Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

381. The Art of Effective Feedback w/ Therese Huston

In episode 381 of The Brainy Business podcast, Melina Palmer interviews Dr. Therese Huston, a cognitive scientist and author of Let’s Talk: Make Effective Feedback Your Superpower. Therese’s expertise in cognitive psychology and her personal experiences with feedback inspired her to provide insights into giving effective feedback in various contexts. She shares stories emphasizing the power dynamics and emotional impact of feedback, highlighting the need for thoughtfulness and empathy in delivering feedback. 

The episode delves into the importance of specific feedback, regular evaluation, and the positive impact feedback can have on employee development. Therese’s discussion on the three types of feedback that employees need—appreciation, coaching, and evaluation—provides a valuable framework for managers and leaders to improve employee growth and performance. Her emphasis on the significance of being specific about feedback type and offering regular evaluation aligns with the audience’s goal of enhancing workplace feedback practices. The episode offers practical advice and actionable strategies, making it essential listening for managers and leaders seeking to improve their feedback delivery skills.

In this episode:

  • Learn to deliver effective feedback for enhanced employee growth and performance.
  • Understand the types of feedback crucial for driving employee development and success.
  • Discover the significance of specific feedback in fostering employee improvement and motivation.
  • Master the art of siding with individuals during feedback sessions for impactful communication.
  • Explore the power of asking questions as a tool for guiding employees toward growth and proficiency.
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00:00:00 – Introduction
Dr. Therese Huston is introduced as a cognitive scientist and author of Let’s Talk. She shares her background and experience as a writer and cognitive scientist, as well as her interest in giving effective feedback.

00:03:08 – The Importance of Good Feedback
Therese shares a pivotal moment in her career where she received poorly delivered feedback, leading to her interest in helping others give better feedback. She highlights the impact of feedback on the receiver and the power dynamic between the giver and receiver of feedback.

00:10:25 – Impact of Framing and Setup
Melina shares a personal story about receiving a vague and anxiety-inducing message from her boss, highlighting the importance of the framing and setup of feedback conversations. The discussion emphasizes the impact of small thoughtful gestures in feedback delivery.

00:12:29 – Types of Feedback
Therese discusses the three types of feedback: appreciation, coaching, and evaluation, as outlined by Stone and Heen in their book Thanks for the Feedback. Each type of feedback is explained, focusing on the different purposes and challenges associated with giving each type.

00:14:03 – Evaluative Feedback
The conversation delves into evaluative feedback, the least often given type of feedback, and its importance in letting employees know where they stand in terms of performance and impact. The challenges and significance of delivering evaluative feedback are highlighted.

00:14:30 – Employee Feedback Needs
Therese discusses the three types of feedback employees need: appreciation, coaching, and evaluation. She emphasizes the importance of being specific about the type of feedback required.

00:16:39 – Asking for Feedback
Therese provides advice on how managers can gauge the type of feedback employees want, suggesting open-ended questions and scheduling dedicated feedback sessions.

00:21:02 – Importance of Feedback
Therese highlights the positive impact of giving employees feedback on where they stand relative to expectations, leading to career mentoring and a sense of reassurance.

00:24:40 – Me vs. We Strengths
Therese introduces the concept of “me strengths” and “we strengths,” emphasizing the importance of acknowledging both types of strengths in employees and providing opportunities for them to utilize these strengths.

00:27:00 – Acknowledging Impact
Therese underlines the significance of acknowledging employees’ “we strengths” and the impact they have on the team’s performance, encouraging supervisors to provide support and recognition for these strengths.

00:27:37 – Recognizing Strengths
Therese and Melina discuss the importance of acknowledging and recognizing both “me strengths” and “we strengths” in a team. They emphasize the value of asking team members about their strengths and how it can lead to a more empowered and supportive work environment.

00:28:21 – Uncovering Hidden Strengths
Therese shares the idea of uncovering hidden “me strengths” in team members and how these strengths can potentially turn into “we strengths.” She gives an example of someone who excels in persuading others, which is both a personal strength and a team strength.

00:31:08 – Siding with the Person
Therese explains the concept of siding with the person, not the problem, in feedback conversations. She highlights the importance of showing support and understanding towards the person rather than aligning with the problem, which can lead to a more constructive and collaborative approach to addressing issues.

00:34:13 – Coaching Approach
Therese emphasizes the value of asking questions and involving team members in problem-solving conversations. She discusses the importance of allowing team members to articulate their own solutions, which can lead to greater ownership and commitment to implementing changes.

00:39:46 – Giving Effective Advice
Therese shares a story about a hotel interaction that demonstrates the potential pitfalls of giving advice without fully understanding the situation. The example highlights the importance of being mindful of how advice is given and ensuring that it is relevant and well-received.

00:41:01 – The Importance of Effective Feedback
The conversation highlights the importance of effective feedback and the impact it can have on employee development and growth. The hosts and guest discuss how a simple shift in mindset can help managers provide more supportive feedback to their team members.

00:42:35 – Understanding Employee Perspective
The discussion focuses on the importance of understanding the employee’s perspective when providing feedback. It emphasizes the need for managers to ask thoughtful questions and actively listen to their employees to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and challenges.

00:44:06 – Empowering Employees to Find Solutions
The conversation highlights the role of managers in empowering employees to find their own solutions. By asking open-ended questions and encouraging employees to think critically, managers can help them identify and implement meaningful solutions to challenges they face in the workplace.

00:45:11 – The Power of Praise
The discussion delves into the importance of praise in the feedback process. Research shows that top performers receive 5.6 pieces of praise for every one piece of criticism, highlighting the positive impact of praise on employee motivation and performance.

00:47:18 –  Conclusion
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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