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Apply a Coach's Methods

  • Balance your feedback. As Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson said in The One Minute Manager, "Try and catch them doing something right."[5] Many presenters hear nothing but negatives about their presentations. An occasional pat on the back might be appreciated by your presenters, though they might look warily at something so out of character.

  • Give feedback tactfully. In the heat of the action, it's easy to come down on the speaker with "hobnailed boots," to beat him or her into the ground. Humiliating and clobbering the speaker may be momentarily satisfying but may backfire as conflicts erupt, personalities clash, issues get clouded, and other audience members turn on the caustic critic.

  • Keep the environment safe. Group leaders particularly influence the style in which a meeting is conducted. Lower-level speakers may be intimidated by the presence of higher-level managers. Abrasive behavior by leaders can stifle presenters and set a pattern that others may follow. Ensure that all parties feel free to participate regardless of rank and without intimidation by others.

  • Listen with perspective. Keep main ideas and priorities in mind and limit nitpicking. Separate valid from shaky material and hear out a speaker rather than discount all of what is said because of minor flaws or disagreement with some part.


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