the arrangement more effective.
Outside of a formal coaching relationship, for example in mastermind groups or between friendship groups consisting of entrepreneurs, each member can administer and receive microcoaching according to the boundaries of those involved. If a friend is explaining a business problem, for example, I might ask them if I can offer feedback, ask some questions, or suggest a new way to frame the problem. In turn, they may hear of a business challenge I’m facing and ask if it’s okay that they probe, in order to help me reach a solution.
When microcoaching is met with an open demeanour and willingness to learn, it can be effective. When it’s unsolicited, defensiveness may ensue, and no solutions reached, hence why it’s crucial to check before offering input.
Entrepreneurs who question every aspect of their career and work will inevitably find better ways of conducting business. Modern businesses have reimagined what’s possible; applying the same to personal development could unlock the progress ambitious business owners are seeking.
Early in my career I had an interaction with a boss I now regret. She began by saying, “I want to give you some feedback on your work.” With a list in front of her, she began to describe all the things she felt I had been doing poorly. She made little eye contact and had a deadpan tone. As she spoke, my heart pounded, and I began to sweat. I was angry.
The first three were tasks I wasn’t responsible for; my coworker owned those duties. The remaining feedback was unexpected because it was about deliverables others had said were high quality. I had been working for her for almost a year and she had never indicated I was doing anything wrong. Not only did I feel dumped on but half of it was flat-out wrong.
While I did correct her on the items that were inaccurate, I stayed silent on the other stuff. I left the meeting upset and feeling dejected. I decided she was a bad boss, held a grudge, and quit for full-time graduate school soon after.
Certainly, I could blame my manager. Her approach to giving feedback was dismal. What I have since learned, however, is that we can’t control the abilities of our bosses. All we can control is our reaction to them. Moreover, bosses make mistakes—they’re not perfect. What I regret most, though, is not sticking around to talk about it.
I didn’t stand up for myself because I didn’t know how. Instead, I acted impulsively. Speaking up when you get inaccurate or unfair feedback is a skill that anyone can develop. I have, and you can too. Here are some tips.
What to say when a boss criticizes your work
Often, the first reaction to hearing feedback is to agree or disagree with it. Do neither. Instead, say thank you, even if it’s unfair or inaccurate. The majority of bosses are uncomfortable giving feedback, and they might be fearing your reaction. Saying thank you will help neutralize emotions for you both. You also demonstrate a willingness listen, which shows maturity and professionalism. It might sound like, “Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
If you find your heart-racing or a strong reaction coming on, you might say, “Thank you. Can I have some time to process this?” Giving yourself space and time to consider the feedback is helpful, and showing your ability to receive it well is even better..
Ask questions and take notes
With cooler emotions, it’s easier to ask questions and have a dialogue. Seek out examples and context. Inquire about your manager’s expectations and what about your performance, specifically your work, isn’t meeting the expectation. Get clear on the frequency of the issue. Is this a one-off issue or a repeated pattern of behavior?
The more insight you can get into your boss’s evaluation of you, the more targeted you can be about addressing it. Also, keep in mind this is an evaluation of your work performance, not you as a person. Keep your mindset focused on the work. Beating yourself up or continuing to feel dejected won’t help you move forward.
Seek out other feedback
Your manager’s opinion is a single data point. While it’s an important one, it is still the perspective of just one person. Seek out feedback from trusted colleagues to gauge how significant it is. Let’s say your boss thinks you’re always late to meetings but you disagree. Ask your coworkers. If they agree, then you know this is a big problem.
If they don’t, then you make sure you are on time for every meeting you’re in with your manager from now on. This is about the having the ability to adapt your behavior to the expectations of others. It is a skill that will serve you well throughout your career.
Step into their shoes
Try on some empathy for your supervisor. This is to seek an understanding of their experience. Do they have a heavy workload? What kind of manager do they have? Are they under a lot of pressure? When they gave you the unfair feedback, is it possible they were just having a bad day?
Giving your boss the benefit of the doubt isn’t just helpful; it’s humane. This was my biggest regret in my interaction. I remember my boss being under a lot of pressure, and we all worked long hours. I could have given her more grace, which is to show kindness even though I thought she didn’t deserve it. Instead, I held a grudge.
Be intentional about responding to the feedback
This was some advice I received many years later: Be obvious to your boss that you’re acting on it. Let’s say your boss thinks you’re not being a team player and communicating well with the team. After you have worked more closely with your peers, tell your manager. It might sound like, “To keep you updated, I met with Alice today to discuss how our work connects.
It was a good meeting, and we plan to meet regularly.” Bosses are busy and may forget to pay attention to your efforts. Being obvious about your efforts can help. Getting corrective feedback at work is expected. It is information intended to improve performance, but sometimes, it will be wrong or feel unfair. How you handle it is an indicator of your ability to maintain positive and productive relationships at work.
This feedback will no doubt sting, but by keeping your emotions in check, talking it through with your boss and others, and then taking action, you’ll be on the right track to handling these situations effectively.