Thanks for the Feedback Book Summary - Thanks for the Feedback Book explained in key points
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Thanks for the Feedback summary

Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

4.3 (211 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen is a self-help book that teaches you how to receive and use feedback effectively. It offers practical strategies for dealing with different types of feedback and turning it into an opportunity for growth.

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    Thanks for the Feedback
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    There are three main types of feedback, and they serve different purposes.

    Have you ever gotten back an exam paper with a grade on it and asked yourself, “What do I make of this?” The grade might tell you where you stand, but it doesn’t help you if you want to know how to improve. It’s just the wrong kind of feedback.

    There are three main types of feedback that actually work: appreciation, coaching and evaluation.

    They each have different functions. Appreciation motivates and encourages, coaching helps you improve, and evaluation helps you understand where you stand, and what’s expected of you.

    Before a basketball game, your coach might give you a pep talk – that’s him coaching you. During the match he might encourage you from the sideline, by saying “nice shot” or “keep it up.” After the game, he will probably evaluate your team’s strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll know how best to continue training.

    Different situations call for different types of feedback. When you’ve already given your best and feel exhausted, it is important to be appreciated for your effort. In this situation, it wouldn‘t help much to be coached on doing things better.

    On the other hand, when you’re in trouble and actually need coaching, some cheerful appreciation like “you’re doing just fine” won’t help either. You need to learn what kind of feedback will help you in which situations, so you can go seek it out.

    So tune into your needs and wants. If you want to write better papers in the future, ask your professor for some pointers. Then you can improve by listening to their feedback.

    Learn to identify what feedback you need. It’ll be much easier to get it.

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    Key ideas in Thanks for the Feedback

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    What is Thanks for the Feedback about?

    Thanks for the Feedback is about learning from people and experiences, whether at home or at work. It sheds light on different types of feedback and their importance, and how you can take any kind of feedback in a positive, constructive way and use it to better yourself in your career and relationships.

    Thanks for the Feedback Review

    Thanks for the Feedback (2014) offers valuable insights on how to receive and utilize feedback effectively. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides a practical framework for embracing feedback as a tool for personal growth, enabling readers to develop a growth mindset.
    • By combining real-life stories and research, the book explores the different types of feedback and helps readers navigate through the complexities of giving and receiving feedback.
    • Its engaging and relatable approach makes the topic of feedback accessible and interesting, ensuring that readers stay engaged throughout the book.

    Best quote from Thanks for the Feedback

    Fact: Strangers give the best feedback. It is easier to take feedback from someone without any ulterior motives.

    —Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen
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    Who should read Thanks for the Feedback?

    • Anyone interested in self-development
    • Anyone interested in coaching and managing people
    • Anyone interested in the psychology of giving and receiving feedback

    About the Author

    Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen are lecturers at Harvard Law School and the co-founders of Triad Consulting, which has advised big names from BAE Systems to HSBC. They are also the authors of Feedback: Evaluation Challenge.

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    Thanks for the Feedback FAQs 

    What is the main message of Thanks for the Feedback?

    The main message of Thanks for the Feedback is that feedback, even when difficult, can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth.

    How long does it take to read Thanks for the Feedback?

    The reading time for Thanks for the Feedback varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Thanks for the Feedback a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Thanks for the Feedback is a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their relationships and communication skills. It offers practical strategies for giving and receiving feedback effectively.

    Who is the author of Thanks for the Feedback?

    The authors of Thanks for the Feedback are Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen.

    What to read after Thanks for the Feedback?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Thanks for the Feedback, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Feedback (and Other Dirty Words) by M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Dowling Grealish
    • Let's Talk by Therese Huston
    • Make Change Work for You by Scott Steinberg
    • The Discomfort Zone by Marcia Reynolds
    • Black-and-White Thinking by Kevin Dutton
    • Handbook of Strategic 360 Feedback by Allan H. Church
    • How to Lead Smart People by Arun Singh and Mike Mister
    • Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone
    • Four Seconds by Peter Bregman
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman