Episode 006: Sheila Heen

About This Episode

Sheila Heen’s excellent talk unpacks the challenges and opportunities we face when we receive feedback. She identifies three different kinds of feedback: appreciation, coaching and evaluation, and describes how clarity in understanding the kind of feedback we receive helps us understand it more easily.

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Sheila Heen

Jared C. Wilkins
Podcast Host
@JaredCWilkins

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Feedback sits @ the junction of 2 core human needs: The need to learn & grow. The need to be accepted, respected & loved the way we are now.
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The fastest way to change the feedback culture in any organization is for the leaders to become better receivers.
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People all over the world struggle with feedback conversations.
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SUMMARY:

Sheila Heen’s excellent talk unpacks the challenges and opportunities we face when we receive feedback. She identifies three different kinds of feedback: appreciation, coaching and evaluation, and describes how clarity in understanding the kind of feedback we receive helps us understand it more easily.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Feedback is how we learn about ourselves and the impact we are having on the world.
  • Receiving feedback is a skill in which we can all get better.
  • Feedback sits at the junction of two human needs: the need to learn and grow, and the need to be accepted just as I am.
  • There are three kinds of feedback: appreciation, coaching and evaluation.
  • When feedback is incoming, we often look for what is wrong with it, which blocks learning.
  • Instead of immediately deciding if the feedback is right or wrong, work to better understand what the giver means.
  • We need friends who can act as supportive mirrors and honest mirrors.
  • The key to getting valuable and helpful feedback is to ask “one-thing” questions.
    • What’s one thing you particularly appreciate about me?
    • What’s one thing you see me doing—or failing to do—that you think I should change?

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  1. Think about your most recent performance review. In what ways did the evaluation affect your ability to hear the appreciation and the coaching?
  2. Most people have someone they rely on to be a supportive mirror. Heen talks about the need for an honest mirror as well. As you think about your friends and colleagues, identify a person you could comfortably ask to be an honest mirror.
  3. How might Heen’s advice about asking “one-thing” questions improve your process for asking and receiving feedback?

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Doug Stone

Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Evangelical Free Church of America

John 15:12-17

RELATED LINKS:

Triad Consulting

The Global Leadership Summit