In this episode of the TalentGrow show with Halelly Azulay, Sheila Heen, CEO of Triad Consulting and best-selling author of Thanks for the Feedback and Difficult Conversations, shares some of her best insights on the art and science of receiving feedback. She explains what the three different kinds of feedback are (including why we need all three, but different amounts of each at different times), what the three kinds of triggered reactions we can have from feedback are, and the best way to receive vague or negative criticism. She also gives a fantastic (and highly actionable!) tip on how to ask for feedback: she warns of a common pitfall and offers a smarter way of asking that not only makes the other person more comfortable but helps to ensure that the ensuing feedback will be relevant and useful. This is an excellent episode for improving your communications skills as well as your inner-processing and emotional clarity. Don’t miss out and please share with others!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- Did Sheila’s second book, Thanks for the Feedback take 15 years to write?! (4:50)
- Halelly shares a story about how Thanks for the Feedback helped her in her own work (6:18)
- How Sheila came to her revelation that “giving is only half the equation” when it comes to feedback (7:25)
- “Receiving feedback is actually a distinct leadership skill” (9:25)
- Sheila talks about how it’s up to each of us on our own to take responsibility for the feedback we receive (9:41)
- The three kinds of triggered reactions we can have from feedback: truth triggers, relationship triggers, and identity triggers (10:38)
- An “unfortunate truth”: why we shouldn’t let the “who” cancel out the “what” (11:35)
- “Individual sensitivity [to feedback] can vary up to 3000 percent” (12:20)
- What does Sheila say is one of the things that’s been most helpful to her when receiving criticism? (hint: it helps you avoid those “drive-by” conversations that end up with you simmering, listing all the person’s character flaws, and thinking of all the snappy comebacks you should have come up with!) (15:10)
- The good news and bad news on how to harvest the benefits of poorly delivered feedback (17:15)
- When can drawing boundaries (turning away feedback) actually be really healthy? (18:28)
- What are the three different kinds of feedback? (20:09)
- What’s a better way for us to ask for feedback from people who aren’t giving us any, enough, or appropriate feedback? What are the three key words you should put at the start of all your requests for feedback? (20:58)
- What’s a question we’re usually uncomfortable about asking, but is actually “totally legit” and can be a positive experience both for you and the person you’re asking? (23:27)
- What’s Sheila’s final actionable tip? (hint: it has to do with properly processing upsetting/negative feedback) (25:18)
- Sheila talks about what’s new and exciting in her life (hint: it’s about a new book she’s currently thinking about putting together. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take 15 years!) (27:44)
- What’s the “good news” about having a name like Sheila Heen (actually, Halelly Azulay qualifies for this, too ;) )? (29:47)
- Get Sheila’s books: Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well and Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
- Check out Sheila’s company at Triadconsultinggroup.com - and help yourself to the free resources for improving your conversations!
- Check out Sheila and Doug’s author website
- Read Sheila’s Harvard Business Review article
- Read Sheila’s New York Times article
- Connect with Sheila on LinkedIn
- Check out the TalentGrow Show on C-Suite Radio
- Like the Facebook page of The TalentGrow Show!
- Join the Facebook group – The TalentGrowers Community! Share your advice, your progress, your successes and your challenges and questions. Interact with other listeners and with me. Let’s support each other in becoming the kind of leader that people *want* to follow!
- Download the 10 Mistakes Leaders Make and How to Avoid Them free tool
- Intro/outro music for The TalentGrow Show: "Why-Y" by Esta - a great band of exquisitely talented musicians, and good friends of mine
ABOUT SHEILA HEEN
Sheila Heen has been with the Harvard Negotiation Project for twenty years, teaching negotiation and difficult conversations at Harvard Law School and in Harvard's executive education programs.
She is also CEO of Triad Consulting in Harvard Square, where she specializes in working with executive teams on issues where there is strong disagreement and emotions run high. She has worked with corporate clients on six continents, with the US White House, the Singapore Supreme Court, and with theologians with disagreements on the nature of truth and God.
Sheila is co-author of the New York Times Business Bestseller, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin 2000), which has been named among 50 Psychology classics, and by Penguin as among the 75 most important books they have published.
Her new book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It’s Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood) (Viking 2014) explores the challenge of improving the quality of the feedback conversations that surround us in our professional lives and in our personal lives.
Announcer: Welcome to the TalentGrow Show, where you can get actionable results-oriented insight and advice on how to take your leadership, communication and people skills to the next level and become the kind of leader people want to follow. And now, your host and leadership development strategist, Halelly Azulay.
Halelly: Hey, hey there TalentGrowers. Welcome to episode 57. We always talk about how to give feedback in leadership training and lots of articles that we read around the internet, but that’s only half of the equation. How come we don’t talk very much about how to receive feedback? It’s such an important skill. And why is it so hard to take in feedback when we do receive it? I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow and host of the TalentGrow Show podcast, and this week our guest is going to help us with this. Professor, consultant and best-selling author Sheila Heen and she’s going to share with us her insights about how to better receive feedback, both formal and informal, direct and indirect, and even pick up feedback in the clues about how others wish we might change something about how we’re doing things, to become even more effective. And receiving feedback is a really important skill for all of us, self-leadership and leaders of others, and we can develop it. It’s not just up to managers to give feedback. It’s something that we can all and should all do more often and also ask for more often, and we need to improve our skills in doing so. We talk about the triggers that feedback often trips up in us and how to overcome them. Sheila also shares some really specific questions you can ask when you receive imperfect drive-by feedback, and ways to harness the benefits of even poorly-delivered feedback. Did you know that there are actually three different kinds of feedback? So when you’re asking for feedback, be sure you ask for the kind you need. And the three keywords that you should put at the start of all your requests for feedback that will produce instant, specific and helpful coaching. Are you ready? Well, let’s listen in to episode 57 of the TalentGrow Show.
Hey there, this is Halelly Azulay. I am so excited to have Sheila Heen on with me. Sheila is the CEO of Triad Consulting. She’s also a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School. She’s consulted with clients like Mitre, BAE Systems, HSBC, Unilever, Federal Reserve Bank and on and on. She has spent the last 20 years with the Harvard Negotiation Project, developing negotiation theories and practices. Sheila is the author of best-selling books like Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, and the one that we’re going to talk about today is Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It’s Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood). Sheila, welcome to the TalentGrow Show.
Sheila: I am delighted to be here.
Halelly: I am very happy that you are here and I look forward to talking with you about this topic, because it is one that I don’t think is covered nearly as much as necessary, but before we get there, in order for people to get a little bit of a sense of who you are, tell us about your professional journey. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are today?
Sheila: Well, like many people, I came to law school not totally sure I wanted to be a lawyer or practice law, but figuring the education and the discipline thinking and the credential would be helpful. I took the negotiation course from Roger Fisher, who wrote Getting to Yes, who was a hugely inspirational figure, during my first year of law school and I just fell in love. I thought, “I could do this every day for the rest of my life and I would learn something new everyday.” And that was more than 20 years ago. So far, so good. When I graduated from law school, I had already been working with Roger and colleagues of the Negotiation Project as a student and an intern and they offered me a full-time role, and then I was doing moonlighting on the side for a nonprofit consulting group in conflict areas in the world, doing mostly public sector work, and eventually we wrote Difficult Conversations, which took us seven years. Then my co-author Doug Stone and I founded Triad, where we do a combination of corporate work with executive teams, etc., and speaking along with nonprofit work and government work. And that was that. And it took us 15 years, I should add. It took us 15 years to write a second book, which is the one we are talking about today, Thanks for the Feedback.
Halelly: So when you say that, do you mean it took 15 years until you wrote another book, or did you actually take 15 years to write it?
Sheila: Well, it didn’t take us 15 years to write it. That’s an interesting question. Difficult conversations came out and it has done very well, and when you have a book that does well, your publisher wants to know right away when you’re going to write your next book. We felt like we kind of put everything we know into that first book. We don’t know anything else yet! So, we felt like we wanted to wait until we had learned something new and something big enough to be sort of book-worthy, as opposed to an article or a pamphlet. And so we were on the hunt for the next topic and trying to learn as fast as we could, so it wasn’t that we were writing that particular book for 15 years. We probably worked on Thanks for the Feedback for five years, all told. It just took us a while to feel like we were onto something that we felt was missing in the conversation around leadership and negotiation.
Halelly: I mean, your first book is absolutely incredibly influential in the field and so thank you for creating something that is so useful and meaningful. I came across Thanks for the Feedback when I was working with a client that was trying to completely overhaul their performance management system and this is a big trend. They were actually on the forefront of it. Now the pendulum is swinging hard in that direction of letting go of the traditional ratings and annual performance review and moving more toward everyday feedback, and so I was helping them create a way to make that change stick and train everyone in their organization and help prepare them for it, and your book came up. Actually, an article that you wrote for Harvard Business Review about the book was what first led me to discovering this, and it was like, “Wow!” We learn so much about how to give feedback, but a lot of the problem for all of us, for worrying about how to give feedback, actually probably comes from times when we received feedback in a way that was so unhelpful that we don’t want to do that for other people. So I’m really interested in hearing more from you about why do you think it’s so hard to give feedback?
Sheila: Well, what’s interesting to me is that when we try to help people have feedback conversations more often, the traditional approach is to work with people on how to give feedback more skillfully or more effectively or more often. And we do some of that work as well. But eventually we noticed that it wasn’t totally solving the problem. In other words, we’d come back to the same client or group of leaders six months or a year later, say, “How is it going?” And they would say, “Well, we’re still having trouble with those feedback conversations. Because even though I now try to offer it more skillfully or more clearly, it still isn’t working. I got a bad reaction, the person was devastated and unmotivated or we had a really good conversation but then nothing changed.” And so we were sort of puzzling over what else might help when it suddenly hit us that giving is only half the equation. And in fact, in any exchange of feedback, between the giver and receiver, it’s really the receiver who is in charge.
So we started to get curious about why it was so hard for all of us, honestly, to take in the feedback that surrounds us everyday. Because we’re not just talking, as you mentioned, about formal performance reviews. We’re talking about the direct and indirect, formal and informal, sometimes even unspoken feedback that are clues to how we’re influencing or impacting other people around us and the ways in which they wish we would handle things a little bit differently. Or, the ways in which we make it harder for them to do their jobs. And the more senior we get, the more reluctant people are to tell us, actually, to give us candid coaching, and so we started to get curious about what is so hard about that? And what might help? And we started to think maybe receiving feedback is actually a distinct leadership skill that if you got better at it, you don’t have to wait around for the perfect mentor to show up. If you’re determined to learn, nobody can stop you. Because you can actually take charge and accelerate your own learning. And we can have shared responsibility for us to have effective feedback conversations, whether you’re a giver or a receiver. So it’s not just up to managers to give it. It’s up to all of us to also go out and ask for it and help other people give it to us so we can hear it.
Halelly: I love it. It has a very empowering message that kind of reminds people of their need to be self reliant and own their own development, rather than put it into the hands of the giver of the feedback. And say, “It’s their fault that they didn’t deliver it well enough, or they didn’t give me enough of it or they didn’t give it frequently enough.” Whatever it is. That sort of allows you to wash your hands off of the responsibility you have for always improving and for seeking, being proactive and intentional, both seeking feedback and also seeking meaning in feedback that maybe is not well-delivered. So you talk about three triggers. I’d love to cover those briefly.
Sheila: Yeah. What we found is that as human beings, we have three kinds of triggered reactions when we get feedback. Truth triggers, relationship triggers and identity triggers. So truth triggers are all about the content of the feedback itself. Is this true or does it not really understand the big picture? Is it good advice or bad advice? It’s all about evaluating the quality of the feedback itself. And by the way, we’re really good at wrong spotting and finding what’s wrong with the feedback, why it wouldn’t work, why it’s not realistic, why we have much bigger problems so this is not what we really need to work on. So we can always find something wrong with it in order to dismiss it, based on truth triggers.
The second kind of trigger is the relationship trigger and this is all about who gave you the feedback. Because we often have a bigger reaction to the who than we do to the what. I don’t like them, I don’t respect them, they don’t know what they’re talking about, they don’t have any credibility, I don’t trust them, I think they have their own motives. I think there are a myriad of reasons why we have trouble with the who, and it’s not that we should pretend that there’s no problem with the who. It’s that we let the who cancel out the what. So, the unfortunate truth is that you can have somebody who doesn’t really have credibility or that you don’t like or want to be like and what they’re telling you might actually have some value for you. So, the trick is trying to separate the who from the what and to deal with each on its own merit.
And then the last are what we call identity triggers. This has everything to do with the story we tell about who we are. And also the way that we’re wired around feedback. Because in the course of this work, we found some evidence that suggests that individual sensitivity to feedback, meaning how upset do you get and how long does it take you to recover, if it’s negative feedback. Even for positive feedback, like how happy does that make you and how long do you sustain that positive feeling? Individual sensitivity can vary by up to 3,000 percent. And so now we’re on teams and we’re all supposed to be giving feedback to each other and we have really different profiles. And so thinking about how do I understand my own profile around feedback, and how do I coach other people on how to give it to me so I can hear it? In other words, “Look, I can be a little bit under-sensitive to feedback, so please, I’m requesting, be direct with me. I promise, it will help it get through to me.” Or you might be someone who would say, “I know I can be really sensitive and I can get a little bit defensive and I don’t want that reaction to scare you off. Because I actually do want to hear it. So here are some suggestions for when you have a suggestion for me, here are a couple of ways to approach me. Send it by email first and I can think about it, or please don’t send it by email. Just come talk to me in the moment. I really love the conversation.” Whatever the right advice is from you to others, that’s the conversation worth having.
Halelly: So it sounds like you’re suggesting like not only should we become more aware of those triggers that tend to make us shut down, but also what are ways in which we are able to hear feedback better and then coach others proactively who might be in the position to give us feedback to help them give us feedback in the best way for us?
Sheila: Absolutely. And by the way, our triggered reactions aren’t necessarily going to go away. We’re still going to have them. The trick is just not letting that triggered reaction be the end of the story, but instead to notice it and let it be the beginning of the story, to better understand the feedback rather than to dismiss it immediately out of hand. Typically, we decide too fast, based on what’s wrong with it, who you are, how you told me, when and were you told me which was totally inappropriate, why I suspect you told me … if we can figure out what’s wrong with it and I can throw it out, then relax and move on with my life. But there’s always something wrong. So that triggered reaction and wrong-spotting is a human reaction that we should notice and then actually engage with. Rather than letting it cancel out the feedback.
Halelly: Okay, so what do you suggest we do instead? Or after?
Sheila: Or after! So one of the things that has been most helpful to me when I am getting feedback is to reassure myself that I actually don’t have to decide whether I agree or disagree with this feedback right now. My only job right now is to better understand it. And that’s actually much harder than it appears, because feedback usually arrives as these really vague labels, like, “We would have loved to have seen more leadership from you, or if you could be more responsive that would be helpful. You need to have more confidence.” Those are really vague phrases that could mean any of 100 things. So, rather than react to the label, pausing to say, “So that’s interesting. When you say more proactive, say more about what you mean. Either looking backward, were there times when you expected me to do something I didn’t do? Or opportunities you think I missed? Or looking forward, into the future, if I were to follow your advice, what would change? Those questions, what specifically would change if I followed your advice?” That’s forward looking. Or, “Help me thinking backward, understand what you noticed that prompted you to make the suggestion to me.” Just helps me understand what my giver is trying to tell me in the first place. That conversation itself actually produces a better conversation in many cases, rather than a sort of drive-by quick exchange, that then I sort of dwell on afterwards.
Halelly: Yes, and simmer.
Sheila: And simmer, exactly. And make a list of all of their character flaws and problems!
Halelly: And all the things you should have, would have, could have said to them if you were more in the moment.
Sheila: Exactly. Snappy comebacks that I just didn’t think of fast enough.
Halelly: Okay, this is good. So let’s say you didn’t do that, didn’t do all those wise things you just suggested we do – ask for more or ask for input about forward-looking or backward-looking, and you did go back to your desk and started simmering. What are some other tricks that you can suggest that people can draw and harvest the benefit, or the good, from poorly-delivered feedback?
Sheila: The good news and the bad news is that these are rarely one-shot conversations. And so I can’t tell you how many times I have either not had time to engage a passing comment … part of the challenge is sometimes figuring out, “Was that feedback? It was sort of this passing comment about how it was great to finally get your,” fill-in-the-blank. Were you feeling frustrated that it was overdue, or let’s talk about that. Or, I have a triggered reaction and it’s like, “I can’t deal with this now.” So going back to say, “Hey, by the way, I wanted to just ask about something you said the other day, and it occurred to me that I didn’t pause to just ask a few follow-up questions, so I wanted to check in.” The act of doing that, alone, opens up a better conversation in both directions, because it shows someone else that you are paying attention and you’re not promising you’ll agree or that you’ll do it. Getting better at receiving feedback does not mean necessarily that you’re going to take the feedback. We have a whole chapter, actually, chapter 10 is about boundaries and when to turn away feedback because many of us have someone in our lives who is like an endless source of criticism and correction and if it’s undermining your sense of self or your confidence and ability to function, then drawing some boundaries of feedback is actually really healthy.
So, really getting better at receiving doesn’t mean you always have to take the feedback but it does mean that you have the skills to pause and understand it first. And then, maybe to experiment with it. Sometimes people have suggestions and we’re like, “I don’t think that would work,” but you might be able to try it out in lower-risk situations and see, “Actually, I could do this differently, sometimes.” Or, “This is not my biggest problem, so now I want to go back and talk to them about why I’m actually not going to take your suggestion but I wanted to let you know why. Or, the suggestion you made for how to solve this problem, I think isn’t totally going to work, based on some context stuff that you don’t have any reason to know. However, you are identifying a problem that I do think I probably need to address, so I wanted to fill you in on what I’m planning to do about it and thank you for pointing it out.” Even though the solution that they came up with, the suggestion, isn’t the right suggestion.
Halelly: Is there a better way for us to ask for feedback from people that either aren’t giving us any or enough or appropriate feedback?
Sheila: Yeah, well, so for first of all to ask at all is a big improvement. So often, we’re frustrated that they don’t seem to have any time for us, or have anything constructive to say. And by the way, there are three kinds of feedback – there’s appreciation, which just keeps us motivated to know that our efforts are actually seen and noticed by somebody. There’s coaching, which is anything designed to help me get better, more effective, more knowledgeable, etc., and then there’s evaluation, which rates or ranks me. It tells me how I’m doing against expectations. So, it provides some safety for me if I know I’m on track. But, evaluation doesn’t necessarily provide what I could work on next. That would be coaching. So, you asked how to ask. First of all, know what kind of feedback you’re looking for, because we actually need all three kinds. But we need different amounts and different kinds at different times. And the second thing is, don’t ask, “Hey, do you have any feedback for me?” It’s the natural question that we gravitate to, but it’s too vague and too general a question where people aren’t sure what we’re asking for and they’re not sure how honest they’re supposed to be.
A better question would be to ask, “What’s one thing?” And you can finish that sentence any way you want. The three key words are, “What’s one thing?” What’s one thing that if I changed it would make a difference to you, or what’s one thing you see me doing or maybe failing to do that you think is getting in my way? Or what’s one thing, if I worked on it in the next 60 days, you think would make a difference in the way I’m running this Monday meeting? The reason that is a better question is, number one, it doesn’t take a lot of time. People can answer it in a minute and move on with their day. It’s very specific that you’re asking for coaching and you’re hoping that they have something, and notice that it’s not, “Is there anything?” Is there anything will tend to get, “Oh, no, you’re great and perfect.” Whereas, “What’s one thing” recognizes that everybody around us has things that they wish we would do a little differently because it would be easier for them to work with us, or to do their own jobs. They’re just waiting to be asked to share. They’re not going to share that with us unless we let them know that we genuinely want it. “What’s one thing” says, “Hey, I know you’ve got a list, so just give me one of them.” That question has produced instant reactions and responses sometimes, and it tends to have really specific and useful coaching.
Halelly: I learned that from you and I use it all the time. It is really useful. And what’s also good about it – you can really continue to list the benefits of asking it in this way – but in addition, it helps narrow the scope so that the person doesn’t unroll the litany, the scroll of all the things that they’ve been keeping a list about for you, you know? It helps them kind of deliver just one of those things so that they don’t overwhelm you and it really shows an openness and an interest. And I think also when you were saying the different kinds of feedback and the key words were, “What’s one thing,” and you can fill in the blank for the rest of it. You could certainly use that if, let’s say, you don’t get enough positive feedback from someone, you can kind of force them to tell you what’s one thing that you think I’m doing really well on this project? Or what’s one thing that you’re most appreciating about my approach?
Sheila: And I think that we hesitate to ask for appreciation because we don’t want to seem needy or like we’re asking for compliments. But I think it’s totally legit to say, “I could just use some encouragement. What’s one thing I’ve been doing in the last month that has made a difference for you?” I think people will respond very positively to that, or even to say to a client, “Hey, as we move into the next phase, what’s one thing about the way we’re operating together that has been particularly effective for you? I just want to make sure that we replicate that and not lose it. So it would be useful for me to know.” People are pleased to tell them what they hope you keep doing. Because they certainly don’t want it to get lost. So I think you’re right. It’s particularly effective for positive feedback as well as constructive coaching and it’s true – I don’t know if you’ve had this experience – but sometimes you’ll get an email the next day with four other things, because overnight they thought, “Oh, shoot, I picked the wrong one. There were so many other things I wish I had shared for you to change.” And you don’t want to say, “Sorry, you only get one and you used it up.” You welcome the richer conversation, but it is amusing. But they’re continuing to think about it, after you have walked away. So that’s a good thing I think.
Halelly: So true. Well, we could keep going forever, but I know that people are almost getting to work if they’re listening on their commute or almost done with their run, so before you tell us what’s new and exciting with you, Sheila, what’s one really specific action that you can recommend that listeners take today, this week, that can help them ratchet up their own effectiveness as a leader or in communication?
Sheila: Well, one would be asking for one thing. But the other, I think, that has been useful to me is when I get an upsetting piece of feedback or from someone I particularly have trouble with, I automatically over a glass of wine with a friend am going to vent with what’s wrong with their feedback – who, what, when, where, why and how they gave it. But, I need to then, when I’m ready, go one step further to invite my friend to help me think about, “Okay, is there anything that might be right about the feedback?” Because 90 percent of it could be wrong, but that last 10 percent may have some value. It may be something I should be thinking about. Maybe they’ve completely misunderstood me, but that raises the question, “All right, why is it that I’m being so misunderstood or misperceived?” Maybe that’s something I should start thinking about, because they clearly aren’t understanding where I’m coming from or why I’m making the decisions I’m making and I can stomp my foot and feel misunderstood, or as a leader I can start to think about, am I sending conflicting signals or how could I be clearer? That’s legitimate. That’s feedback. So remembering to ask yourself when you’re done venting about what’s wrong, ask what might be right. And often a friend can help us see things that sit in blind spots that we can’t see by ourselves.
Halelly: I love that because sometimes we ask our friends and our friends are probably willing to go along with, to sort of join us in the venting. “What an idiot, etc.”
Sheila: “Don’t listen to them. They’re horrible. You’re great.”
Sheila: This is why we have friends, right?
Halelly: So it’s really nice that you kind of help your friend sort of reframe to look for what’s good and have that kind of objective, external, additional help to find what’s useful. There is probably something that’s useful about every kind of feedback no matter what kind of wrong-headed, how hurtful it is, which is why the title of your book is so brilliant, Thanks for the Feedback. Because feedback, in the end, it is a gift that someone actually chooses to tell you something.
Sheila: Yeah, and to me the title of the book reflects our ambivalent feelings about feedback. It’s sort of that journey from, “Yeah, thanks for the feedback. Goodbye!” to finding something that you genuinely can feel thankful for.
Halelly: That’s great, that’s really great. So, what’s exciting and new in your world? Do you have a new project or something that really has your attention these days?
Sheila: Well, we certainly had a hunt for the next project. As you know, it may take us a little while. Hopefully not 15 years! You know, I have been thinking a lot about the political dialogue of course, in the country these days, and also noticing that the narratives in the media, but also really in conversation, have become so stark. You’re a critic or a supporter, you’re red or blue, and I don’t think that that actually reflects the complexity of who we are and what we believe in. Either individually or collectively. So I’m pondering how we might actually complexify those conversations. Because the us/them narratives can over time become pretty unstable. And it feels like we’re headed in that direction. So, that’s kind of what I’m thinking about.
Halelly: Wow. Have you written anything yet about that, like articles or anything like that, to give us a clue into your thinking?
Sheila: Well, I wrote a piece in the “Modern Love” column for the New York Times, way back in 2008, because my marriage – I’ve been married for 22 years, 23 years – straddles the political divide. And so I did write a piece for Modern Love in the New York Times about that, and so yeah, I’m thinking about it. I haven’t written anything since, specifically, but have a couple of ideas churning over.
Halelly: Interesting. Sounds like –
Halelly: And it sounds like something that is very value-adding for our culture. Looking forward to reading more from you about that. That’s awesome. And so, how can people stay in touch with you and learn more from you and about you?
Sheila: Well, the good news about having a very unique name like Sheila Heen is I’m really easy to find. We have two websites, the Triad Consulting Group website has a nav called Help Yourself, and it has reader guides, team leader guides, etc., with good discussion questions for using both Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback. Tons of resources, prep sheets, all free. And then there’s an author’s website, StoneandHeen.com, that is just a slightly more personal approach to it but also links to resources for using both books.
Halelly: Great. We will link to that in the show notes. Are you active on social media? Should people follow you anywhere?
Sheila: You can follow me on LinkedIn. I don’t post very often, but yes. We try to put our resources up on the website so that leaders can download them and don’t need to reach out for them in more than one place.
Halelly: Great. I certainly appreciate your time and your insights, Sheila, and sharing them with the TalentGrowers community. I know that’s going to come in very, very handily for everyone who is listening, because we all need to seek more feedback, but also draw the juicy, wonderful nuggets out of whatever feedback we do receive, whether it is greatly delivered or not. So we appreciate your time, thank you.
Sheila: Thanks for having me. It’s been a delight talking to you.
Halelly: I hope you enjoyed this episode, TalentGrowers. All the links to all the resources we mentioned such as Sheila’s websites and books are all on the show notes page for this episode, which can be found at talentgrow.com/podcast/episode57. And while you’re there, be sure to pick up my free tool called 10 Mistakes that Leaders Make and How to Avoid Them, which will also get you signed up for my free short, fun and actionable weekly newsletter. I would love to keep in touch with you and that way you’ll never miss an episode. You’ll get information about my latest blog posts and also always a quick tip and some kind of new thing you can learn. And as you may know, we’re super proud that the TalentGrow Show podcast has been selected to be part of the C-Suite Radio Network of high-quality business podcasts. Check it out over there at C-SuiteRadio.com, and get lots of useful leadership advice and insights. Also join our growing community on our Facebook group called TalentGrowers community. Just go to Facebook, search TalentGrowers community. You’ll find out group. It’s a closed group which means only people who are members of the group can listen in to the conversations and share, but anybody who is a listener of the TalentGrow Show can absolutely join. All you have to do is just request to join and I’ll approve you. This is where listeners of the show support each other, I share some insights, we all share advice, we share our leadership development journey, questions, answers and so forth. Take a couple of minutes, go over to iTunes and leave us a rating and review to help the show be featured in search results on iTunes so that more people can discover the show, and gain value from the wonderful wisdom of all our guests.
That’s it for this episode. I am Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist and I thank you for listening. I appreciate you. Until the next time, make today great.
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