Why feedback is the essence of intelligence

 In Author, Delivery, Entrepreneur, Feedback, Learning from Luminaries, Luminary, News, The Winning Voice

‘Feedback is the axis on which your organisation’s culture turns.’

This quote, from an excellent article by David Rock – Using neuroscience to make feedback feel and work better – made me stop and think.

Other memorable quotes for me from the article include:

– Feedback is the essence of intelligence . . . allows us to develop more complex responses to the environment . . . allows us to follow a purpose.

-Typical feedback conversations are about as pleasant as a root canal.

-When you ask for feedback,

you’re licensing people to be critical of you . . .

it may feel a little more uncomfortable but you’re going to get honest, more constructive feedback . . . and you’ll avoid ‘brittle smiles’. (Brittle smiles refers to the feedback giver smiling too much and being overly positive with their words).

– Asking for feedback is the path to get to minimal threat response, because it appears to offer both the receiver and the giver much more psychological safety than a giver-led approach.

– Organisations would be wise to roll out the initiative according to three criteria, in an effort to get feedback that is less biased, that promotes a growth mind-set, and that cements the habit as part of the corporate culture. Those three criteria are:

Asking for feedback (1) Broadly (2) Explicitly, and (3) Often.

Own the Conversation

On reflection, in recent posts, it seems like I’ve been on a feedback band wagon.

Still, you, as a top performing executive need to model the way to improve your organisation’s culture – and that means modelling how to ask for, and give feedback.

Implementation idea

  • Within the next seven days – increase by 10% – your rate of asking for feedback, broadly and explicitly.


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