Hello all. I am going to be doing a breif experement here and blogging about it. I am going to give nothing but positive feedback to all of my directs for 10 days straight.

Hopefully it is insightful to all of here in the MT community. I just got back from the San Francisco Effective Manager Tools Conference. It goes almost without saying it was awesome. It is literally management Nirvana. During the feedback practice session I made a commitment with my other group members that we would each give at least 10 positive feedbacks by the Friday at 12:00 EST and email each other about it. I figured I would take it one step further and keep everyone in the community up to date on my progress.

It is 8:30 AM and I have already given 2 instances of positive feedback, both of them drive by's. The first one is to Yadira, my office assistant. Yadira, can I give you some feedback. When you come in before 8:00 I really appreciate it. Thanks. The second to Ed, a service writer here. Ed, can I give you some feedback. When you come in early and participate in the morning dispatch meeting I really appreciate it. Thanks. Both Yadira and Ed were a little surprised at this.

I will try to update daily. Any feedback you have for me along the way is much appreciated.

mikehansen's picture

Great job putting FB into practice right away! I found that the poker chips in the pocket approach is a great way to keep your goal on track.

For those who do not know, you put 5 (or some other number) poker chips in one pocket at the beginning of the day. Each time you give feed back, move a chip to the other pocket. It works wonders to keep you motivated to get those chips moved over every day!

I am glad you enjoyed the conference. Everyone in the MT community should make it a goal to go to at least one!


US101's picture
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Management nirvana it was. I'm totally inspired and humbled by Mark and Mike and all the great managers at the conference.

Good job already giving two positive feedbacks. 10 days in a row is good goal.

I've used two tricks to help keep myself going on a goal. One is called "[b]Chaining[/b]" by Mark Forster [url][/url] and the other I call "[b]The Phone Call[/b]" by Marshall Goldsmith [url][/url]

[b]“Chaining” [/b]is a form of competing against yourself to produce the longest chain of days in which you succeeded with your goal.

For example, your goal is to give positive feedback for 10 days in a row but then you only do it for 5 days in a row. You have just made a chain of 5 days. Now your aim is to beat your record of 5 days.

The great advantage of chaining is that it recognizes that we are almost certain to fail sometimes, but this a positive as it allows us to compete with ourselves to get better and better.

Just select one goal which you would like to establish in your life and see how long a chain you can make. There’s even a website to help you do this:


[b]"The Phone Call"[/b] takes one minute. It is simply having a friend, co-worker, colleague, family, whoever, call you every day and ask you if did you do your goal today. All you have to say is "yes" or "no." or some short answer. No discussion is necessary. One rule -- No negative feedback. No comments that might produce any form of guilt. Positive feedback is fine. The other person may have their own questions for you to ask them. It works well as a peer coaching tool.

Marshall has used this method for years with his good friend Jim Moore, former CLO of Sun Microsystems, Nortel and BellSouth.

This process works well because it forces each Peer Coach to confront how they actually live their values … every day. You find you either believe that something matters or you don’t. If you really believe it, you can ‘put it on the list’ and do it! If you really don’t want to do it, you can face reality and quit kidding yourselves.

Here's Marshall's 12 questions he get's asked everynight:
[list=]How much walking did you do?
How many push-ups?
How many sit-ups?
Did you eat any high-fat foods?
How much alcohol did you drink?
How many hours of sleep did you get?
How much time did you spend watching TV or surfing the internet?
How much time did you spend writing?
Did you do or say something nice for Lyda (his wife)?
Did you do or say something nice for Kelly and Bryan (his kids)?
How many times did you try to prove you were right when it wasn't worth it?
How many minutes did you spend on topics that didn't matter or that you could not control?[/list]

Marshall is almost 60 years old and he recognized if he could do this stuff on his own he would have done it by now. He needs help, someone to follow-up with him.

mikehansen's picture

Wow, great stuff on both techniques! I had heard of the phone call appraoch before, but it fell off my radar.

Perfect timing for me as I am focusing on personal goals a ton over the next month or so.



bradleymewes's picture

Here is a brief update. Some of my colleagues from the conference have cautioned me not to get too overzelous (I left a half hour early and missed the role out discussion). At any rate, I am still focused on nothing but positive feedback even though I have had to bite my tounge a few times to throw out some adjusting feedback.

Today I offered feedback to Juan (Parts Clerk) when he got reports to me on time. Another time I offered feedback to when Ed (Cost Estimator) was not only on time for a meeting we were having. Lastly, Tina (office manager) feedback for coming in on time and getting the morning report done on time.

So far I have got a lot of puzzled looks from people. The look on their face is something along the lines of...uhhh, why are you thanking me for that. You never say thank you for things like that. But a lot of smiles so far, and that is the point.


bradleymewes's picture

Hi all. Another brief update. My apologies for the delay in updates.

Monday was a tough day of feedback. After a long weekend with two back to back weddings (Saturday and Sunday) I started Monday much less refreshed than Friday. I managed to power through the day with 3 positive feedbacks. Also, with the weekend gone and a lot of the initial energy lost from the conference I found myself reverting to my normal ways of looking for problems instead of looking for what we are doing right.

Tuesday was tough again. I was out of the office the first half on the day so I didn't get as much time to give feedback. Again, I found myself focusing on exceptions instead of what we are doing right. But I was able to give 2 more positive feedbacks. One was to one of my service writers for giving great customer service. Another was to my parts manager for getting reports done in a timely manner.

Today, Wednesday, with the end of the month approaching and the pressure to hit our sales numbers (we are behind right now) coupled with a very poor saled day yesterday I find it very difficult to keep giving positive feedback. I started out the morning with a little bit of "tough love" as they call it. In other words I pointed out our deficiencies first. I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do but I felt I could not ignore our current sales figures.

At any rate I am still focusing on positve feedback, and will continue to do so while still running a business. Any feedabck from all of you will be much appreciated.