This TED Talk by Sheila Heen is an interesting insight on feedback. In it she talks about feedback being our relationship with the world, and the worlds relationship with us.
The challenge with this is that feedback falls at the junction of 2 basic human needs. The first being the need to learn and grow and the second being the need to be accepted and respected the way we are now.
Those that encourage and receive feedback well are rewarded for this. Research shows that individuals that do this in the workplace:
- Have higher work satisfaction
- Adopt more quickly in new roles
- Have higher performance reviews
So not only does feedback change you, it changes others perception of you.
But getting better in taking in what others share also doesn’t mean you have to take it all on board. We are hard wired to process this received information in many ways. And the fact that we can always find something wrong with the feedback means we could put it aside. But before doing so, it is worth noting what our ‘triggered reactions’ are. Sheila categorises these as:
- Truth triggers – one’s that make us think, “you’re wrong!”
- Relationship triggers – those that make you think, “who are you to tell me…”
- Identity triggers – making you feel aaaaaaahhhhhhh!
We are all wired differently so understanding these along with our reactions to receiving advice or guidance can enable us to filter and learn from the feedback that is relevant.
Don’t ask, “give me feedback…”
Rather than asking a broad question like this in an effort to improve, Sheila suggests asking the following:
“What’s the one thing you see me doing, or failing to do, that is getting in my way?”
From this question you will get very specific responses that are worth discussing, and ultimately help you learn and grow.
Learn more direct from Sheila by watching the full 19-minute TED talk here.
Want to watch even more TED Talks we have shared. Check them all out here.