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Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well
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Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  5,279 ratings  ·  609 reviews
The bestselling authors of the classic Difficult Conversations teach us how to turn evaluations, advice, criticisms, and coaching into productive listening and learning

We swim in an ocean of feedback. Bosses, colleagues, customers—but also family, friends, and in-laws—they all have “suggestions” for our performance, parenting, or appearance. We know that feedback is essent
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Viking
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Mary The main focus is on receiving feedback, but there's quite a bit about giving it as well. It also tells you how to ask for feedback effectively.…moreThe main focus is on receiving feedback, but there's quite a bit about giving it as well. It also tells you how to ask for feedback effectively.(less)

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Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: business people, college students, bloggers
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it. Also, the version I read was an Advance Readers’ Copy and some changes may be made in the final version.

We’ve all been there. You go above and beyond busting your butt on the job for a year, but your boss’ evaluation says “meets minimum standards” and no pay raise. Your mother asks for the thousandth time why you can’t be more like your Nobel Prize winning sister who married a brain surgeon and has pr
Yevgeniy Brikman
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very useful read for just about everyone. Although the book mostly focuses on receiving feedback, it also provides lots of useful insights about giving feedback. There was a lot of insightful information in this book, but after finishing it, I must admit I struggled in terms of how to turn it into action. Hopefully, writing up these notes in GoodReads will help me to think through everything I learned, and perhaps start applying it my day to day life.

Here are some of the key insights:

1. Why yo
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Anything I quote may have changed in the final version.

This was a very difficult book to read! I am never good at being criticized, and magnify that difficulty by taking everything as criticism. Ha. I'm also in the position of giving feedback to a crew of librarians and can always use ideas for how to do this in the best way!

What I really like about this book is that it examines what the problems are, focusing on the
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Note: I received this book for free through the First Reads program.

Thanks for the Feedback attempts to break down why the feedback we get often seems unfair or invalid, why it is so difficult to receive feedback (hint: the two are related), and presents doing so as a skill that can be improved. The book is well researched and well documented, and the information is interesting and useful, for the most part. I found the following two insights to be the most helpful.

First, the book makes the dist
Jim Serger
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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-
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good. I assumed this book would be centered around "feedback" as in something you get from bosses at work (or similar), and while that is mostly the case, this book dives into far more than that tiny niche. This book is really about introspection, relationship building, and making interactions with others more pleasant and effective.

The feedback in question can be applied to any relationship: customer/provider, co-worker, subordinate/superior, and perhaps most importantly the marria
Jacob Fleming
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I would give this one 3.5 stars; I admit I had high expectations, but ultimately was a bit underwhelmed. There were definitely some good points and concepts, such as consciously separating feedback into appreciation, coaching, or evaluation. As the subtitle implies, this book is all about how to receive feedback, and Stone and Heen make a compelling case for how the receiver is the one who controls the ultimate impact of feedback. However, I felt that their advice on how to effectively and diplo ...more
Sergey Shishkin
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Even considering myself active feedback seeker, I still found nuggets of wisdom in this book. It is very well structured, is illustrated with case study dialogs and introduces clear, easy to understand models:

- How to differentiate feedback: appreciation, evaluation, coaching;
- What prevents us from taking in feedback: truth triggers, identity triggers, relationship triggers;
- How different people "metabolize" feedback based on their emotional baseline, swing and sustain/recovery;
- How biases an
Bill Morgan
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a must read for anyone out there seeking to improve in their personal and professional lives.

Feedback is everywhere and knowing that it is a powerful device, equally capable of bringing great benefit or great harm, helps us all navigate in our social and professional spheres.

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, is a book on the technique behind receiving, analyzing and engaging feedback. Most jobs in the modern world come with yearly (or even more frequent) formal evaluations. Most people receive other forms of feedback everyday, whether it be a criticism of your most recent project at work, tips from a co-worker that may or may not be wanted, or comments and conflicts with friends, romantic partne ...more
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm SO glad I started the year with this book, because its effect and its teachings are extremely valuable and they're also a perfect fit for this stage of my life.

"Thanks for the feedback" is a dense book, but its clear structure and helpful examples make it worth reading. The insights on how to receive and deliver feedback in a way that is helpful, meaningful and constructive have changed the way I look at feedback conversations (and most conversations too, even if they're not specifically re
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I dread feedback. I've dreaded it all my professional life. After reading the book I believe I had really bad experiences with feedback, both parts a culprits of it, but this book is great with helping with that.
It helped me put a name and understanding what is going on.
It thought me that I can not control how the feedback in given but I can control how to take it and get something out of it either things to improve or just experience on getting to know me better and the reasons I'm a certain wa
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I won this book through goodreads.Since we all give and receive advice,this book is a must read,if you are interested in being an effective communicator.I would especially recommend this book to supervisors,and also to men having difficulty communicating in a marriage.I found the text interesting,and motivating for my personal improvement.Like anything in life,we need to accept more responsibility for our communication with others.The first step toward better communication is to read this book.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
GREAT read. Very informative and chocked with tons of useful suggestions, some of which I've already been putting into practice. ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I’ve always thought of myself as being good at giving and receiving feedback but this book showed me that I have a lot to learn—and I’m excited by it. It looks at feedback in personal relationships, professional relationships and everything in between. There were times I felt triggered because I was able to see the ways that I didn’t give or receive feedback well and understand the disruption in the situation and relationship as an impact. Highly recommend people read this book, and read it ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a book I added to my 'to read' list years ago, when I still had to work with clients and employees (and how I recognized the process the cover made fun of!), and I'm afraid I was terrible at getting feedback, - although the authors say that most people are. Now that my almost teenage daughter is sometimes a little sceptical of some obviously sound advice her father gives her (there's a huge understatement hidden somewhere, but they might read this, you know ;)), I've decided to finally l ...more
Sarah Novak
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Thanks for the Feedback" is pretty skimpy with the science, but I found it to be an incredibly practical guide to improve feedback-type conversations. The authors define this scenario broadly -- everything from employees' annual reviews to nagging your significant other. They are communications/negotiations experts and do a great job providing examples of the many different types of feedback and strategies. Most of the material is geared around learning to receive feedback better, but you'll le ...more
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Highly useful, practical, full of explicit explanations why and how to take feedback better, yearn for it more, and change company culture.
It includes a humorous variety of rare names as the protagonists of the example stories which probably was meant to lesser the chance of someone recognizing themselves in these situations, but hinders reading, because it diverts thoughts to the effort they paid to find such names, instead of just being a bunch of random ones.
The style is abrupt and design w
Jordan Shirkman
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
There aren’t a lot of books about giving and receiving feedback (especially bad feedback!) well. This book is well worth the time for those of us who want to help others grow, communicate more effectively with coworkers, friends and family, and to develop a way to give, solicit and receive feedback personally.

There were lots of mini breakthroughs for me as I thought about being a coworker, husband, parent and friend. The overview of the three types of feedback (appreciation, coaching and evalua
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would read it several more times.
I found this book really helpful and highly recommend it--yes, to teachers and students and people in corporate land, but also to people in any sorts of relationships--I think almost anyone who has struggled with any sort of feedback could benefit from it.

Also, I listened to the audio book and snickered several times at the funny examples.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
It wasn't an easy listen, yet the takeaways are well worth it. I enjoyed both the theory and examples and noticed that I already try to squeeze some learnings in my daily life. Recalibrating your brain is not easy, but it might be very beneficial.
Let's learn to communicate better! So it's as easy as reading/listening to this book (and taking at least some of the advice) :)
Sean McQuay
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the best self-help books I've read. Lots of variety in examples, somehow all of them applicable with imagination. Helpful, concrete points that are explored in nuance instead of being "beaten to death." ...more
Erika RS
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, leadership, owned
This book takes a different perspective than most books on feedback and tries to help the reader get better at taking feedback rather than giving it. This was valuable to me in two ways. First, I am terrible at taking feedback, and this book helped me see ways I could improve and understand the patterns that make feedback hard for me (my tendency is to take feedback too seriously and become discouraged by my lack of competence at anything ever). Second, although the authors are mainly concerned ...more
Stefan Dimitrov
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love it when narrow-sounding books end up covering so much interesting topics you didn't think they would go to (in this case a lot broader psychology than I expected). It feels great to feel the book fit in your head with other fields you've read about.

This is a book like that.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I received a copy of Thanks for the Feedback from Goodreads First Reads.

This book is a true game-changer. I feel like the advice that Stone and Heen give in Thanks for the Feedback are very useful and practical, and I know there are way too many of us who need to learn how to give and receive feedback in a better way. It’s like I keep doing the same thing everyday and never realize that it could be better, and this book gives me concrete advice on how I can better myself – and, in turn, better o
Kressel Housman
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Receiving feedback and reading self-help books can be somewhat similar experiences. At their best, they’re instructive, but they can also put me on the defensive. Receiving feedback from a real live person does that much more powerfully than a book can, but on the other hand, a book is much more likely to bore me. This one mostly did even though parts of it contained excellent advice on how to reduce defensiveness in the face of feedback.

The book divides feedback into three types: appreciation,
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was our professional development book for work. I really enjoyed it! Feedback is something that I have always struggled with - this book offers helpful lessons while consistently acknowledging that conversation & feedback depends on the person (their wiring / triggers / character). They separate feedback into three areas: appreciation, coaching, and evaluation and unpack each one with dos and and don’ts. The focus is primarily on the receiver more than the giver of feedback. Super helpful p ...more
Avolyn Fisher
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, favorites
When I look back on the feedback I have received over the years, I can't think of one instance when the feedback was delivered well. It was either nonexistent, rude and unprofessionally given, or not exactly what I was looking to hear (I was seeking coaching but I got praise, or vice versa).

It's easy to point the finger and blame when we receive poorly delivered or inaccurate feedback. But unfortunately like the old quote goes, "You can't control what happens to you, you can only control how you
Chanh Nguyen
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Learning. about ourselves can be painful. Especially if we accept the idea of "I'm good enough as I am". That's what makes feedback difficult

1. Watch your thoughts/feeling/belive rather than trust them
2. The problem is that we evaluate the messenger much more than the message
3. Good/Bad intent lead to success/misery in the same formula
4. Subtract incentives from advice
5. The ability to stay calm and polite, even when people upset and anger you, is a superpower.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Tuesday Nights: Thanks for the Feedback Discussion 1 2 Nov 05, 2019 06:57PM  
The Magic 40 2 8 Jul 29, 2015 03:54PM  
Chapters 1: Triggers 2 14 Jul 08, 2015 07:20PM  
Introductions 4 11 Jun 30, 2015 03:19PM  

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Lori Gottlieb is a bestselling writer, psychotherapist, and author of the weekly "Dear Therapist" advice column for The Atlantic. Her new...
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“Explicit disagreement is better than implicit misunderstanding.” 8 likes
“Receiving feedback sits at the intersection of these two needs—our drive to learn and our longing for acceptance.” 5 likes
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