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Hi, I'm new here. I heard about the forums after downloading a podcast from iTunes. I was so impressed with the podcast I just had to check out the website! I'm sure I'll be an active member!

I am a Graduate Management Trainee of a Property Development Company currently doing a 6 month placement in the Construction Department. The Construction Director has asked me to do a report on my time in the department and my time on site.

Unfortunately there are just as many, if not more, negative observations/comments than positive.

Does anyone have any advice on the best way to present/write this report so that the comments are taken in the spirit they are intended? The fact is I would actually quite like a job in this area of the business when I have finished training, making some changes and making improvements in the areas I have observed.

Any help would be very much appreciated!

Mark's picture

Three parts to your presentation:

1 - Time-line/Work (when you did what, what you worked on)
2 - Accomplishments/Contributions (contributions are things you did that might not rise to the level of accomplishments)
3 - Insights Gained/Relationships Formed

You'll note there is nothing in here about what is messed up. Frankly, you MAY be right... but it's doubtful you've earned the right to say so. Think of it this way: why do we ask first before giving feedback? Because we don't control the other's behaviors. Same is true here. If they're not ready to hear it, it's unlikely that the person to make them truly aware is you.

NOW.

Is it possible that after you give this briefing (which will likely have "art"/material support/slides), you will be asked about negatives or opportunities or challenges? Sure. And because now it's NOT on paper, MAYBE you might say something.

If you feel that something is seriously messed up, and want to SOFTLY suggest an improvement - which you can clearly sketch out, rather than just say, "make a change..." you MIGHT get away with it if you had a good overall impact and the process or policy is easily changed and clearly ineffective.

BUT this is NOT for the faint of heart, and I would only do so AFTER they asked me a couple of times for the information.

AND, FINALLY, you would NEVER say anything about ANY ONE PERSON in particular, with the exception of you having videotape of them embezzling money, or watched them sexually assault someone. Management styles, lousy bosses, abusive language, pettiness, etc... all are OFF LIMITS.

Hope that helps.

Mark

ck_1's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Three parts to your presentation:

1 - Time-line/Work (when you did what, what you worked on)
2 - Accomplishments/Contributions (contributions are things you did that might not rise to the level of accomplishments)
3 - Insights Gained/Relationships Formed

You'll note there is nothing in here about what is messed up. Frankly, you MAY be right... but it's doubtful you've earned the right to say so. Think of it this way: why do we ask first before giving feedback? Because we don't control the other's behaviors. Same is true here. If they're not ready to hear it, it's unlikely that the person to make them truly aware is you.

NOW.

Is it possible that after you give this briefing (which will likely have "art"/material support/slides), you will be asked about negatives or opportunities or challenges? Sure. And because now it's NOT on paper, MAYBE you might say something.

If you feel that something is seriously messed up, and want to SOFTLY suggest an improvement - which you can clearly sketch out, rather than just say, "make a change..." you MIGHT get away with it if you had a good overall impact and the process or policy is easily changed and clearly ineffective.

BUT this is NOT for the faint of heart, and I would only do so AFTER they asked me a couple of times for the information.

AND, FINALLY, you would NEVER say anything about ANY ONE PERSON in particular, with the exception of you having videotape of them embezzling money, or watched them sexually assault someone. Management styles, lousy bosses, abusive language, pettiness, etc... all are OFF LIMITS.

Hope that helps.

Mark[/quote]

Wow! One-to-one tuition! (How to make a new member feel welcome!...)

Thanks for the advice, I will bear it all in mind. I have been making contributions along the way, as soon as I notice something that could work better I mention it and if it's something that can be changed I will, and if something has happened in the past to cause it I'll make notes to try and make sure it doesn't happen again in the future.

And no, I don't blame any one person for the things going wrong, I think most of the systems and procedures present in the organisation are historic and inherited and that's why they're not particularly relevant/suitable to the situation today (especially with new technologies available).

Most of the site team agree with the observations I make on a day to day basis but at the site level it's difficult to make changes as they apply from the top-down so need to come from the top. However part of the reason changes are not implemented is because problems and frustrations are not communicated back to the top. (Poor communication is one major problem to solve in itself!)

Thank you very much for the help, I will let you know how it goes!

Looking forward to more podcasts,

Carl