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.

beth triplett
@leadershipdots
beth@leadershipdots.com

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, 2013

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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