On the way to Easter Sunday mass, the boys and I caught a part of a segment on NPR, actually Bob Edward’s weekend on feedback. Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, law professors at Harvard, were being interviewed about their new book called Thanks for the Feedback. Their book is not about GIVING feedback but rather GETTING feedback. And while people in the corporate world get training and exposure to feedback and feedback is universal many professions do not give or get feedback that is effective. In my day, the feedback I give is far too much criticism on essentially small things. The feedback likely feels like criticism and feels LARGER than they are really. The feedback I get is also mostly criticism: you’re running late, no one called me back, you’re never open when I can come in, your paperwork is ridiculous. All criticism. We get feedback about everything and from co-workers, peers, loved ones and from strangers….everyone. Appreciation (the positive version of feedback) is what creates job (and life) satisfaction. Right?
I have been waiting for the segments to show up online somewhere so I could listen to the full two hour conversation. And here they are. I also ordered the book because I realize I need to reconsider how I use feedback, how I give it and how I get it. If I can re-frame what I perceive as criticism as really just feedback. I can’t begin to convey how much about this topic drives home to a central core place. This will be a good project.