What is the easiest way to break your own echo chamber?
I’ve become quite obsessed with feedback over the last year and a half maybe. Mainly because I believe it is really hard to get useful feedback, and especially create a culture around giving feedback. For those who like podcasts I can highly recommend episode 1 of the podcast “Worklife” by Adam Grant which is called “How to love criticism”. The episode talks about a company called Bridgewater Associates who has taken this to the extreme. Now, I am not sure if every workplace can have, or should have, a culture like that, but I believe we still can learn a lot from it. And after listening to that episode myself I got myself a new obsession, feedback.
So far feedback is turning out to be as hard to specify as I expected, and even though I’ve read a lot I still have a million question about it. So I did an experiment and just wrote down a bunch of questions I could think of around feedback. Some I have clear thoughts about, others I have no idea. If you have any thoughts on them I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, maybe this list of questions will get you thinking as well. But let me ask you this; Can you remember the last time you got some really useful, maybe even unexpected, feedback?
- Why is feedback so hard to get right?
- What does good/bad feedback look like?
- How do we measure quality of feedback over time?
- What is the best way of asking for feedback?
- Are people so good at self reflecting they don’t need it?
- Are we too afraid to give feedback as it might affect how others think about us for it to work?
- Are we too afraid of receiving bad news for feedback to work?
- When is the best timing to give, or ask for, feedback?
- Are some areas of expertise, or communities, better at working continuously with feedback?
- How do we ensure that feedback is not a one-way dialog, and that feedback ends up being a power play from the givers perspective?
- How do we build a culture for lowering the threshold for giving feedback?
- Is it possible to receive actionable feedback from strangers?
- Where would you even go if you wanted feedback on a personal project, or started out doing something new?
- How do we teach how to receive feedback?
- How can we learn our body not to go into a flight or flee position when receiving negative/constructive feedback?
- Does more trust in a relation equal more feedback, or at least lowering the threshold for giving?
- How can we make someone hungry for feedback?
- Is a request for feedback really just a request for getting a recognition of something we do correct and want to hear it from others?
- Maybe feedback isn’t that important after all?