You can send kudos, too…

Feedback, Habits, Mentoring, Motivation, Mozilla, Work 3 Comments

One of the awesomest new features in the revamped Rypple system is the ability for anyone to send kudos to anyone else. Kudos are a very simple, fun way to thank people for being amazing, doing a great job, going above and beyond the call of duty, etc.

It might sound sort of silly or contrived, but it turns out that a simple note of appreciation really can have a huge impact. Since I’ve started using Rypple to send out kudos, I’ve received a few notes from folks telling me that I’ve basically made their day. It’s a little thing, and doesn’t really take more than a couple of minutes out of your day, but it can really make a difference. We don’t often get genuine, heartfelt, positive feedback, so it’s really incredibly energizing when we do.

Everyone with a Rypple account (which is anyone, since everyone can sign up) can log in and send kudos to anyone with an email address. It’s totally wide open and anyone can do it — so if you have a few minutes sometime today, think of someone who’s done something awesome, head over to Rypple, and send them a kudos. The more you do it, the more fun it becomes.

Articles about focus, motivation, and feedback

Feedback, Focus, Motivation, Work No Comments

The Key to Effectiveness? Focus (Harvard Business blogs)

“One of the tough truths of management is that we all have trouble making choices. While older and supposedly wiser, we still often act like kids in the candy store who want everything. Some of the best CEOs and managers are those who stop things and get their companies or their teams focused. GE’s Chief Learning Officer, Susan Peters, notes that for successful managers at GE ‘prioritization and focus are keys to doing well. Sure there are other things that are not on the priority list, but you do them differently or more slowly.’”

Motivation – you’re doing it wrong (TEDTalk)

Dan Pink’s TED Talk about the science of motivation, and how there is a mismatch between what science knows and what businesses often do to motivate people. “Dan’s point is that rewarding performance mostly doesn’t work and often leads to worse performance.” The interesting part really starts around the 12:00m mark, where he stops talking about how rewards don’t work and starts talking about what does — autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

How to Escape Perfectionism (Harvard Business blogs)

“Critical feedback is helpful as long as it’s offered with care and support. But the feedback that comes from jealousy or insecurity or arrogance or without any real knowledge of you? Ignore it. And if you’re a manager, your first duty is to do no harm. As managers, we’re often the ones who stand in judgment of other people and their work. And when we’re too hard on someone or watch too closely or correct too often or focus on the mistakes more than the successes, then we sap their confidence. And without confidence, no one can achieve much.”

On Feedback (and some links!)

Feedback, Mozilla, Productivity, Work No Comments

I’m becoming increasingly obsessed with the whole concept of professional feedback because, done well, it’s the fastest way to learn and grow and advance. A lot of this is sparked by playing around with Rypple and trying to figure out how to make the best use of that system — but the basic idea of soliciting regular, lightweight, specific, and concrete feedback strikes me as a fundamentally solid idea. It’s sort of the personal development version of “release early, release often,” in a way, with a dash of “given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow” thrown in for good measure. Um, to possibly stretch the metaphor.

Anyhow, the problem is that it turns out that asking for and giving feedback can be difficult. Asking a good question is a lot harder than I thought, and giving useful and constructive feedback is complicated by a whole variety of factors. I generally learn by reading, so I’ve started digging around and reading as much as I can about feedback. I figured I’d start linking to the interesting stuff I find, in case other people might find it useful as well.

A bunch of this first batch are from the Rypple weblog, which is a good place to poke around — there’s lots of interesting stuff over there.

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