Thanks for the Feedback - Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

Thanks for the Feedback - Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

Forget everything you've learned about giving feedback and learn how to receive it and avoid it.

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People tend to make compliments or criticize. It all depends on how you face with their vision about yourself, and that's what's this summary of the book "Thanks for The Feedback" is all about!

Has anyone told you how beautiful you look today? Or how totally unacceptable was the way you handled a problem? Or even guided you to achieve a different result than you imagined?

People love the compliment and fear the criticism. It all depends on how you deal with people's view of you.

Welcome to the world of feedback. You may find it a gift or a colonoscopy. And in the end, you'll grow up with it!

About the book "Thanks for the Feedback"

Originally published in English in 2014, "Thanks for the Feedback" was released in 2016 in Brazil by Portfolio Penguin publisher.

With humorous and intelligent language, the authors prepare us to sit in front of the boss, the husband, the wife, the parents and improve with each good and bad feedback.

About the authors Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Both Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen are founders of the Triad Consulting Group and professors at Harvard Law School. Their clients include HSBC, the Federal Reserve Bank, Unilever and public institutions such as the White House.

Doug, as he is affectionately called on his website, spans 22 years at the Harvard Negotiation Project, working and researching theories of negotiation.

Sheila spent 20 years on the project, specializing in tough negotiations, those where emotions are on the brink and relationships hold on by a thread.

Both also wrote the bestseller "Hard Conversations", which has made appearances on TV shows such as the famous Oprah Winfrey.

To whom is this book indicated?

Because it is focused on the person receiving the feedback, the book is suitable for anyone who has passed job performance assessments or received that mother-in-law's tip on how to raise children or even got a police sermon in a police checkpoint.

Also, for people who constantly need to give feedback and want to feel the other way to improve their skills.

Main ideas of the book "Thanks for the Feedback"

The authors bring a lot of interesting ideas to all feedback recipients!

  • What feedback is and how it impacts our emotions;
  • How to deal with truth, relationship, and identity triggers;
  • YES can disregard feedbacks that add nothing to us.

Curious to grow through criticism without feeling downcast? Come on!

Download the "Thanks For The Feedback" Book Summary in PDF for free

Do you have no time to read now? Then download the free PDF and read wherever and whenever you want:

[Book Summary] Thanks For The Feedback - Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

Overview: "The Feedback Challenge"

Let's start this PocketBook by explaining what 'Feedback' is, and if you don't know it yet, my feedback is to try to know, because it's happening all the time.

"Feedback is any information you receive about yourself." This can be positive or negative, totally insensitive and ungrateful, but also enlightening and aggrandizing. Sometimes we don't even realize we've received one.

Receiving feedback well is a skill that can be gained. And it's not the same as accepting everything they tell you. Even now, we need filters.

Our reactions to feedbacks are driven by triggers. And there are 3 types:

  1. Real triggers: triggered by the content of useless feedback. Usually, the triggered feelings are indignation, offense, and irritability;
  2. Relationship triggers: tempered by the relationship with the person giving the feedback. Our focus here is on the boldness of the transmitter;
  3. Identity triggers: When the perception of who we are is shaken. We may feel embarrassed and question our way of being.

The triggers cited are obstacles to our positive involvement. They make it impossible for us to grow and to relate to the person who is transmitting it.

Overview: "The difficulty of seeing"

What we should first know about the content of feedback is that there are three types of feedback: recognition, orientation, and evaluation. Everyone is different, so the emotions and ways of dealing with them are different.

To be seen and understood, that is, to be recognized is indispensable. This need is very easily perceived in children, but it is not overcome when we become adults.

But there are also those moments that we need a different recognition, that the person who previously recognized us gives us guidance. That way we can feel encouraged to always do the best.

Finally, there is evaluation, that is, the classic feedback, which happens when a person expresses exactly their situation in relation to something. This type is more clearly and easily perceived in its positive and negative nuances.

Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone point out that we are moved by them, and that the silence or darkness of lack of judgment can lead to lack of self-confidence, while lack of recognition can leave a huge hole in any relationship.

The lack of guidance can be dangerous, leaving everyone confused, with low productivity, affection, and morale.

Stone and Heen give tips on how to keep recognition away from the other two types, as people usually need it more and feel offended if you recognize them with a "but...".

You need to understand where that feedback is coming from, the data that led the person to speak those criticisms, and the interpretation seen by the speaker's eyes. And also, where he goes, that is, you, the listener.

Ever wonder if the person criticizing you understands everything you did and everything that happened to be where you are now? Ever wonder if you know the speaker's real concern, and why does your action matter so much?

If you do not refrain from asking the person criticizing you, such as "what is the real reason why this behavior can cause problems?", a lot more effective and happy feedback will occur.

We must recognize that we have blind spots. Including you! That's right! You have a lot of blind spots just like me and the people you live with.

Have you noticed that you can't see your own face? Or that you don't recognize your tone of voice? Even your most absurd and all-encompassing behaviors are beaten by none other than yourself.

It is quite possible that someone has already asked, "Are you angry?" and the only thing you realized was that you were trying to focus on something difficult. This is the emotional math.

We tend to increase people's feelings and diminish ours. Which generates a great misunderstanding when we need to have the famous empathy, right?

Another thing that always happens is that we attribute our faults to situations and others to their character. And we believe our intentions are enough, but not people's. Funny isn't it? They are our blind spots.

To be able to see them requires the help of people, that they are sincere and, of course, give feedback.

Overview: "The challenge of us"

The big issue when we are having a dialogue is that we are two people who do not read minds. We do not know what the other really means, just as he does not know how we feel about it.

This can generate some irritation within a relationship when we receive feedback. It is totally normal. But we need to think about whether the person has credibility and reliability in the matter and in our life.

Also, how do I feel when I'm getting this feedback? We need to recognize in order to absorb and direct the conversation accordingly.

It is very common for deviations to happen. Whoever argued about something with anyone, and in the end, they were talking the same thing in different ways? Careful, it could be that they were really different things.

In this case, acknowledge the deviance and try to expose the other two ways of thinking, reaching a consensus.

There are also moments when we talk: "So-and-so is a tough little guy, see?". These people can see our worst weaknesses and leverage us in ways that an "easy" person wouldn't do.

The authors present a technique to make it easier for you to understand the feedback you received: take three steps back.

  1. A step back: "are the differences between us generating friction?";
  2. Two steps back: "Is this partly the result of the roles we play in the organization or family?";
  3. Three steps back: "Are processes, policies, the physical environment or other actors intensifying the problem?".

By doing so, you better understand the system that gave rise to that feedback, reducing judgments and increasing the responsibility of both parties, and may even reveal hidden causes in the reason for criticism.

Overview: "The challenge of the self"

In this overview, let's get a little closer to the danger. The identity trigger leaves dangerous feedback as it raises problematic questions about your relationship with yourself.

We react in totally different ways to feedbacks, and the way our neural network responds to it is called by circuit writers.

In this circuit, we have the baseline which is the way we see each other before feedback. If you have a vision of yourself that does a bad job, for example, any positive feedback elevates you, but the negative one does more damage.

The oscillation may vary from person to person. Some, even with the higher baseline, feel more negatives and positives.

In the end, we have our baseline and the fluctuation that can happen around it. What's more, we have the time that each oscillation peak lasts, called recovery.

Don't get too excited and try to measure it all. One researcher has seen that all this can vary by up to 3000% among people.

"Emotions distort our perception of feedback"

Always be aware of the feedback being received. You must realize that you cannot control what the world thinks about you.

And here comes the good news: All people talk about you is information and will never be conclusions.

How we tell our story influences how we receive and assimilate feedback. Keep the complexity of the things you have experienced and your feelings.

Change your mindset for growth, so even if you get a heavy chisel, you'll still be able to get around and know about it.

Overview: "Conversation Feedback"

In this part, the authors show that there must be a limit to the acceptance of feedback. Everyone needs limits, even momentary ones.

To do this, there are three types of limits and tips on how to get rid of people who don't respect them:

  1. "No thanks - I'm glad to hear your advice... and I may not follow you."
  2. "Not now, not about this - I need time or space, or this is a very sensitive subject for me right now."
  3. "No Feedback - Our relationship depends on your ability to keep your judgments to yourself."

You should always be explicit about what you are asking for, showing the moment you are going through; and what are the consequences for the relationship, coming to consent.

What do other authors say about it?

According to Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, authors of the book "Now, Discover Your Strengths", to increase company productivity, the key is to focus on employees' strengths rather than trying to improve their weaknesses.

In the book "Mindset" by psychologist Carol S. Dweck, it discusses how our beliefs shape our behavior and growth. While mindsets produce definitive worldviews, people can change by learning new skills. Human beings can be taught to respond in different ways, how to face challenges, and think differently.

In the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People", Dale Carnegie also talks about compliments as a way of influencing: One of the strongest characteristics of human behavior is the desire to be valued by others; We all enjoy receiving compliments and hearing that we are doing a good job.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

Almost the entire book talks about what the person receiving feedback can do to understand what's going on and feel better and comfortable growing.

Now what I want you to understand is how people dealing with feedback in organizations can handle this practice in order to optimize their staff outcomes:

  • Leadership and HR: Don't just announce the benefits, explain the dilemma of a performance appraisal. Do not confuse recognition with guidance or evaluation and promote a learning culture;
  • Team Leaders and Feedback Sitters: Always be the example to follow, as when giving feedback you will not be discredited. Manage your identity and mindset, giving feedback without self-confidence can shake the receiver's structures.

A reminder to your receiver:

"Whatever the context or the company, you are the most important person in your own learning. Your company, team, and superiors can offer or evade feedback. Still, no one can stop him from learning"

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Book 'Thanks for The Feedback'