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Dream of Excellence: A Great Way to Focus Your Feedback

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

You’re probably looking for practical feedback tips for improving your work team, and the idea of dreaming seems the opposite of excellence in the workplace. The only dreaming that may appeal to you is daydreaming about your next escape from the stress….

But if you are a manager with direct reports, a project leader, an expert who coaches others, or a team member wanting to give your boss feedback, the very best way to start is to relax and envision excellence from the person you are thinking about.


Envisioning–deliberately daydreaming–about success is by far the best way to aim your feedback toward the changes you need to request. Spending a few minutes visualizing success will impact your work in a big way and it will help your feedback receiver grow their career too!

When you think of that person whose work needs to improve the most, you see a laundry list of things you wish they would change. But if you finally start a conversation with them and nervously get all of those items out of your mouth, you’ll realize later that you jumped all over the place–from one item on the list to another. The other person will become confused and feel hopeless about fixing all of those areas.

#1 Daydream first

Start differently. When you are alone and in a relaxed state, picture the person doing great work and completing their goals exquisitely! Think ahead for about six months. What are the top 1-2 skill areas you see dramatically improved as you see the great performance? Make notes during and after your 5-10 minute envisioning session.

#2 Choose the top skill needs from your vision

Select the top area that really needs improving. If the person needs to organize better, for instance, break “organizing” into 2-3 component skills–say priority-setting and improved use of calendar software–and start coaching on those. It may take several coaching sessions to see them progress on any one component skill.

#3 Recognize their progress and coach on the next most important coaching topic

After you see progress in those areas, share your positive feedback and move on to another area, then another, etc. over the course of weekly, or daily, feedback conversations.

You will begin to see the progress you want and you will motivate the team member to keep up the good work and learn faster.

“Dare to Dream

If you dare to dream this way, your frustration will be transformed into positive “dreaming and success on the very things that are most important to you!

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