Sometimes the best thing you can do to help someone is a firm tap and playing a bit of a noodge.
The fact of the matter is that people seldom improve without some sort of feedback, and if you don’t help them with it, who do you think will?
I thought of noodge (or nudge) as I sent a note back to a coaching client asking them to rework their “lighthouse letter” – a product that asks exec coaching clients to put down in one page the conversation their grandkids/grandnieces – nephews would have if the now 100-year old client overheard them describing the client’s life.
Have a voice to the piece that’s in color, not black and white I suggested. Let’s hear a richness to the conversation, not something so monotone.
I still remember (fondly in retrospect) my undergraduate PoliSci teacher Sue Leeson turning something back to me with a note to rework what I’d submitted. “You can do better” she’d added.
Dr. Leeson, who later served as a judge on the Oregon Supreme Court, was right. I was skimming, getting by on the easy and shallow, and I was capable of much better. To this day I still thank her for that feedback.
And by that one simple step, she was also incredibly helpful.
Guest author J. Mike Smith is a executive, career, and leadership team coach, helping individuals, start-ups, teams and groups perform significantly better.
Communication image courtesy of Shutterstock