Episode 45: Feedback and Development are a Gift

Tiffany Quivers Headshot.jpg

Are you looking for a way to have motivated and engaged employees? Are you looking for the next leader of your organization? Department? Project? If so, feedback and development are two tools to help ensure you will the person ready when you need them. However, so many of are so focused on our day to day tasks, we never seem to have time for relationships and growing the people on our team. Please join host Jeff Smith and his guest, Tiffany Quivers who is a thought leader on feedback, development and growing talent in organizations. We will cover a model on feedback, share ideas from organizations we have worked with and practical tips to help you grow your skillset. This fast moving show will inspire and provide you steps on how to grow others on your team.


Tiffany Quivers has over fifteen years experience in training and leadership development. She is an accomplished facilitator and curriculum developer that is known for designing learning experiences that engage learners and lead to new conversations and actions. Tiffany has worked domestically and internationally with organizations to guide and manage change and increase effectiveness. She is skilled in helping leaders optimize their strengths and achieve their goals. It is a sincere passion and desire to see individuals and organizations reach their highest potential that drives her work. Tiffany holds a Bachelors of Science in Marketing from Hampton University and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.


Jeff: Welcome I am so glad to be here with you today. Really great to have everyone around the world at rights end and send us thoughts and ideas and today on the show if you'd like to send us an email it's Jeff@VoltageLeadership.com. If you want to call during the radio show it is 1-866-472-5788 and we can take your question on the air. Today we’re blessed and lucky to have with us today Tiffany Quivers. Tiffany and I go way back to working together in Capital One days and Tiffany is an experienced facilitator, trainer, writer, thought leader, and just all around amazing person so Tiffany how are you today?

Tiffany: I'm well Jeff. Very excited to have this conversation with you. Thanks for inviting me.

Jeff: Tiffany is fantastic. She graduated undergrad from Hampton has a Masters in education from Harvard.

Great thought leader and you know Tiffany is just glad that we’re being able to reconnect over the last couple of months getting ready for the show.

Tiffany: What I know about feedback and development I first learned those lessons from you and they've stayed with me all these years so just verily excited to give folks the opportunity to learn and think differently about this really important do I say responsibility, leadership responsibility that we don't always get right or figure out how to implement our day-to-day lives.

Jeff: Quicker, quicker, quicker you know we get so focused on the task that.

At times we lose track of like feedback and development. You know I'm just curious you know you work with clients both in the US and internationally. You know what do you see as the trends around feedback and development as you're working with your clients?

Tiffany: Yes, you know what’s really scary and it's what made me reach out to Jeff is honestly I see that it's missing. I'm not kidding I dare say four out of five clients I almost want to say five out of five clients are not giving consistent and regular feedback. I find it's often happening only during performance evaluations. I feel like there are conversations that are being had, but not directly with the individuals that need to hear it.

I think you make a really good point we are so focused on results and doing that we forgotten that we get the better results right we get the better result if we take the time and build the practices to give meaningful feedback as a regular daily practice and is a part of our culture. I just feel like enough people I think it's a topic around it's not an absence of knowing. It's an absence of doing. I think we know feedback is important, but again we prioritize the doing over there making space for feedback I guess I’ll say.

Jeff: I wrote that down you know I think that it's one I use often with my folks. A lot of times I use a little bit more out around some work life balance, but you know we’re human beings.

You know and another word or conversation I have a lot with my clients is that you know in relationship there's possibility. Often we’re just so focused on task and to your point I was leading a group last week and we were covering the book called Anatomy of Peace and a lot of that revolves around instead of going and having a conversation let's say I'm upset with you know someone we’ll just call him Bill.

Tiffany: Yes.

Jeff: I'm all upset with Bill. Instead of going to Bill I go to you, Tiffany.

I kind of recruit—it’s called recruiting allies.

It's like I'd rather tell my version of the story.

I spent all this emotional energy trying to prop up this story instead of just going directly and having a conversation with Bill around feedback that I've got that often is not as significant.

It's often like boy it felt like you kind of walked over me in the meaning or it felt like you know.

That meeting took on a little more efficiently, but instead we go and have these conversations with everybody, but the person we need to.

Tiffany: I love that you said recruiting allies so you remember at Capital One we used to say triangulate I think. I have an issue with Jeff, but I take it to Diane instead.

I also very much appreciate you saying these small things, but then those small things begin to create this culture that lacks openness and lacks honesty and lacks respect, which then I think prevents us from the performance piece. Can you speak a little more to this notion of relationships and possibilities, Jeff and how we do that? How we think about doing that in our organizations.

Jeff: Yes you know so what I'm struck by is I’ll give you a tangible example of someone that I've been coaching that is fantastic at tasks. He's got CEO potential of large organizations. I mean big time stuff that you read about in the Wall Street Journal Daily right. Everyone loves the responsibilities that he’s got and the ability to drive towards the results, but here's the deal. No one wants to work with him the second time because it's all task.

It's focus, focus, focus and he's not one to hog the credit. It's just no one knows him.

You know and the funny part is this guy is fantastic. He's got a great family. He’s got funny stories to share when I talk to him and I go watch him in a staff meeting and it's like here's you know, you and I are starting at 1 o'clock. Here’s a 1 o’clock meeting. We’re going to go to 1:59. It's task after task after task.

Tiffany: Right, yes.

Jeff: What happens is that it doesn't leave a very open to feedback and people don't really know if they can trust is kind of the word I want to use here about here's what we're seeing. We might be a little off track because.

It's as simple as I call this the 58 minute rule Tiffany. Basically it's instead of writing one more email I had him go to the meetings two minutes early and just spend a couple minutes.

Just getting to know people. Ask them about the weekend. You know.

What did you see? What did you do? What did you enjoy? He thought it was the dumbest thing except that about three-four weeks later he got feedback on the 360 and people were like Chris is like remarkably changed and that he is you know this really great leader now and that he seems to know me. He gets me.

Tiffany: I like it. Linda Hill from Harvard Business School says that you know our job as leaders is to inspire and influence others to produce great work right. She says what you just said, which is the root of influence is trust. We get that trust through relationships. People want to know if they can trust our character and trust are confidence.

I think when we are naturally inclined towards results and that relationships we do miss that part. Am I able to influence others to produce great—or inspire I even like the word inspire. Am I able to inspire others to produce good work? As leaders how do we make the space particularly if you are more naturally inclined to results right? I'm more inclined to the relationship side and may miss on the results and we need the balance of both, but I do think we have to be self-aware enough to know when we’re sort of working against ourselves in that way.

Jeff: Tiffany you connected to relationship. This person knows everybody in the world so you know I totally get that.

Tiffany: You know Jeff one of the pieces of feedback you gave me back way back in the day was to maintain perspective because I thought everybody that worked for me was awesome and you were like let's maintain a little perspective. Everybody has room to grow Tiffany so yes.

Jeff: Well we got a short side of two minutes till break. Why don't we just what's your definition of development Tiffany? We’ll start, we’ve got about one minute here and then I'll pick it up after the break.

Tiffany: I like it so I think development is creating the conditions where it happens to the best of people, bringing out the very thing that they have and saying I want to develop that and bring it out. That's my definition.

Jeff: Yes, I like it. One we use a good deal on the show comes from Tim Galway and it is, “Performance equals potential minus interference.”

What’s that interference whether it's arrogance or time management or inability to deliver a tough feedback. What is that thing? You're probably not going to get great at it, but how do we make sure it's not a detailer that keeps you from your potential.

Tiffany: Right.

Jeff: Tiffany we are right at break so let's take our first break here. We’ll come back in two minutes and pick up this conversation.


Jeff: Welcome back. We are having a conversation today with Tiffany Quivers who is an expert in leading and developing leaders around the world. She's a sought after facilitator, speaker, and above all that she's a great friend too so Tiffany thanks for being here on the show.

Tiffany: You got it, Jeff. Thank you.

Jeff: Let's talk a little bit more about this development. We worked a little bit on definition you know why do you think development is so critical in today's workplace Tiffany?

Tiffany: Jeff I just read this recent piece on how leadership is shifting and the trends and leadership and one of the things that they say is that we have to democratize leadership and we’re calling for a sort of a collective idea or thinking about leadership where there's not this top-down approach, but it really is about sort of communal if you will or a communal way of thinking about leadership. I think it's important that we as leaders begin to develop the folks around us. They say the problems are too complex today and that we need that sort of collective brain-power. I have to constantly be thinking about as a leader how I develop other leaders that develop other leaders.

I just truly believe again this complexity of the problems that we’re facing in our society today require a space where we’re bringing out our best and I love your definition of potential minus interference. What within my team, within my organization might be interfering from tapping into the best of the people around me?

I do think development is so very important because we've got to move to democratize leadership and really think about each and every individual on our teams as leaders as we get to this sort of collective brainpower to address the complexity and the problems we face today. Does that answer that?

Jeff: I love it. Yes so you know give Tim Galway credit. He recently started.

Tiffany: Yes, Tim Galway you got it. I will.

Jeff: In a game of tennis believe it of all things. He was a tennis instructor and really learned.

That way and then made his way into business from there. You know what I'm curious about let's explore this democratization just a little bit more Tiffany. We didn't really talk about this in the prep, but you know you’re really striking a chord.

I think it comes from this knowledge-based economy.

You know what the knowledge spread out now around the world you know sometimes we like to be a little hard on our millennial generation and things like that.

You know they’re like you know what are they doing with social media? You know I've got Diane who you've met she's 23 years old and she finds answers from around the world.

She's not tinkering on social media. She's got a friend from undergrad or a research project she did that is working in China and she's going to reach out.

Tiffany: Absolutely.

Jeff: Now if I was sort of old-school. I might work about it and say what is she doing on social media? I understand much better that the key information may not be in our organization and it certainly might not be at the vice president level. It might be three layers down with the developer over in a shop.

How do we make sure that you know in this democratization that you’re talking about how do we make sure that we’re you know finding the best answers and getting the right people to be sharing things with us?

Tiffany: Yes so there's a great line. Ella Baker was a great civil rights leader and she said, “The solutions lie with the people.” That we just have to shine the light and people will find a way. I think to your point we have to really question our own assumptions about what work looks like and what leadership looks like.

I'm telling you I am down with the millennial generation. People can say whatever they want. I get my best ideas from them. They push my thinking so I also it's this huge openness.

It's being open and just questioning any assumptions or ideas that I have as an old head and not being willing to tap into it and think about this different way of being. Again I'm going to go back to your thing about potential minus interference. What's interfering with me tapping into the goodness of everyone on my team? How do I shift my mind-set and really begin to see them as resources that help us begin to problem solve like you said in really meaningful ways.

I lead a webinar Jeff and it's 200 people from around the world and the solutions that come on that call always you know I give more this is what I'll say. I'm teaching a course, but I get more from the folks on that call than I think they get from me and it’s that very reason as Ella Baker says. I shine light and the solutions lie with the people and we pull those out. I think it’s just shifting our mindset. I feel like I talked in circles there, but I hope there was some nuggets in there.

Jeff: Oh it was good Tiffany. No, no and folks who don't know Tiffany she's very humble and so I know that they get plenty of value from being on a call.

One of the things I enjoy about the show and facilitating and coaching is that you know I've got a team I lead. I've got an organization I lead. I have to practice these things too.

Whenever we're having these conversations it's kind of like oh yeah you know. It is a challenge. Maybe let's go over a little bit to some of the best practices you're seeing in development. You know so you know so I know that five out of five organizations aren’t really doing it, but just in case.

Tiffany: I think that's too harsh. I'm not sure if that's too harsh. I'm feeling really pessimistic about it today. I don't think so though honestly.

Jeff: Well you know I think that it's what I feel better about Tiffany is that we’ve rolled out of the 2008 kind of crisis and I'm starting to see that retention is starting to matter a little bit more.

You're starting to see the sign on bonuses and I'm starting to get the questions again that I used to get in through.

Tiffany: Yes.

Jeff: 2005 through 07 of like.

Then for a little while it was just like you know we’ll say 10-12-13. It was boy they’re just lucky to have a job.

We’re merging, but you know what are you seeing  as sort of some of these best practices and development so that we can share you know start now and then we’ll kind of continue in the next segment.

You know what are some of the best practices you are seeing with your clients?

Tiffany: Yes, absolutely so I'm actually going to go back to best practice that you taught me. Jeff I'll tell the entire story. Keep it concise though so you.

You said once to me don’t sit on the back of the bus. You know act like this sounds harsh, but it was really like sort of grow up in the organization right take that you know what you were saying to me the language that we use today is take up the space that’s yours. Like lean and with your strengths and your talents and your ideas.

I just really I continue to struggle with that today by the way, but I always hear your voice saying that. You say you know we have an opportunity to teach in South Africa or you can go to England and then you sent me to England. Right and this is when I want to link this back to a good development.

We know that what do they say 70% of leadership should be in been doing 20% is coaching and 10% is in the teaching. Now you've put me in this role right where 70% again of the development comes in the doing so now I'm in England I'm helping to pull up another group of trainers; I'm having to influence. I'm having to think about how I do this work so I am forced to sort of drive the bus because it's my project that I'm running. I always say the very best development practices one that allows leaders to do right.

That's when I feel anxious or nervous or awkward or have to think about how I influence this particular people or how do I set a strategy and how do I bring them along with me? I just think that I think that's the best practice. That's that 10%, but then the other 70% is they’ve created projects that help these people practice this part and then there's also 20% of the coaching, which comes from a manager or senior leader within the organization. Do you remember that Jeff?

Jeff: Yes.

Tiffany: Do you remember that you pushed me out the nest?

Jeff: I do remember.

Tiffany: Out of the country much to my mother's dismay out of the country.

Jeff: Yes you know and what’s it's interesting about that Tiffany it was and I think this is important about leaders so I'm not overly speaking about myself, but I'm thinking that leaders today. You know I saw things that you couldn’t see.

Others would follow you and they were ready to be led by you. I think there's also an element in the development part of this conversation is that you as a leader have to take a moment to really look at the gift of the people that are working with you.

Tiffany: That's right.

Jeff: You know and so it goes all the way back to the start of the show where it's like we’re so busy on tasks that we’ve forgotten.

To really look and say you know what's this person doing right?

I think one of the critical things you can do as a leader around development is just asking that question. Instead of us trying to get hung up especially with internal people like we think the people from outside are so sexy when they come in and interview and they seem so wonderful.

What do they do right? Don't get so hung up on boy I wish they you know had a little more executive presence or I wish that you know they would just say this with a little different tone. That's the stuff that can be taught and developed.

Tiffany: Yes.

Jeff: Then how do we close that gap so they can reach that full potential? I think it's taking the time to have an honest assessment and this last thing you Tiffany a part of it was that you know you and I had conversations I knew what your dreams and aspirations were.

I think part of it is just taking the time to really know the folks that work with you and understand their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. That doesn't mean it always works out perfectly that you can you know give an assignment to England or something like that.

Tiffany: Right. Right.

Jeff: You should be curious and know what that person wants to do.

Tiffany: You know what it makes me it goes back to your the relationships and the possibilities and the relationship because if we are in relationships then I do know you. I know I'm checking you out for your gifts. I'm wondering what your aspirations are right so then that leads to these possibilities of things that I might not see if we didn't have a relationship. I really like that Jeff and I will tell you back in the day I felt that that's why if we talk about the conditions to be able to give feedback.

I feel like that's one, which is always I always felt like you have my best interest in mind. Are you exactly as you said you saw something in me that I didn't see and you were simply working with me to get that thing out. You know so if we can create cultures around that where we where people believe that people have your best interest in mind and we’re simply trying to bring out the best in each other then you can't be stopped right. We have a collective purpose that we’re all after and we’re becoming the best people and service to that purpose and in many ways in service to each other. Again relationships what did you say equals possibilities or relationships leads to possibilities.

Jeff: Yes, yes, yes and you know so I think what's critical for this is you know I think the development too I can already hear some people probably they are not typing it. I don't see any emails from them, but again I can hear it in their conversation or while they’re listening on a run or something that.

Tiffany: Yes.

Jeff: Yes, but Jeff we don't have the money. You know or we don't have this, but look you know the development that you and I worked on and you’re working on it with your clients is a lot of times around conversation.

It's about what you said 70% of it is doing the current job, but doing it more effectively.

You know time is money, but too often what’s happening is we’re just not getting the time.

For leaders out there you know I hear you about money. You know it doesn’t need to be a training program. It doesn't need to be a coach.

Tiffany: I think were probably running short on time, but I came to talk about how we did that and I ran in early literacy school in the basement of a church and even in that I could find spaces right to try to give people opportunities to stretch and grow.

Jeff: Let's lead with that after our break.

For the folks that are listening again if you want to send me an email it's Jeff@VoltageLeadership on the commercial break they will give you the phone number to call in. In the meantime we will pick up this conversation with Tiffany after the break.


Jeff: Welcome back. Glad that you could be with us. Tiffany and I are having a conversation around development and feedback and so Tiffany right before the break you said you had a story around development.

From early in your career so why don't you share that and then we’ll drift our away into some feedback.

Tiffany: Absolutely so you know I share the story because to your point Jeff people always say I don't have the time or money to develop people. I do think that it can be true, but it's also solutions around that. That’s what I’ll say. Offer solutions around that.

We were in the basement, renting the basement of a church to start an early literacy preschool here in Southwest DC and one of the things I had all these teachers and to your point I was able to see the gifts and wanted to stretch them in different ways. I knew the teachers. I knew like you said their dreams and aspirations, where their strengths lie and I would use that again this notion democratizing leadership I would leverage each strength in service to the team right and I'll take a little sidetrack and then I'll come back quickly, but Hackman says that too often we have groups of individuals that we call teams right. You have a team and there's a compelling purpose that compels me out of myself into this collective thing.

We were about children in low income communities will read right, their going to have excellent reading skills into school ready to read are already reading. In service to that purpose I would find out the gifts and strengths of each person and where that gap was in their development. I have a teacher let's call her Jane and her class runs so well particularly around small group activity with the children so I would have her during our team meeting run that. She would be scared to death and uncertain, but teaching her how to transfer what she does in one classroom to influence all of us on the team.

I say look for those places where you can leverage your individual team members to actually drive the growth of the entire team if you will. That doesn't require more time or resources. I would use a team meeting to do it. If we had a retreat I would pull one in. Those examples would look different for each team member, but I would again look for the spaces where we needed help as a collective and then plug in the person's strengths to that particular area.

Jeff: Yes, and we way overinvest on people's developmental like you know what they call developmental or weaknesses or opportunities. Important, but let's keep the perspective.

You know Tiffany you and I know each other well enough to know that neither one of us will set the world on fire on our organizational skills, but that's okay right?

Tiffany: That's right. That’s right.

Jeff: That's why we have someone like Diane or A-Rod who does our sound engineer behind us. They keep us in track right.

I’d want our leaders to on the phone excuse me of the radio to be able to understand like yes the focus is often on our weaknesses and in today's world of knowledge workers we should be much more focused on their strengths.

Tiffany: Absolutely right.

Jeff: Finding what they do really well and then trying to find a way to sort of minimize their developmental opportunities. To do that first step is you have to be willing to both receive feedback and get some feedback right.

This is the title of book that I'm going to write someday. Someday may not come in this lifetime, but it will happen. Feedback is a gift.

Just not one easily received and if you think about that Tiffany even like when we get compliments we often blush. When we talk over somebody that's giving us a compliment or we can't even let them finish before we say oh my gosh and you're so good at that too.

Tiffany: Right. That’s right.

Jeff: Now when it's not so great Jeff Smith’s problem is that he gets defensive and so I’m often like yes, but you didn't know the situation.

I'm not listening particularly well and I'm defensive and in two days I figure out, oh that was a message.

You know as you're working with your leaders what do you do to try to help them both give better feedback as well as receive feedback.

Tiffany: Yes definitely so I'm trying to decide if I go with where you are with like a response to feedback. I'll start with giving feedback. This is what I believe and this is what I learned from you and the folks at Capital One way back in the day is that there has to be some intentionality. To me feedback is like eating healthy and exercising.

Again we know it, but we don't do it. We have to be really intentional in our culture to create the space to force us to do it right. I think there is a connection between giving feedback and how our as leaders our relationship with conflict so I know I can avoid it, but in service to my values and in service to our larger calling I'm going to do it. If you remember back to our 10/10 or whether called them one-on-one we force the conversation to say how am I helping or hindering your performance and that person gives the same period.

If I'm the leader and there's a person reporting to me they’re also telling me as their leader how might I be helping or hindering their performance and I'm going to give them the same feedback so we begin to create a culture right where it's expected. I think we have to we can easily do a team reset. I also think we should do that the onset through.

That's the giving part again being very intentional because if not people are so uncomfortable with it either they’re being, this person will be mad at me or they think I'm reading the situation wrong or this is going to upset this person and they might cry. We have all of these stories and baggage honestly about giving feedback that it prevents us, but if again we’re intentional about it then I have to get in there have the conversation, be a little nervous, but the more we do it the more open and honest and respectful then we create the space for it. That's on the giving piece, being super intentional about building cultural practices that do that. Then the second piece on the receiving I you know have you read The Power of Habit, Jeff. I'm obsessed with this book.

Jeff: Sure.

Tiffany: It talks about 40% of what we do is on habit. Go ahead, have you read it?

Jeff: Yes, it's Charles Duhigg. You know I'm looking at the yellow book right there on my bookshelf right over there.

I absolutely read it and you know understand why I crave you know. He liked chocolate chip cookies about 3 o’clock.

Mine was more peanut M&Ms about 3 o'clock you know I didn't realize it was really I wanted to go talk to Tiffany or Rob Keeling or.

Tiffany: Exactly.

Jeff: Sidney Garber you know.

For me it was about the conversation not the M&Ms you know.

Tiffany: That's exactly right so I think that same thing happens with when we get feedback. There is an automatic thought pattern. If we’re self-aware like you like ooh I'm getting defensive like I know this is my the little woman in my head saying this person doesn't know anything then I can shut that down. Once I'm aware of it right and once I'm aware of it then I can shut it down and begin as you say get curious. That's my goal now to really listen to understand not listen to prove this person wrong that's giving me feedback, but I'm going to choose to listen to understand and be curious.

If it's sort of heated and I feel I know I’ll get hot be like my chest and it will go on up. If I feel it then I will as you say come back in a day or two for clarity, but I always immediately in my brain I'll stay quiet on the set, which is everybody quiet and let me listen to understand and then I'll say let's really get curious about this thing. That's what I think one giving feedback, being really intentional, and then receiving feedback. Be aware of your sort of thought patterns and habits around that and notice what you notice about the conversation going on in your head during that time.

Jeff: Yes, Tiffany really good stuff. Mark Greenwald is going to be on the show here in about a month. He's a physician leader. He's a physician by trade then trains physicians. He's got this model that really relates to what you're saying it's called I plan then I act. It's the I plan is you make a plan. You understand the who, what, why, when, and how of what situation is like.

You know and even it's just assessing like is today a good day or not right.

That's important then the I act is I is inquire invite. You know this is this is about receiving feedback. Ask. Have the courage.

Tiffany: Absolutely. That's right.

Jeff: Right. A is attend. Listen beyond the words like really mine for gems and you can know. You can watch when someone is maybe not giving you Jennifer on my team Jennifer Owen-O’Qquill. She's got a great saying. She's like and she knows that I sometimes hold back you know I'm too nice. I have a tendency to look back. She would just look at me and say Jeff what's the last 10%?

It's not always that there's 10 more percent, but there are times where there is 10% that.

Tiffany: Absolutely.

Jeff: By really being honest I’d say that last 10%.

C it's clarify. You know first to understand. Seek first to understand. You just said it and then it’s don't kill the messenger right. It's like you know. You asked for the clarity.

Finally is T. The I Act the last one is think. You can appreciate the gesture of their feedback.

Tiffany: Yes.

Jeff: That's what I often tell people is that getting ready to go into whether it's a performance review. You know I was just with a guy last week who’s a CEO in his board had done this review and they really didn't know him great. I just tried to remember you know we’ll call him Chris as well you know I was just saying, “Chris look this is just one part of your life.”

“You are also great dad and a husband and a community leader and you know you teach yoga. You do like these three other things right so let's just try to remember that they’re giving you feedback on how they view.”

“Certain ways you lead an organization, but that doesn't mean they’re getting to judge you on being a dad, a husband, all these other things, but we sometimes drag all of that other baggage.”

Tiffany: Oh totally.

Jeff: Into you know.

Tiffany: Yes I think the more we can disconnect our work with the work right. I'm yes just disconnecting that worth in work can make such a difference. This is and again it's being objective. This is not about Tiffany personally.

These are some things that I'm doing that I need to shift or change. I always think about sports too Jeff. I'm like you wouldn't have a basketball team right? Golden state, I would not be not giving feedback right? They wouldn't I mean how do you improve your game or how do you win the game if you're not having that level of feedback because somebody knows we all have that blind spot.

You notice some things about me Jeff that I won't see about myself and I look to you to do that. The other thing I will say is that senior leaders, the higher you go up they say the less likely you are to receive feedback unless you're asking for it. If I'm leading a team and I want to start a culture of giving feedback yes, giving and receiving feedback then I have to be the first one to say please tell me give me you know and maybe that's a Survey Monkey to start. Then I ask for clarity and then we move to a place of one-on-one when we’re looking at each other eye to eye and really having those real conversations about the work.

Jeff: A great thought around the sports. You know it's fine for there to be coaches in sports and constantly doing feedback and looking at plays and running practice.

Heaven forbid in the workplace that we’d actually practice a conversation and be open to feedback about how you performed.

Tiffany: God forbid watch a webinar I did and say you did this. You talk too fast here. You said um five times. Like that's a really good stuff you know so when I can let me ego die down I’m like I just learned a new thing about how I can up my game a little bit.

Jeff: Yes, fantastic stuff and you know what happens to us often Tiffany is that it also takes a little bit of time. You know so we also just kind of move on to the next thing.

Tiffany: Yes, good point yes.

Jeff: I think it's all one of the practices that I’ve tried to do with my clients after someone has led a meeting is take the last 30 seconds or minutes just you know ask the question, “Hey what's one thing I did right today? If there was one thing I could've done differently to help with meeting.”

Tiffany: That's nice Jeff.

Jeff: Tiffany we’re coming up against another break here so what I want you to be thinking about is the way we like to close the show is share your best practices and tips around development and feedback and so we’ll spend the last segment of the show really with Tiffany your best practices and tips.

Tiffany: Okay.

Jeff: My best practices and tips. When we come back in two minutes Tiffany and I will give you our best practices and tips around feedback and development. We'll talk to you in two.


Jeff: Welcome back and really glad you could join us today. We’re wrapping up our conversation with Tiffany Quivers. Tiffany has been with us throughout the day. If you need a facilitator, a thought leader, someone to come and train you in especially in the DC area, she travels all around the world.

I highly recommend Tiffany. I promise you that it will be a great day and you will have a blast doing it because she's so much fun so Tiffany as we were talking before the break you know we really, we’ve covered a lot around development and feedback you know as you think about the leaders you work with and train and teach what are some of your breast practices, your sort of go to moves for folks when they come to you and want to talk about either development or feedback and you go wherever you want to go first.

Tiffany: I think so I've said this before, but I really—I’ll start with that question that Linda help poses, which is, “Am I leader that inspires and influences others to produce great work?” Am I a leader that influences and inspires others to produce great work? That influence and inspires again that notion of trust with the root of influence as trust.

We start there and then the second part produce great work is really about am I able to develop people and give feedback. That's the first thing I want leaders to be self-aware. I'm like turn up your self learning on hundred right what are we doing that inspires and influences others and then what do we need to do differently. That's the first place.

I always think the work starts with the leader right. It starts with the man in the mirror if you will. Starting there and then determining how we begin to create practices, often I feel like it's a reset. If I'm leading a team I'm going to do a reset around the culture that we need and that culture has to include feedback and development.

I love Jeff you hit on that. I keep saying it because they get so much of that relationships and possibilities so I do have leaders again this self-awareness. Am I more results inclined or more relationships inclined and being very clear on how that might either be helping or hindering my progress. I'll start there. I'll let you come in and then I'll tuck in a few more before we do part.

Jeff: Yes, you know there’s so much that we can do right in this area. For me excuse me Tiffany the most important thing is the word you used earlier and it's be intentional. You know I don't really care what you do.

Often what I find and recommend is to start with a really talented resource because you're going to stumble over your words a bit.

Tiffany: Yes, yes. Good point.

Jeff: You’re going to struggle a little bit with how you do things and so you know.

Just practice, practice some of those is great and by the way those are the people that had head hunters are recruiting and so if you just spend the time practicing feedback, asking them about their development and you stumble. It's okay. Just the fact that you spent the time with them will be a motivator. My encouragement for people is practice giving feedback and practice developmental conversations with your superstars first.

Because they’ll grant you a little bit more grace. Now when you get to the person in the middle or someone that's not meeting expectations those are a little bit more emotionally charged and so start with your top-notch people is the first place I go.

Tiffany: I like that Jeff and the other part I thought about with that that there shouldn’t be an intentional. This is who I am so again start at that point of building the relationship with that top person and if it's awkward if I can have them like hey build this sheet out. I really want to have a conversation. I care about you. I care about your development. Let's talk next week. That also helps you prepare if this is a new sort of muscle that you’re building if you will. Let them do the sheet. You do the sheet and then enter in that conversation, but make sure that you’re doing much more listening than you are talking in that conversation.

Jeff: Yes.

Tiffany: I think the second part I'll say about intentional, I said this before, but again 40% of what we do is inhabit that habit also exists within an organization so really identifying ways whether you're having weekly one on ones or 10/10 where you are asking for you know how am I helping or hindering? Again I care about your work. I care about our mission and service to that. How can I better serve you as your leader and use that to get feedback. Again if you feel like your people are hesitant because the relationship is not yet there maybe you do some type of confidential way that they can give you the feedback and then you begin to explore it and unpack it.

Jeff: You know one you may remember this too, but like I would sometimes take people to Dairy Queen or you know just someplace different. I encourage a lot of my folks.

Tiffany: Yes.

Jeff: Go for a walk.

There's an intensity sitting behind a desk.

You know even if you know get behind the desk and try to sit side-by-side, but I really encourage the walk and don't take notes. Don't bring it with you.

Tiffany: That’s right. That’s right.

Jeff: Again you didn't hear me saying not plan. You know so be ready for the conversation. Have what you have in your mind.

Trust that as you walk. The right words come.

The reason for like a walk is it's not quite so intense and enables you know you can have a good conversation so you know one of the things is just get out of the office and have a conversation.

Tiffany: I like that.

Jeff: Maybe walking maybe it's you know a Dairy Queen or someplace different just to shake it up a bit.

Tiffany: That's really nice do you know what else I'm just remembering now when you would leave us those calls Jeff and then again this is that collective leadership you would lead a team call to say what we had done really well that prior week. Do you remember that?

Jeff: Yes.

Tiffany: I don’t know if you would do that today, but you would leave this recording like, “Hey team fantastic. Tiffany knocked it out of the park with this. John did this. You know Sandy did this.” You would leave it like this and that would be the end of the week so you would sort of have this really nice way that you incorporated feedback at a team level and not just in individual so that just popped in my head. If there’s some way that people can do a collective really shout out and a bravo to your team. Not just focusing on the developmental, but you rocked on those particular thing.

Jeff: Well Tiffany the modern way of doing this since we don't have the voicemail systems landlines and things like that so much.

Tiffany: Right.

Jeff: On my good weeks I can’t swear to do it every week, but my good weeks I send an email at the end of the week.

Tiffany: That's it yes.

Jeff: Same sort of thing like I get to see everyone's what they do really well not everyone else gets to see it because they’re kind of off doing their own work.

It's a two-part process. One is pure recognition. The second part of it is and I think this important to the developmental learning is when I talk about Jennifer winning a proposal that might make Lee reach out and say.

Tiffany: That's right.

Jeff: It's also a form of development across the organization.

As well as recognition and quite honestly you know it is also a communication tool so that people know what the heck is happening in our company you know.

Tiffany: Again that pushes that to that collective leadership so to your point if I cannot win on proposals and you've given me feedback to up my game and then it needs to get to the point where I'm like Jennifer can I go with you right. You, we can I go with you? We do it together then I do it and you give me feedback, Jennifer not Jeff right because this is a team. Then I do it on my own. That's when we move to a place of accelerating these very results that sometimes get in our way.

Jeff: Yes, all right Tiffany we've got one more, about three minutes left. Any other last tips that you want to share with us?

Tiffany: I think the only other one that I'm playing around with at this midlife point of my own life is being values driven. When I don't want to have the tough conversation I know that my values are authenticity, integrity, respect, and compassion. I'm like you know in service to my values I'm going to have this really tough conversation and it's going to be awkward and that's okay. We grow in the awkwardness right, but in service and using that to push me through because that's when I think we get to leading a much more authentic and consistent way so we’re not moved by the circumstances, but we’re really grounded in the who we are. Let it guide us.

Jeff: Then live by your value system. You know we've talked about raising children and all that you know don’t jump off a bridge and all that kind of stuff, but really what I try to work with on our kids is just what you talked about like be the best Olivia, be the best Caroline.

Tiffany: That's right. Nobody can beat you at that.

Jeff: Be Henry.

I think that's a really important place to start from and when you’re centered in your own thing it's really great. My last thought on that before I wrap up the show here is I remember sharing atoms from The Ripple Training that you and I probably went through way back in the day.

I was I think in operations at the time and I wasn't giving authentic feedback to somebody and I was 24 years old and you know she said to me like, “You're trying to be a friend aren’t you?” I said, “Yes, yes.”

Like what kind of friend would not give them honest feedback so instead two or three years from now you’re going to call them in and fire them and they never had a chance to get better.

Tiffany: Wow.

Jeff: What kind of friend are you?

Tiffany: You said that to me Jeff you gave me that same feedback about someone else. You’re like, “You're allowing her to remain this way because you've decided not to give this feedback.” I was like, “What?” It’s the ripple.

Jeff: Tiffany thank you so much for being here.

During the week if you're trying to reach out to us it's Jeff@VoltageLeadership.com or it's VoltageLeadership.com. You can get us either way. If you want to give us a phone call it's 540-798-1963. Additionally you know if you've got thoughts or comments throughout the week please feel free to drop us a note.

It does help us shape who we’re inviting on to the show. Next week will have Jennifer Owen-O’Quill on the show. We will be covering a wide range of topics. Two weeks from now we're going to have Alan Schlechter on he wrote the book You Thrive: How to succeed in College and Life and teaches the most popular class at NYU called the science of happiness. We’ll have Alan on. In the meantime don't forget to check out our book from Aha to All In. That’s still on Amazon. In the meantime make it a great week. Thanks for joining Tiffany and I this week and we look forward to talking with you again next week. In the meantime create a great week bye now.