The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback I purchased this book after hearing and admiring the author on a Tim Ferris podcast.
I believe that not being taught/educated about our emotions and thoughts and how to process them is akin to expecting people to reinvent the laws of physics and electricity generation after generation. This book is part of my ongoing efforts to better understand my mind, in this case through feedback: how I deal with conversations about myself.
I thought the book was fantastic! It could’ve been more concise for the information it provided, and in the end it turned into a full-fledged productivity book.
Practical points that I will take away from this book:
We go beyond the obvious begging for parents’ attention, but not the desire to be valued and recognized. It is best to acknowledge and accept this to yourself and others. Some forms of gratitude are less obvious. Asking someone for advice first when trying to solve a problem can feel grateful. And stopping it leads to a feeling of disapproval. The best way to solve a problem is to recognize the pattern that everyone is already seeing and ensure that they are working hard to break it.
We need to work on the conversation with the intent gap in mind. We judge our actions by intention, and others judge by how it feels. Often there are two conversations in one (“Why did you buy me red roses, did I repeatedly say I don’t like them?” It is (1) why you Will be a conversation about (2) why you don’t listen to me) →
We need to be aware of when this is happening and give space to both conversations. Many disagreements look like this. You don’t have to change a person’s personality to change the problem. Changing roles can help (if someone is wasting, let them take charge of the budget for better understanding).
If you panic about the feedback you receive, we recommend that you consider two things:
(1) telling yourself about what was said, and (2) thinking that you are threatened if the story is true. This helps to give you a distance to get closer to the actual situation. By praising effort rather than intelligence, people are much more willing to learn, take risks, and test themselves (intelligence worries them and doesn’t want to test / grow). So don’t say, “You are very smart!” Instead, say “You worked very hard!” (This includes self-talk). It is much more convenient to use “AND” when using “BUT”.
“I knew you were worried about me, so I had to do this myself.” Good remarks when receiving disturbing feedback: “This is annoying to hear because I haven’t seen myself or want to be like that.”
“I want to see you again” means “you are the love of my life” for someone and “fun” for others. “My advice to you is based on me.”
“You are the same” means “you are the same as to who I am”.
A year after winning the lottery, people are usually as happy or sad as they used to be.
65% of couples fight is about the same as it was five years ago. Positive and negative feedback is processed by different parts of the brain.
Gratitude at work is an important factor in how people feel about their work. The problem is not just the lack of gratitude.
If it’s not specific enough (thanks for everything), that doesn’t help either. Be specific when you try to thank.
- If you always have to do your best, you can’t stay motivated → you also need to feel the satisfaction of practicing new skills.
Three things to keep in mind when receiving feedback
You will make mistakes
Your intentions are complex
You have contributed to the problem