Are You Receiving Feedback Correctly?

It can be difficult to hear about the areas where we need to improve. Even if someone is skilled at giving feedback, listening to what we could be doing better can sting, even if following the advice would be good for us. We tend to ignore feedback that’s upsetting, and then we lose an opportunity to grow.


Sheila Heen, a Partner at Triad Consulting Group and the co-author of Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, provides insights into learning to give and receive feedback skillfully. In an exclusive 8-part workshop for Big Think Mentor, Heen teaches the strategies and goes into the psychology of the art of feedback and how it can improve our relationships and enrich our lives.

She explains the mistakes people often make when it comes to receiving feedback: “We're primed to look for anything that's wrong with the feedback: 'It was delivered at the wrong time in a totally inappropriate way.  It was completely unskilled, can you believe it.' And so we look for anything we can pick apart. And there are two problems with this. One is if we find five percent that's wrong, we throw the whole thing out, when in fact 90 percent of it could be wrong, but that last ten percent you could actually be just what you need to learn and grow."

The other problem, points out Heen, is that we put labels on feedback. If someone tells us that we need to be more assertive, for instance, then we start wearing that quality like a costume that doesn’t fit right, without fully understanding what it means. Making assumptions can prevent us from using the feedback productively.

For more on Heen’s insights, take advantage of this free workshop from her 8-part exclusive series for Big Think Mentor. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial to learn strategies from Heen and other thought leaders.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less