Video Tip: Embrace the Discomfort

We talk a lot about how to give feedback, how to be helpful, humble, immediate, how to balance praise and criticism, etc. But as hard as it is to try to be good at giving feedback, it can be even harder to try to get the feedback you need. We want to help with that too.

Does this sound familiar?

“Hey, can you give me some feedback on this project? How do you think I’m doing?”

“You’re doing great.”

“Oh cool, thanks.”

This happens all the time. People accept these short replies as feedback, but really they’re just letting the other person out of the question. You need to dig a little deeper to get clear, specific feedback.

Here’s our advice, captured on video in Kim’s Betterworks Goal Summit talk earlier this year: Embrace the discomfort. Ask someone how you could do better, and then stop talking. Let them give their quick, easy response, but then keep silent and wait for them to fill the silence with more details. You’ll learn more about why they think things are great, or you’ll finally get to hear some of the things they think could improve.

More advice on getting feedback coming soon! Do you have any particular challenges you’d like us to address?