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“Thanks for the Feedback” @sheilaheen and Doug Stone

This summary is some highlights from the book, I apologize for  the brevity of this one. This is an amazing book.  For more info, read the book or visit www.stoneandheen.com

Three feedback triggers:

  • Truth triggers – the feedback is wrong, unfair, unhelpful
    • separate appreciation, coaching and evaluation
    • first understand
    • see your blind spots
    • Ask these
      • What my purpose in giving/receiving this feedback?
      • is it the right purpose from my point of view?
      • is it the right purpose from the other person’s point of view?
  • relationship triggers – I can’t hear this feed back from you
    • don’t switch-track – disentangle what from who
    • identify the relationship system
  • identity triggers – the feedback is threatening and I’m off balance
    • learn how wiring and temperament affect your story
    • dismantle distortions
    • cultivate a growth mindset

“Each form of feedback- appreciation, coaching, and evaluation – satisfies a different set of human needs. We need evaluation to know where we stand, to set expectations, to feel reassured or secure.  We need coaching to accelerate learning, to focus our time and energy where it really matters and to keep our relationships healthy and functioning.  And we need appreciation if all the sweat and tears we put into our jobs and our relationships are going to feel worthwhile.” (p. 33)

To understand your feedback, discuss where it is: coming from: their data and interpretations and going to: advice, consequences, expectations.  Ask: What’s different about the data we are looking at and our interpretations and implicit rules.  Ask what’s right about the feedback to seek out what’ legit and what concerns you have in common.  Working together to get a more complete picture maximized the chances you will (both) learn something. (p. 76)

Another good tip in the book was asking: “What do you see me doing, or failing to do, that is getting in my own way?” On page 97, the authors write, ” we all have blind spots because we can’t see our own leaky faces, can’t hear our tone of voice and are unaware of even big patterns of behavior. . .  Invite others to be an honest mirror to help you see yourself in the moment.” (p. 97) Humans have a need for appreciation, autonomy and acceptance.

“Each us sees only part of the problem (the part the other person is contributing).” (p. 124)  One Step Back refers to you and me. Two steps back is the role clashes . Three steps ack is  the whole situation.  Everyone needs to look at their role in the situation.  Take responsibility for whatever role you have.  Investigate whether the differences between people are creating the friction.

Some good tips:

  • be prepared, be mindful
    • know your feedback footprint
    • inoculate yourself against the worst
    • notice whats happening
  • separate the strands: Feeling/story/feedback
    • accept that you can’t control how others see you
  • contain the story – make a chart of what this is about and what this isn’t about

“Most people are simply too obsessed with themselves to be obsessed with you.” (p. 179) “Their views are input, not imprint.” (p. 180) ” Give up simple identity labels and cultivate complexity; and move from fixed mindset to growth mindset” (p. 185)  “It’s helpful to break evaluation down into three constituent parts: assessment, consequences, and judgment.” (p. 201)

Three kinds of boundaries

  • Thanks and no
  • Not now, not about that
  • No feedback

“When turning down feedback, use “And” to be appreciative, and firm.” (p228) “There are four skills you need to navigate the body of the conversation: listening, asserting, “process moves,’ and problem solving.” (p. 233)  “Positions are what people say they want or demand. Interests are the underlying “needs, desires, fears and concerns.”” (p. 247)

The authors constantly asked people to use the question: “What one’s thing I could change that would make a difference to you?” (p. 260) “Coaching is a relationship, not a meeting” (p. 299)  “Need people who can be honest mirrors to help them see themselves when they’re not at their best, and supportive mirrors to reassure them that they can get better.”(p.299)  “Modeling is the most powerful thing you can do as an individual to improve the culture.” (p. 305) “Withholding important coaching because it might be painful – to them and to us- can do them real damage over time. We all need empathy and encouragement – supportive mirrors. But we also need clare and accurate information – honest mirrors.” (p. 307)

For more reading try “Getting to Yes” written by William Ury and Bruce Patton or “Difficult Conversations” by Stone, Heen and Patton.



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