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Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well Hardcover – March 4, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Thanks for the Feedback is an extraordinarily useful book.  It's full of helpful techniques that can be put to use by anyone seeking to manage an organization, lead a team, engage a business partner, or navigate a relationship.... Stone and Heen have done a remarkable job of showing individuals and organizations how to leverage the enormous value of feedback, one of the most powerful instruments available for human learning."  

~strategy+business magazine

 
Surprisingly little attention has been focused on being an effective recipient of feedback. Enter Stone and Heen with a well-rounded consideration of "the science and art of receiving feedback well.” As they write, both of those disciplines are required to receive feedback in productive ways—not only in the workplace, but in personal life as well....the authors do an excellent job of constraining the applications to feedback usefulness while also exploring some of the other ways we can define what "feedback" consists of in our lives.
 
With a culture increasingly focused on the individual and the self, this book on developing the ability to accept and utilize the input of others constructively deserves a wide readership.
~Kirkus Reviews
 

"I'll admit it: Thanks for the Feedback made me unconformable. And that's one reason I liked it so much. With keen insight and lots of practical takeaways, Stone and Heen reveal why getting feedback is so hard -- and then how we can do better. If you relish receiving criticism at work and adore it in your personal life, then you may be the one person on earth who can safely skip this book."
~Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive
 
"Thanks for the Feedback is a potentially life-changing look at one of the toughest but most important parts of life: receiving feedback.   It's a road map to less defensiveness, more self-awareness, greater learning, and richer relationships.  Doug Stone and Sheila Heen have delivered another tour de force."  
~Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take
 
"Imagine an organization where everyone is actually good at receiving feedback. Collective anxiety would be reduced.  People would learn and grow. Impossible you say?  Thanks to this insanely original and powerful book, maybe not."
~Judy Rosenblum, Former Chief Learning Officer of Coca-Cola, and Founder of Duke Corporate Education
 
"Startlingly original advice for how to make feedback truly useful."
~Chris Benko, Vice President of Global Talent Management, Merck
 
"If you want to lead a learning organization, improving the quality of feedback is job one. This book is an essential guide to making that happen."
~Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, and author of Teaming
 
“Learning and HR professionals aren’t the only ones who will love this book.  It should be required reading for anyone receiving a performance appraisal -- and anyone who is striving to improve."
~B. Alan Echtenkamp, Executive Director, Global Organization and Leadership Development, Time Warner Inc.
 
“Accepting feedback at work is important, but in families, it’s vital. This simple, elegant book teaches us how.”
~Bruce Feiler, New York Times columnist and author of The Secrets of Happy Families


 

About the Author

Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen are co-authors of the New York Times Business Bestseller Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, Principals at Triad Consulting, and have been teaching negotiation at Harvard Law School for twenty years.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1 edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670014664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670014668
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reviewer TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen is a timely book that is well-written and full of sound and solid advice. It is full of examples which make it easy to understand and follow. It is an interesting and motivating book.

Many of us are used to giving advice. Yet, many of us can’t stomach the idea of someone giving us advice. May be, perhaps, there is a reason to it. Some people have the tendency to give advice to others even when it is not solicited or required. It is outright ludicrous to give advice to other at the drop of a hat.

The book discusses the three main types of feedback: appreciation, coaching and evaluation. Then the authors examine various “triggers” that often prompted people to receive feedback with a negative attitude. The authors lay much emphasis on the various types of “triggers”: truth triggers, relationship triggers and identity triggers. In a clear and enjoyable man, the book examines how one can spot the triggers and how to effectively deal with them. This is a useful book and should be read by everyone.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Hosting a leadership-oriented podcast causes me to read a lot of business books. This may be an unfair generalization, but my observation is that most books have about 70-100 good pages of content and then a lot of fluff. Much of it is re-baked versions of what we've read elsewhere.

I am happy to say that Thanks for the Feedback was a refreshing departure from that pattern. Well past page 200 I was still underlining and adding notes to the margin. Doug and Sheila are entertaining writers that keep it engagingly practical. Weeks later I'm still actively trying to avoid "wrongspotting" and watching for "labels". The chapter on blindspots is enormously valuable. I'm intentionally trying to seek the coaching in the feedback instead of jumping to evaluation. The book is dense with content yet very readable.

After interviewing Doug for The People and Projects Podcast, I can only more confidently say that the authors have deep knowledge and conviction about this topic. I consider this a must-read for leaders at all levels, and wholeheartedly recommend it for your reading list.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sarakins on March 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Obviously, this doesn't sound like an adventure laden caper across many continents with gangsters. For a self-help book, this has a contemporary voice and useful information. You'll learn:

- What to do when feedback feels like an attack on our identity
- When to take the feedback vs. create boundaries/change it all up.
- How to create a system that measures what kind of hold feedback has on your life
- How to re-direct unhelpful feedback.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Griffiths on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a short review: This book is not just strong, it's strong throughout. Most books in this category tend to have one or two big ideas, illuminated by a series of testimonials masquerading as case studies.

Not so here: examples are small and illustrative, and the focus is squarely on how to handle feedback. Tons of good suggestions, a strong framework, and surprisingly broad and applicable coverage.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jim Serger on March 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A must read for anyone who interacts with others--that is everyone for that part. Feedback is just that; a statement that we receive in a formal setting or nonchalant. Giving feedback as the two authors state can be rewarding for others as well as you "the giver", or it can be horrific as well, either way. Three takes on that-- helping you, helping themselves/the relationship and helping an origination/team.
The book is filled with information, stories on getting better results from/on feedback--the best statement in the book was " The ability to learn from feedback is what will shape your future most". The book really sets in motion the importance of understanding and giving feedback in a positive tone. "A good listener asks for help". They touch on leadership, coaching, mentoring, teams, one on one and creating a better quality relationship with others. Excellent book for the work place, sports, school and home front.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Frank L. Park, Jr. on March 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The authors successfully tackle the important but often stressful topic of receiving and giving feedback. They build on key principles they laid out (along with Bruce Patton) in their earlier Difficult Conversations. And once again, they offer powerful, practical, and good-humored advice that applies no matter which side of the desk you happen to be on.

Performance reviews are often botched, they say, when three conversations get tangled up. One is about appreciation, so that an employee is motivated and encouraged. That’s quite different from coaching, which is aimed instead at skill development and personal growth. And both of those differ from evaluation--rating where someone stands relative to peers and what he or she needs to do to advance.

At first blush readers may recognize echoes of important distinctions drawn in the earlier book between interactions over substance, feelings, and identities. (Miscommunication results when people talk past one another because they are on different planes). Performance reviews certainly have substantive, emotional, and identity dimensions, so can suffer from the same problem.

But the focus in this book is largely on how feedback within an organization introduces other complicating factors (such as power imbalances, culture, etc.) The authors also couple more recent research findings on emotional intelligence, nonverbal communication, and other important psychological research, with useful examples workplace conversations, both constructive and otherwise. Underneath the specific advice, I sensed warm encouragement about playing an affirmative role in the review, even if you are in the subordinate position. Much more is at stake than merely struggling through a stressful conversation.
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