Introducing the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030

– A decade-long plan to improve outcomes for workers starts now. Welcome to the commencement of the National Return to Work Strategy. The strategy is a significant
national policy initiative of Safe Work Australia. It aims to drive national action to improve Return to Work rates for workers with a
work-related injury or illness and to get better outcomes
for each individual worker. Collaboration was key to the
development of the strategy and is the key to its success. It leverages actions already
taking place across Australia. Safe Work Australia members
will work collectively and individually to engage the sector, implement the strategy
and measure its success. We all have an important part to play. The strategy is a broad,
evidence-based framework. So those involved in Return
to Work can determine how they can best contribute
to workers’ recovery and capacity to work. I trust this strategy
will inspire you to action whatever your role in the
Return to Work process.

How to make faster decisions | The Way We Work, a TED series

Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Krystian Aparta You’re probably familiar with FOMO. [This guy invented the term] That’s short for “Fear Of Missing Out.” It’s that feeling you get when it seems everyone else
is doing something better than what you’re doing now. But there’s another FO
you need to know about, and it’s far more dangerous. It’s called FOBO, and it’s short for “Fear
Of a Better Option.” [The Way We Work] We live in a world of overwhelming choice. Even decisions that used to be simple, like choosing a restaurant
or making everyday purchases, are now fraught with overanalysis. Technology has only made
the issue more pronounced. If you want to buy a pair
of white shoelaces online, you have to sort
through thousands of items and read through hundreds of reviews. That’s an astounding amount
of information to process to just buy two pieces of string
that cost less than your morning latte. Chances are you’ve experienced
FOBO when you’ve struggled to choose just one from a group
of perfectly acceptable outcomes. It’s a symptom
of a culture which sees value in collecting and preserving
as many options as possible. You might wonder
why all of this is so bad. It seems counterintuitive. Shouldn’t it be a privilege
to have so many good options to choose from? The problem is, FOBO induces
such severe analysis paralysis that it can negatively impact
both your personal and professional life. When you can’t make
decisions with conviction, you waste precious time and energy. Luckily, there is a way to overcome FOBO. Here’s a secret. With any decision you make,
you first have to determine the stakes, as this will inform
your decision-making strategy. When it comes down to it, you only really face three
types of decisions in life: high stakes, low stakes and no stakes. Let’s start with no-stakes decisions. These are the minor details of life, where there is almost
never an incorrect answer, and in a few hours,
you won’t even remember making the decision. A good example of this is
choosing what to watch on TV. With thousands of shows,
it’s easy to get overwhelmed, yet no matter what you pick, the consequences
are basically nonexistent. So spending more
than a few moments on FOBO is a massive waste of energy. You just need to move on. When it comes to no-stakes decisions, the key is to outsource them
to the universe. For example, you can whittle down
your choices to just two and then flip a coin. Or try my personal
favorite — ask the watch. Assign each one of your choices
to one half of your watch, then let the second hand tell you
what you’re going to do. Looks like I’ll be having the fish. That brings us to low-stakes decisions. These have consequences,
but none are earth-shattering, and there are plenty
of acceptable outcomes. Many routine things at work,
like purchasing a printer, booking a hotel or choosing
between possible venues for an off-site are classically low-stakes in nature. Some thinking is required, but these aren’t
make-or-break deliberations, and you’ll probably forget
about them in a few weeks. Here, you can also
outsource decision-making, but you want some critical
thinking involved, as there are some stakes. This time, you’ll outsource to a person. Set some basic criteria, select someone to present
a recommendation, and then take their advice. Make sure to avoid
the temptation to canvass. Your goal is to clear your plate, not to kick the can down the road. Now that you tackled low-stakes
and no-stakes decisions, you’ve created the space
and time you’ll need to handle high-stakes decisions. These are things like
“which house should I buy” or “which job should I accept.” Since the stakes are high
and there are long-term implications, you absolutely want to get it right. Before we get to work,
let’s establish a few basic principles to guide you through the process. First, think about
what really matters to you, and set your criteria accordingly. Second, gather the relevant facts. Make sure you collect data
about all of the options, so you can be confident that you’re truly making
an informed decision. And third, remember that FOBO, by nature, comes when you struggle to choose just one from a group of perfectly
acceptable options. So no matter what you choose, you can rest assured
that the downside is limited. Now that you’ve established
some ground rules, the process can begin. Start by identifying a front-runner
based on your intuition, then compare each of
your options head-to-head with the front-runner, one-by-one. Each time, choose the better of the two
based on the criteria, and discard the other one. Here’s the trick to avoiding FOBO. When you eliminate
an option, it’s gone forever. If you keep returning
to discarded options, you risk getting stuck. Now repeat this process
until you get down to one final choice. If you follow this system, you will usually end up
with a decision on your own. On the rare occasion that you get stuck, you will outsource the final decision to a small group of qualified
people who you trust and who are equipped
to provide you with guidance on this particular topic. Engage a group of five or less,
ideally an odd number of people so that you have a built-in
tiebreaker if you need it. Now that you’ve made your choice,
one last challenge remains. You have to commit. I can’t promise you that you’ll ever truly
know if you’ve made the perfect decision, but I can tell you this: a significant percentage
of people in the world will never have to worry about FOBO. Unlike the billions of people
who have few options, if any, due to war, poverty or illness, you have plentiful opportunities
to live decisively. You may not get everything you want, but the mere fact
you get to decide is powerful. In fact, it’s a gift. Make the most of it.

How to know if it’s time to change careers | The Way We Work, a TED series

Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Camille Martínez I was not one of those kids that knew exactly what they wanted to do
when they were growing up. In the last 15 years of my career, I’ve been an English teacher,
attorney, video game creator and now, a toilet paper salesman, selling millions of rolls
of toilet paper a year. [The Way We Work] Life is about finding the intersection
of what you really, really love with what you’re really, really good at. As simple as it sounds,
it’s really not that easy to find. After a brief stint as an English teacher, I went to law school and ended up
becoming an attorney at a big law firm here in New York City. Like most Americans,
for the next two, three years, I was holding on to my job for dear life, working really late hours at a job
that I thought maybe I was good at but certainly not one that I really loved. I then came upon the epiphany that it takes years if not
tens of thousands of hours to get really good at something. I really didn’t have
a lot of time to waste. This talk isn’t for those
looking to quit their job because they don’t like their boss
or they had a long day at work. This is for those that are ready
to make the completely scary leap into a brand-new career. So as you think about
making a career change, here are a few tips
I hope you consider and a few things
I’ve picked up along the way. First, there’s three things to think about
before you’re ready to move on. Number one: professional
life is about learning. If you’re not even interested
in learning anymore, that’s a huge red flag that there might not be
a future for you in that industry. Number two: career changes
are often gut-driven. If you constantly have sleepless nights where you’re wide awake staring
at the ceiling thinking, “Oh, man. I can’t live with myself
if I never try to make this change or if I don’t even
actually investigate it,” then trust your gut. It might be time for that career change. On the flip side, one reason to not move on
is short-term pain. If you don’t like your boss or people at the office
are grating on you, that’s actually not a good reason
to absolutely change your career, because when you do change a career, you generally have to start
from the bottom, and you’ll probably feel
a lot of short-term pain, whether it’s through a lack of
salary or lack of a title. Pain at any job is inevitable. So now you’re convinced
that it’s time to change your career. Then there’s three things
to do immediately. First: network, network, network. No one ever builds a career
without a good mentor or a good support network. What I mean by networking
is getting all the great advice that you can possibly get. Technology has made it so simple
to reach out to new people to say, “Hey, I’m thinking
about making a career change. Do you have just five
minutes to chat with me?” That passion and that hunger
and that ability to be a sponge really attracts awesome mentors and people willing to give you their time to give you some good advice. So go out there and meet new people. The second thing
you need to do immediately is shore up your finances. The reality is, when
you change your career, you’ll either start
with a job with a lower title or lower pay or maybe even no pay, especially if you’re starting
your own business. So going out there and making sure
your finances are in order to make the transition less painful is really, really important. For me personally, as I made
the transition from being an attorney over to a video game creator, I wanted to have at least six to 12 months
of personal runway in the bank. Six to 12 months might not be
the right number for you, but be honest with yourself
on what that number should be. Number three, if you’re not ready to make
the full jump right at this moment, then get your side hustle on. Side hustles could be anything
from volunteering with an organization that’s in the new industry
you want to go into, could be starting your business
part-time on the weekends. It’s a free way to get a taste
to see if you really love something. So you’re ready to make the move or maybe you already made the move. Here are three things
you should think about doing, right now. One: do not — I repeat —
do not burn bridges. You spent years building those bridges, why burn them now? The world is such a small place, especially with all
these online platforms, that, believe me,
you will see these people again and probably in the most
inopportune times. Number two: take stock
of what you’ve learned in your previous career or careers. Most likely, a lot of those
things are really applicable to your new job and your new career, whether it’s interacting
with people, playing on a team or dealing with jerks and assholes. All those things are really
universally applicable. You’ll find jerks no matter
what industry you’re in; no one’s immune to it,
everyone’s got to figure it out, and you probably know
how to do it already. Lastly, when you start your new job,
you’re going to be nervous. But don’t worry, take a deep breath, because this is what I want to tell you: you’re part of a new team now, and everyone around you
is rooting for your success, because your success is their success. So welcome to your new career.

How burnout makes us less creative | The Way We Work, a TED series

Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Krystian Aparta A few years ago, my obsession
with productivity got so bad that I suffered
an episode of burnout that scared the hell out of me. I’m talking insomnia,
weight gain, hair loss — the works. I was so overworked that my brain literally couldn’t come up
with another idea. That indicated to me that my identity
was linked with this idea of productivity. [The Way We Work] Do you feel guilty if you haven’t
been productive enough during the day? Do you spend hours
reading productivity hacks, trying new frameworks
and testing new apps to get even more done? I’ve tried them all —
task apps, calendar apps, time-management apps, things that are meant to manage your day. We’ve been so obsessed with doing more that we’ve missed
the most important thing. Many of these tools aren’t helping. They’re making things worse. OK, let’s talk about
productivity for a second. Historically, productivity
as we know it today was used during the industrial revolution. It was a system that measured performance
based on consistent output. You clocked into your shift and were responsible
for creating X number of widgets on the assembly line. At the end of the day,
it was pretty easy to see who worked hard and who hadn’t. When we shifted to a knowledge economy, people suddenly had tasks
that were much more abstract, things like writing,
problem-solving or strategizing, tasks that weren’t easy to measure. Companies struggled to figure out how to tell who was working
and who wasn’t, so they just adopted
the old systems as best as they could, leading to things
like the dreaded time sheet where everyone is under pressure to justify how they spend
every second of their day. There’s just one problem. These systems don’t make a lot of sense
for creative work. We still think of productivity
as an endurance sport. You try to churn out as many blog posts or we cram our day full of meetings. But this model of constant output
isn’t conducive to creative thought. Today, knowledge workers
are facing a big challenge. We’re expected to be constantly
productive and creative in equal measure. But it’s actually almost impossible for our brains to continuously
generate new ideas with no rest. In fact, downtime
is a necessity for our brain to recover and to operate properly. Consider that according
to a team of researchers from the University
of Southern California, letting our minds wander
is an essential mental state that helps us develop our identity, process social interactions, and it even influences
our internal moral compass. Our need for a break flies in the face
of our cultural narrative about hustling, in other words, the stories
that we as a society tell each other
about what success looks like and what it takes to get there. Stories like the American Dream, which is one of our most
deeply rooted beliefs. This tells us that if we work hard,
we’ll be successful. But there’s a flip side. If you aren’t successful, it must mean that you’re not
working hard enough. And if you don’t think
you’re doing enough, of course you’re going to stay
late, pull all-nighters and push yourself hard
even when you know better. Productivity has wrapped
itself up in our self-worth, so that it’s almost impossible
for us to allow ourselves to stop working. The average US employee only takes half
of their allocated paid vacation leave, further proving
that even if we have the option to take a break, we don’t. To be clear, I don’t
think that productivity or trying to improve
our performance is bad. I’m just saying that the current models
we’re using to measure our creative work don’t make sense. We need systems
that work with our creativity and not against it. [SO HOW DO WE FIX IT?] There is no quick fix for this problem. And I know, I know, that sucks. No one loves a good framework
or a good acronym better than me. But the truth is everyone
has their own narratives that they have to uncover. It wasn’t until I started digging
around my own beliefs around work that I began to unravel
the root of my own work story, finally being able to let go
of destructive behaviors and make positive, long-lasting changes. And the only way to do that is by asking yourself some hard questions. Does being busy make you feel valuable? Who do you hold up
as an example of success? Where did your ideas
of work ethic come from? How much of who you are
is linked to what you do? Your creativity, it has its own rhythms. Our energy fluctuates daily,
weekly, even seasonally. I know that I’m always more energetic
at the beginning of the week than at the end, so I front-load my workweek
to account for that fact. As a proud night owl, I free up
my afternoons and evenings for creative work. And I know I’ll get more writing done in the cozy winter months
than during the summer. And that’s the secret. Dismantling myths,
challenging your old views, identifying your narratives — this is the real work
that we need to be doing. We aren’t machines, and I think it’s time
that we stopped working like one.

6 ways to improve your relationship with money | The Way We Work, a TED series

Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz When you think about money and your dreams and you’re looking at your account, you’re like, “My bank account
does not align with my dreams.” [The Way We Work] Financial health for a typical
American household can be stressful. We know that 46 percent
of all Americans would struggle coming up with 400 dollars
in the event of an emergency. And 60 percent of all Americans
will face that emergency within 12 months or less. When you ask the question,
“What does money mean to you,” most people will say things like,
“I feel anxious.” And so the insecurities come.
The shame comes. I think we have a fraught
relationship with money, because it comes with judgment. When you’re not able
to pay your bills on time, you can personalize that. I don’t want anyone to think
that I’m not smart. I don’t want anyone to know
that I am very insecure with money. I don’t want anyone to know
that I am super stressed out. So now let’s change the narrative. [6 lessons on how to improve
our relationship with money] [1: Talk about it.] You can’t do it alone.
And that’s when your squad has to come in. It’s taboo. We typically don’t talk about our stresses
when it comes to money. We need to come together
as a group of friends, no judgment, no shame. Celebrate the fact
that we’ve made a decision that we want to have
a better relationship with money. That is worth applauding
or snapping your fingers about. Once you’ve done that, then you get real. Nothing should be off-limits. Where does this relationship come from? Why am I spending all this money
on things that don’t align with my goals? What are your fears?
What are your hopes? What are your dreams? But then we start to take action. What can we do this week?
Or what can we do this month? [2: Understand what money is] Money is not the end-all be-all. It’s the mechanism to accomplish
whatever your goals are. It does not define you. It’s just a mechanism
to accomplish what matters to you most. [3: Identify what matters to you … ] Ask yourself one fundamental question:
what are you saving for? If you’re saving for a car,
if you’re saving to pay down your debt, if you’re saving for that rainy day fund, it will include short-term goals and it will include long-term goals. [4: … and then really picture it.] Visualize what you’re really
trying to accomplish. A vision board is visual representation of what you’re saving for. So if we break it down,
go get a poster board. Get your markers, get your glitter. Take magazine pictures, cut it all out. Have that picture of that great trip. Have the picture of you
paying down your student debt. The vision board sounds like,
“Oh, how can that really help?” The point is your goals
need to align with your behaviors, and the vision board
is really a representation of where you wanna go
and then how you live your life, and in the meantime
are the steps to really get there. [5: It’s not what you make,
it’s what you keep.] It’s not about what you make,
it’s about what you keep. It’s about understanding
do I have the ability with what I’m making
to take care of my basic needs? And if not, what adjustments
do I need to make? And then we start to break it down
and talk about the tools. We start to say, “Do we have
our savings account, auto-save?” Set it and forget it,
or every day, put a dollar a day. Whatever that rhythm is for you, the goal is the rhythm, not the amount. You can start slow. You can start small,
but you have to start now. And then let me give you a trick,
we all have impulses. Many times, because
the phone is always with us, we start shopping. Go out to any site,
shop up, put it in your cart. Just don’t hit buy. Wait 24 hours, go back and ask yourself, “Do I really need it? What about these items map to my goal?” And if it’s nothing,
hit delete and you got your fix. [6: Be good to yourself.] It’s also important to know that your self-worth
is not determined by your net worth. This is something
that we can do better about. You celebrate your wins. And when you make that misstep,
no judgment, no shame. Just get back at it.

3 things new parents should consider before going back to work | The Way We Work, a TED series

Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz When I was pregnant,
I just got very frustrated. Don’t eat deli meats,
do this particular prenatal test. Why did you make that choice?
Why didn’t you make a different choice? I felt like I was being told to do things,
and I never got the answer to why. [The Way We Work] Sometimes in the world of modern parenting
you just can’t seem to win. If I go back to work,
I spend less time with my kid. What if they don’t get the attention
they need to adequately develop? If I stay home,
and give up my income stream, will I look back and regret my decision? There’s a lot of
conflicting advice out there about whether to stay home
or go back to work, so trying to make a choice between the two
can be confusing and emotional. You love your kids
and want what’s best for them, but how do you determine what best means
when everyone has a different opinion? There are many variations of parents
that a household can have, and I think more families
should be asking the question of whether it makes sense
for the male partner to stay home. But the truth is that in the current time, most of the discussions
about stay-at-home parents focus on women in particular. And it’s usually the women
who say they feel that what they do during the day
is gonna determine at a deep level what kind of mom and person they are. That is a huge weight
to put on yourself as a parent. And when you’re met with the side-eye after telling someone
you’re going back to work or not, it can poke holes in your confidence. I decided to dig in and find out. Is it better to stay at home
or go back to work? It’s an emotional decision, yes, but as an economist I’ve learned
that we can use data to help navigate through
those emotional decisions and feel confident we’re making
the best decision for our family. Specifically there are three main factors
you should consider before you decide. First, you need to think about how this decision will affect
your family budget. Let’s do some numbers. Say your total household
income is 100,000 dollars, with you and your partner
making 50,000 each. That means you bring home
about 85,000 dollars after taxes. If both of you work and the family pays
1,500 dollars a month for childcare, your total disposable income
would be 67,000 dollars a year. Are you with me so far? If you decide to stay home, your family makes less
but you don’t pay for childcare. Your disposable income
goes down in this scenario, but not by as much as it would
if you didn’t factor in the childcare. It becomes more complicated if childcare
is more expensive in your area. A full-time nanny
can run 40, 50,000 dollars a year depending on where you live. If that’s the case in your neighborhood,
in the scenario I outlined, it would completely wipe out
one parent’s income, and you’d be better off financially
with one parent staying home. Of course, this is only
a short-term analysis. Childcare is less expensive sometimes
when kids are in school, and you may make a higher income later,
so you wanna factor that in if you can. Once you’ve done the math,
you’ll know what’s possible and you’ll be able to make
a more informed choice, which should feel empowering. Second, it’s time to talk
about what’s best for your child. You may think this should be
the core of your decision, but there’s actually no right answer. According to studies
from Europe and the US, the decision to go back to work
or stay at home won’t actually make or break
your child’s future success. Research shows that two parents
working full-time has a similar effect on your child’s
future test scores and income to one parent working and one not. What seems to be most
important is the environment your child is in during their spare time. As long as they’re engaging
in enriching activities; reading, practicing their motor skills,
interacting with other kids, they’re gonna thrive
whether or not you’re at home with them. There is a bit of nuance in the data. For example, studies have found, that if both parents work, kids from poor families
are impacted positively, and kids from richer families
are impacted less positively. So depending on your
household configuration, the effects on your child
could be a little positive, or a little negative, but the overall impact is negligible. Now I wanna call out an exception:
maternity leave. There is a growing body of evidence
suggesting that babies do better when their mothers
take some maternity leave. The early days with your child
can impact their development, so if you have paid leave,
you should take it, and if you don’t, maybe consider taking some unpaid leave
for those first few months, if your budget allows. And finally, ask yourself, what do I want? While this may seem simple, it’s the factor that feels
most taboo to explore. In talking to parents I find that
when a woman chooses to stay home, she often feels obligated to say she made this choice
for her children’s optimal development. Which, sure, can be part of the reason, but a perfectly acceptable answer is,
“this is the lifestyle I prefer,” or “this is what works for my family.” The same goes for the working mother. Saying, “I like my job, and that’s why
I went back to work,” is enough. If you wanna go back
to work, that’s great. You’re lucky to have a job that you love and you have every right to keep it
once you become a parent. Be honest with yourself
about what you’d like to do. If you’re upfront about that,
you’re guaranteed to feel happier, which will allow you to be
the best version of a parent you can be, and isn’t that the whole point? There is no right and wrong
when it comes to parenting. The best decision is the one that will make you —
and your family — the happiest. Up to you to decide what’s next. By acknowledging that the choice
to stay home or not is just that, a choice, with factors pushing you
in various directions, we can ditch the guilt and enjoy
doing what feels best for our families.

How to embrace emotions at work | The Way We Work, a TED series

Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Krystian Aparta No matter how hard you might try, you can’t just flip a switch
when you step into the office and turn your emotions off. Feeling feelings is part of being human. [The Way We Work] A pervasive myth exists
that emotions don’t belong at work, and this often leads us to mistakenly equate professionalism
with being stoic or even cold. But research shows that in the moments
when our colleagues drop their glossy
professional presentation, we’re actually much more likely
to believe what they’re telling us. We feel connected to the people around us. We try harder, we perform better and we’re just generally kinder. So it’s about time that we learn
how to embrace emotion at work. Now, that’s not to say you should suddenly become
a feelings fire hose. A line exists between sharing,
which builds trust, and oversharing, which destroys it. If you suddenly let your feelings
run wild at work and give people far more information
than they bargained for, you make everyone around you uncomfortable and you also undermine yourself. You’re more likely to be seen as weak
or lacking self awareness, so, great to say you weren’t
feeling well last night — you don’t need to go
into every lurid detail about how you got reacquainted
with your half-digested dinner. So there’s a wide spectrum
of emotional expression. On one hand, you have under-emoters, or people who have a hard time
talking about their feelings, and on the other end are over-emoters, those who constantly share everything
that’s going on inside, and neither of these make
for a healthy workplace. So what’s the balance
between these two extremes? It’s something called
selective vulnerability. Selective vulnerability is opening up while still prioritizing stability
and psychological safety, both for you and for your colleagues. Luckily, anyone can learn to be selectively
vulnerable, with practice. Here are four ways to get started. First, flag your feelings
without becoming emotionally leaky. Bad moods are contagious, and even if you’re not vocalizing
what you’re feeling, chances are your body language
or your expressions are a dead giveaway. So if you are crossing your arms
or hammering on your keyboard, your coworkers are going
to know you’re upset. And if you don’t say anything, they might start to think
it’s about them and get worried. So if you are reacting
to a non-work-related event, so traffic for example, just flag it. You don’t need to go into detail. You can say something as simple as
“I’m having a bad morning. It has nothing to do with you.” Now if it’s a work-related event that’s causing you
to feel strong emotions, that brings us to point number two. Try to understand
the need behind your emotion, and then address that need. If you suddenly start to find
everyone around you irritating, sit back and reflect on that. And it might be that you’re irritable
because you’re anxious, and you’re anxious because you’re worried
about hitting a looming deadline. And in that case, you
can go back to your team to address that need
and say something like, “I want to make sure I get everything
done ahead of the deadline. Can you help me put together
a realistic plan to do that?” If you’re thinking of sharing, try and put yourself in
the other person’s shoes. So if what you’re about to say
would help you feel more supported and better understand the situation, then go ahead and share it. But if it gives you any kind of pause,
you might want to leave it out. And finally, read the room
and provide a path forward. If everyone on your team
has been pulling long hours, and you notice that one of your colleagues
seems particularly deflated or anxious, you can acknowledge that
and show some empathy, but then try to give
them something actionable that they could hold on to. And in this case, you could suggest that
you go to your manager and ask that your weekly meeting be pushed back a day
so you both have more time to work. You’re showing you’re invested
in their success, but also that you care
about their well-being. When we can be honest about what we feel, and freely suggest ideas, make mistakes and just not have to hide
every piece of who we are, we’re much more likely
to stay at the company for a long time. We’re also happier and more productive. So take a moment to reflect
on the emotional expression that you bring to work each day. And if you are prone
to oversharing, try editing. And if you’re a little bit more reserved, look for moments when you can
open up to your colleagues and be a bit vulnerable. And chances are,
there will be a big difference in how people respond to you. And selective vulnerability
might just become one of your most valuable tools.

The secret to giving great feedback | The Way We Work, a TED series

Translator: Brian Greene
Reviewer: Krystian Aparta If you look at a carpenter,
they have a toolbox; a dentist, they have their drills. In our era and the type of work
most of us are doing, the tool we most need is actually centered around being able to give
and receive feedback well. [The Way We Work] Humans have been talking
about feedback for centuries. In fact, Confucius, way back in 500 BC, talked about how important it is
to be able to say difficult messages well. But to be honest,
we’re still pretty bad at it. In fact, a recent Gallup survey found that only 26 percent of employees
strongly agree that the feedback they get
actually improves their work. Those numbers are pretty dismal. So what’s going on? The way that most people
give their feedback actually isn’t brain-friendly. People fall into one of two camps. Either they’re of the camp
that is very indirect and soft and the brain doesn’t even recognize
that feedback is being given or it’s just simply confused, or they fall into the other
camp of being too direct, and with that, it tips the other person
into the land of being defensive. There’s this part of the brain
called the amygdala, and it’s scanning
at all times to figure out whether the message
has a social threat attached to it. With that, we’ll move forward
to defensiveness, we’ll move backwards in retreat, and what happens is the feedback giver
then starts to disregulate as well. They add more ums and uhs
and justifications, and the whole thing
gets wonky really fast. It doesn’t have to be this way. I and my team have spent many years
going into different companies and asking who here
is a great feedback giver. Anybody who’s named again and again, we actually bring into our labs
to see what they’re doing differently. And what we find
is that there’s a four-part formula that you can use to say
any difficult message well. OK, are you ready for it? Here we go. The first part of the formula
is what we call the micro-yes. Great feedback givers begin their feedback by asking a question
that is short but important. It lets the brain know
that feedback is actually coming. It would be something, for example, like, “Do you have five minutes to talk
about how that last conversation went” or “I have some ideas
for how we can improve things. Can I share them with you?” This micro-yes question
does two things for you. First of all, it’s going to be
a pacing tool. It lets the other person know
that feedback is about to be given. And the second thing it does
is it creates a moment of buy-in. I can say yes or no
to that yes or no question. And with that,
I get a feeling of autonomy. The second part of the feedback formula
is going to be giving your data point. Here, you should name specifically
what you saw or heard, and cut out any words
that aren’t objective. There’s a concept we call blur words. A blur word is something that can mean
different things to different people. Blur words are not specific. So for example, if I say
“You shouldn’t be so defensive” or “You could be more proactive.” What we see great feedback
givers doing differently is they’ll convert their blur words
into actual data points. So for example, instead of saying, “You aren’t reliable,” we would say, “You said you’d get
that email to me by 11, and I still don’t have it yet.” Specificity is also important
when it comes to positive feedback, and the reason for that is that we want
to be able to specify exactly what we want the other person
to increase or diminish. And if we stick with blur words, they actually won’t have
any clue particularly what to do going forward
to keep repeating that behavior. The third part of the feedback
formula is the impact statement. Here, you name exactly
how that data point impacted you. So, for example, I might say,
“Because I didn’t get the message, I was blocked on my work
and couldn’t move forward” or “I really liked
how you added those stories, because it helped me
grasp the concepts faster.” It gives you a sense of purpose and meaning and logic between the points, which is something
the brain really craves. The fourth part of the feedback
formula is a question. Great feedback givers wrap
their feedback message with a question. They’ll ask something like, “Well, how do you see it?” Or “This is what I’m thinking
we should do, but what are your thoughts on it?” What it does is it creates commitment
rather than just compliance. It makes the conversation
no longer be a monologue, but rather becomes a joint
problem-solving situation. But there’s one last thing. Great feedback givers
not only can say messages well, but also, they ask for feedback regularly. In fact, our research
on perceived leadership shows that you shouldn’t
wait for feedback to be given to you — what we call push feedback — but rather, you should
actively ask for feedback, what we call pulling feedback. Pulling feedback establishes you
as a continual learner and puts the power in your hands. The most challenging situations are actually the ones
that call for the most skillful feedback. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Now that you know this four-part formula, you can mix and match it to make it work
for any difficult conversation.

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