In her book Lean In, executive Sheryl Sandberg offers observations and advice on many topics, but her thoughts on feedback really resonated with me.
Sandberg writes: “Feedback is not truth. It is an observation grounded in impressions and observations. There is rarely one absolute truth. It is not the truth. It is my truth and your truth, but feedback allows us to know the impression we make on others.”
Sandberg suggests that people seek out feedback more than praise by asking:
> How can I do better?
> What I am doing that I don’t know?
> What could I be doing that I don’t see?
I think that often people take feedback as a declaration rather than an opinion, and often deliver feedback in that manner as well. Instead she suggests:
> Opinions should not be brutally honest, rather delicately honest
> When communicating hard feedback, less is more
> Communicate with appropriate authenticity
All of us are making impressions every day, and it is often in our best interest to learn how we are being perceived. Take Sheryl Sandberg’s thoughts to heart, and lean in to grow from what you hear.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, 2013