You may have received training on giving feedback, but do you maximize how you receive it? On this show, discover how to get way better at accepting feedback.
Guest: Sheila Heen
Author with Douglas Stone of Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well*
Author with Douglas Stone and Bruce Patton of the New York Times Business Bestseller Difficult Conversations*
Feedback sits at the core of two human needs:
- Our need to get better
- Our need to be accepted, respected, and loved for how we are now
“Who’s giving the feedback is often a louder message than what they’re saying.” -Sheila Heen
The six steps:
1. Know your tendencies
- Baseline (or set point): a level of satisfaction that you gravitate towards in the absence of life events
- Swing: how far positive or negative feedback knocks you off your baseline
- Recovery: how long it takes you to come back to your baseline
- Recovery speed can be different for positive and negative feedback
- Understanding your profile can help you dismantle your distortions
- Also, this helps you to be more empathetic to others who have different styles than you do
2. Disentangle the “what” from the “who”
- If the feedback is wise, it shouldn’t matter who delivers it (but it does).
- Solicit feedback from the people who you find difficult to work with
3. Sort towards coaching
- Three kinds of feedback
- Appreciation: sometimes when people ask for more feedback, they really want more of this
- Coaching: helping you get better at something
- Evaluation: where you rank or stand
- Sheila uses this with her children to speak about their grades and what it says about what they can change
- Separating these three things is helpful, since evaluation is very loud and people don’t often hear anything else
4. Unpack the feedback
- Most of what we hear comes in vague labels.
- It requires you as a receiver to be a more active participant.
5. Ask for just one thing
- “What’s one thing you see me doing (or failing to do) that holds me back?”
6. Engage in small experiments
- “I don’t believe that receiving feedback well means that you have to take the feedback.” -Sheila Heen
- It’s hard to know if feedback is helpful until we try it out.
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