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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Feedback Is Your Friend, When It's Done Well

June 12, 2014, 12:00 AM
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 It’s time for your performance review. Your boss opens with the compliments, preparing you for what’s coming next: the feedback you need in order to learn how to improve, and therefore grow in the organization, not to mention develop your career. It’s information you need to take in. But how do you process it, especially if some of the feedback may be difficult to accept?

Sheila Heen, a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and a founder of Triad Consulting, has written the book, with co-author Douglas Stone, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well. It makes the case for feedback, which we’re constantly giving and receiving, from the world of business to parenting. Why do we so often get it wrong?  

“I think we have a really conflicted relationship with feedback,” says Heen. “All of us have the experience of getting painful, cutting, unfair, off-base, poorly delivered feedback that not only wasn't helpful to us but was actually damaging.”

The well-intentioned friend, the inept manager, the sleep deprived business partner are landmines for delivering feedback that can not only hurt a relationship but also make a person question what it is he or she should be learning or doing differently. It can throw us off course.

“I think that that conflictual relationship really reflects the fact that feedback sits at the junction of two core human needs. Human beings are wired to learn and grow,” explains Heen. “If you look at any of the studies on happiness, getting better at something is a key piece of what makes life satisfying.”

For Big Think Mentor, Heen breaks down how to give and receive feedback in a way that ensures greater happiness and productivity. If you want to do your team, your organization, even your family a favor, sign up for a free trial of Big Think Mentor to take Heen’s full workshop on the art and science of feedback.

 

Feedback Is Your Friend, Wh...

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