C: Welcome to Slingshot25’s Shotcast. A series of bite-size podcasts that will feel like an espresso shot to your brain. I’m Courtney.
J: And I’m Jackie.
C: Something we’ve been thinking about is feedback. You heard about how maybe now more than ever this young generation want a lot of feedback. We always talk about feedback. We’ve been talking about feedback for 15-20 years and one of the insights we have on this is that we want to hear things like that. You start to ask yourself how true is that really?
J: I always do. Well I have a few things to say about that if you’re interested in those today, Courtney. A couple of things that come to mind for me. I don’t really know this for a fact, but I have this feeling..
C: Is this a partially true story we’re about to tell you?
J: It’s a Jackie-fact. It’s a Jack Fact, if you will.
C: Oh! Jack Fact!
J: I wonder if what younger generations and when we say younger, you can’t tell how old we are when we’re speaking, although maybe you can. We’re talking about millennials, easy for me to say Millennials and GenZ. Yeah I’ve heard this idea that they really crave feedback. I’m wondering if what they crave more than anything though is connection and attention. They want to talk to people that they work with, that they serve, that they work for. And they want to have conversations about their work. And then maybe it’s not so much that they have a different kind of human need for feedback. Because I’ve had a lot of things to say about feedback and just in general how I think organizations need to be a little more discerning and a little more careful if you will, about how they use and solicit feedback.
Some things that come to mind for me right away and I talked about this a lot with people who have just gotten a bunch of feedback like via some sort of 360 assessment or something like that and it’s really tough to take that stuff in I remind them that you know to read through the feedback you don’t want to ignore it like ignore it at your peril. But it’s also remembered that for them to remember that is a pretty junky channel feedback is a pretty junky channel. It is actually junked up a lot by the person that is giving the feedback yet remember that they’re coming from some sort of mindset. Are they feeling like the bug or the windshield that day? That will be a part of the feedback and be present in the feedback. You won’t really know it. you can’t know that. The other thing is you’ll see some of their own biases, some of their own fears and shortcomings. All of that sort of shows up in this feedback and the problem with that is I mean once you know it’s there I guess that that’s great. but the problem is we tend to treat feedback as sacred insight that is virtually infallible. that you must now answer for it.
C: And I think of everything we do so it’s junked up from a who gave us the feedback but that it also gets junked up when you receive it. Our brains have we’re wired with a heaviness toward negativity. Right so we can see we can get a a feedback result I stopped reading trainer and I’m going to train her for over 25 years my career 30 I stopped reading the smile sheets at the end of it because people could say 15 good things and if one person said something bad that’s where all my energy goes and so we have a very hard time even if we get a meaning for tidbit of of wedding the good stuff sinking and land which would be valuable we overemphasize of a too much weight on the negative things and just makes processing feedback quite difficult actually.
J: you’re right. We often say that bad is stronger than good. That is exactly what you’re talking about, this human tendency to give more importance to things that are more dangerous to us and that makes me think about one of the great skills that anyone can have is the skill of being able to self reflect. I talk about self-reflection a lot. I remind people to always do it alone and it’s not something you want to invite people into. There’s a reason it’s called self-reflection. do it alone so that you are not tempted to protect your ego or justify your actions. in other words to sit in a moment of telling the truth on yourself. and if you don’t know how to do that, you don’t practice doing that, then getting feedback can be kind of dangerous because you won’t know how to sort through it or how to compare it to the things that you know to be true about yourself.
C: And then if you do have a place where you want to get another opinion right you do you’re done talking to yourself which I never get bored of talking to myself. you want to go after people who we talk about as a loving critic. Someone who is going to come from a place of believing in you, caring about you. It’s not about their agenda, it’s about you. And they love you enough to give you feedback and want you to be better. When we do it like that we’re going to look at ourselves we’re going to sit with people who care about us and look honestly then feedback and start to be a room helpful thing and having us drive different behaviors get better and grow.
J: I love it. That’s so true. I’d like to wrap us up here if I can Courtney with just one more little fact or maybe this is a jack a jack fact now. I can say something more about a bit of a tangent here but it’s related to feedback and that is this idea of anonymous feedback. there’s a lot of anonymous feedback in the workplace and in many cases rightly so. We often do really large surveys inside companies so you can collect a lot of voices at once. and essentially those voices are speaking to the highest levels of the organization, which is really the only reason you want it to ever do anonymous feedback is if there is an unsafe or really large power differential between the person who’s giving the feedback and the person who is receiving. That’s really the reason to do Anonymous feedback. The problem is if you over play the anonymous feedback angle and you don’t really think about the potential dangers of doing Anonymous feedback it can be a bit disruptive. because what will end up happening is people who have a lot of grievance or resentment, they get a platform to be able to position that feedback like it is really brilliant Insight. when indeed is not and if that person it was asked to sit down at the table and have to be accountable for what they’re also bringing to the party, we would actually get somewhere
C: yeah I know you don’t have to look any further than social media to see tons of evidence of this. It translates differently in the work environment, but social media people can be mean. they can be cruel. they can be completely insensitive because they’re not honest and if they had to look if they actually sat across the table from the person they would not say those things. and when it comes to the corporate environment is similar we want to have a space where ideas can be exchanged we can have tough conversations we can do difficult things we can work 4 through issues together and if we create an environment where were you scared, right it’s not safe for people to talk to each other we have bigger problems.
J: That’s right so if you find yourself drawn into your organization why is there so much lack of safety and organization of people can’t speak up. so I think that’s
C: Well that’s it. So that’s all for this episode. We have so much more to say if you want to hear more from us you can drop us a line at slingshot25.com. Until next time…