How to Respond to Unfair Feedback


how to respond to unfair feedback, workplace culture, unfair feedback, responding to criticism

Negative feedback can be difficult to respond to, particularly when you feel that it’s unfair. A friend of mine was recently stung when his supervisor handed him a letter at 4:20 pm Friday afternoon. The letter outlined a series of complaints that my friend had been unaware of prior to receiving the letter – he didn’t even remember some of … Read More

4 Tips for Handling Negativity


People are porous—we absorb the feelings and attitudes around us. Things we often conceive of as individual and personal, such as emotions, are actually highly dependent on the people we are surrounded by. Merely watching someone engage in an action causes us to consciously or unconsciously mimic that behaviour. The simple expression of a frown or smile can cause us … Read More

Just a Little Respect


At ACHIEVE we have a workshop on Respectful Workplaces. At the start of the workshop I often ask participants what comes to mind when they hear the word “respect”. Almost every time I ask that question, someone will mention or even break out in song with a line from Aretha Franklin’s song Respect. This got me thinking about the history … Read More

A 5-Step Recipe to Give Effective Feedback


I used to dread giving feedback to others.  Like many people, I would either avoid the conversation altogether or get so frustrated I said something I later regretted. Once I learned specific skills around giving feedback, I felt much more confident in doing so.  Today, I aim to provide timely feedback in an on-going way.  This has led to much … Read More

Managing Difficult Responses to Feedback


closeup portrait of unhappy, angry, mad,. upset woman

  Have you ever felt like your feedback to a co-worker just wasn’t getting through? Recently I gave someone feedback that did absolutely nothing. In fact, the second and third time I gave the same feedback the behaviour didn’t change.  What was I doing wrong? I followed the five steps outlined in my last blog: I had an assertive mindset. … Read More

3 Ways to Foster Identification in Teams


  How do we create strong teams where people feel a connection to each other and to the organization? Friends in our workplaces are important, but so too is the larger sense of cooperation. Team building retreats, workshops, and team building exercises have become the norm for organizations who are seeking to foster team spirit. In Clifford Nass and Corina … Read More

5 Strategies to Avoid Groupthink

Josh Hay

27613896 - portrait of happy businesswoman holding clipboard

Have you ever thought of speaking up in a group setting and then stopped yourself? Why did you stay silent? Were you scared of appearing unsupportive, worried about sounding unintelligent, or doubting the validity of your idea? We all censor ourselves. We question our own common sense, second guess our alternative perspective, or think our idea is so obvious that … Read More

8 Assertive Communication Tips

Josh Hay

young lawyer sitting in a meeting room with some of her colleagues and smiling

Effective communication creates opportunities, strengthens relationships, helps us meet our goals and builds our confidence. The opposite is also true. Communicating poorly has disastrous results. Poor communication limits opportunities, hurts others – hurts ourselves, and generally makes us feel poorly. The good news is that no matter how skilled we are as a communicator, we can always increase our capabilities, … Read More

4 Workplace Behaviours to Validate

Josh Hay

closeup portrait of business people giving thumbs up

Many managers are like the individual who, when their partner complains that they don’t tell them they love them anymore, responds with, “I said I love you when we first got together and I’ll let you know if anything changes.” Similarly, many managers act as if hiring an employee is recognition enough, and they will let the employee know if … Read More

4 Tips for Addressing Sexual Harassment

Josh Hay

harassment with a boss touching arm

Consider this workplace scenario: a supervisor repeatedly comments on a young female employees’ appearance, telling her she looks “nice” or “attractive” or even “too sexy for work.” She looks visibly uncomfortable when he makes these comments, but says nothing. During one lunch break, the supervisor puts his arm around the employee’s waist. She pulls away, but the supervisor does it … Read More