You need to be clear and direct about what the task you need to be done will require;You need to ensure that people know that good or bad they come to you, to run ideas off of you;Never belittle those who work for you and with you;Always be objective at what someone is sharing with you;Be diplomatic in a gentle but firm way.
As a part of our series about “How To Give Honest Feedback without Being Hurtful”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lillee Jean.
Lillee Jean is social media digital artist who has a beauty tutorial website, and media website, as well as runs her YouTube and Instagram channels. She brings lifestyle, makeup tutorials and beauty blogging to the internet, as well as often vlogs for her fans. Lillee Jean is also known for her documentaries that air on her YouTube channel and are IMDB accredited, which she writes, directs, produces and acts in. She is a young entrepreneur and influencer, known for her advocacy towards the environment as well as matters to do with online bullying. Hailing from New York, she often touches on current event topics such as the current pandemic that is globally happening, as well as climate change. In 2020 she created a live web series, which she airs on her verified Instagram channel, called “Lillee Jean TALKS! Live”. It is also on her YouTube channel, as well as on her website, and is IMDB approved.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I was always interested in the arts, even from a young age, and when I started to get into makeup, the best place to go was YouTube. Once I started watching the artistry behind the makeup looks that were created I was hooked on color theory, and the art involved in creating beautiful pieces of walking art.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I think the fact that everyone treats each other with respect, we all have ideas that need to be heard, as well as we are all one big family is of great importance to being successful.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
That is such a hard thing to do. Every day I am learning and growing as a person. If I didn’t find what I do interesting, I would absolutely stop by now, so I can’t pinpoint one thing, the list would be way too long.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’m always leaving my eyelashes all over the place. One time, when I was first starting, I had put them down on top of the sink in the bathroom, when my mom went into the bathroom, she thought it was a bug and started hitting it. That pretty much made my day!
What advice would you give to other CEOs and business leaders to help their employees to thrive and avoid burnout?
You absolutely must listen to people. You need to think about giving them breaks, people are not computers, nor clocks to be wound up. Everyone needs a break, even if it is just to take a mental health day. I think more compassion towards employees, leads to better workers.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership to me is being there for people when they need you the most. If a problem needs to be resolved, you need to have alternate plans of action. People that work for you need to know you are a constant person they can depend on and will feel safe working for and with.
In my work, I often talk about how to release and relieve stress. As a busy leader, what do you do to prepare your mind and body before a stressful or high stakes meeting, talk, or decision? Can you share a story or some examples?
I meditate. I think everyone could benefit from meditating and creating a more worry-free zone for themselves. It certainly, for me, leads to fewer headaches.
Ok, let’s jump to the core of our interview. Can you briefly tell our readers about your experience with managing a team and giving feedback?
I’ve been doing this a while, but being young, a lot of people tend to underestimate my talents and abilities. I’m someone with a vision, and I know what I want. The most important thing to me is that my team can depend upon me for anything they need, whether it is to run ideas by me, or even if it is something personal. People need to know that the person they work for is always present.
This might seem intuitive but it will be constructive to spell it out. Can you share with us a few reasons why giving honest and direct feedback is essential to being an effective leader?
I can’t lie to anyone. It is counter-productive to me as the brand, and to me as a person. I think the only way to succeed is to be straightforward and honest with someone. Attempting to find excuses to address a situation has never been useful to me.
One of the trickiest parts of managing a team is giving honest feedback, in a way that doesn’t come across as too harsh. Can you please share with us five suggestions about how to best give constructive criticism to a remote employee? Kindly share a story or example for each.
- You need to be clear and direct about what the task you need to be done will require;
- You need to ensure that people know that good or bad they come to you, to run ideas off of you;
- Never belittle those who work for you and with you;
- Always be objective at what someone is sharing with you;
- Be diplomatic in a gentle but firm way.
Can you address how to give constructive feedback over email?
If someone is in front of you much of the nuance can be picked up in facial expressions and body language. But not when someone is remote.
How do you prevent the email from sounding too critical or harsh?
I do find that seeing someone in person can be easier to convey thoughts, and ideas. We do live in a digital world, and especially with the pandemic out there, we all still are somewhat working from remote locations. I try to be as direct as possible and give steps with bullet points on what I think we need to do to accomplish our goals. I also, for a healthy working relationship, ask for their suggestions too, this way all objectives are met, and everyone has a happy medium both ways.
In your experience, is there a best time to give feedback or critique? Should it be immediately after an incident? Should it be at a different time? Should it be at set intervals? Can you explain what you mean?
I think that the best time is after you have thought through what has occurred. At the moment, when something happens, whether it is good or bad, you might say something that is not as well thought out as you would have liked, and it might come out a different way than you wanted it to come out. I always wait, like I said, even if it is good or bad, to give a final on something.
How would you define what it is to “be a great boss”? Can you share a story?
I define that as being somebody clear in what they want, attends to the people that work for them with respect, and also with appropriate compensation.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Probably to respect each other more. I feel like there is a huge disconnect, especially with social media, for people to have respect for each other’s space, and thoughts.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Truer words could not be said, and I believe that anything in life that we do, should always come with a reminder to give back to society.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGQF-GZ2oWfgb1NN3QtJJlA (Lillee Jean)
Digital Art: https://www.deviantart.com/lilleejean
Thank you for these great insights! We really appreciate the time you spent with this.