Thanks For The Feedback Book Summary By Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

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Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen is an eye-opening read about learning from every day feedback.

Whether you're receiving critiques at work or comments from family and friends, this book explains the importance of all types of feedback and what to do with it.

You'll dive deep into understanding how to approach various kinds of feedback, and use them to improve yourself in your professional life as well as in the relationships you have with others.

Through stories and studies, Stone and Heen provide a unique perspective on dealing with feedback in a way that will make you more successful in both business and life.

Thanks For The Feedback Book

Book Name: Thanks for the Feedback (The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well)

Author(s): Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 15 Minutes

Categories: Communication Skills

Author Bio

Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen are the dynamic duo behind the insightful and thought-provoking book, Thanks for the Feedback.

Not only are they lecturers at Harvard Law School, but they are co-founders of Triad Consulting as well, one of the most sought after consulting firms out there - their impressive client list boasts giants like BAE Systems and HSBC.

Stone and Heen put their combined experience in teaching and advising major businesses to work with this work, which offers a framework on how to have open and honest feedback conversations.

With their knowledge combined, these two authors have delivered an invaluable resource not just for business owners, but also anyone who wants to develop better communication skills or create strong relationships with employment managers or colleagues.

Learn How To Give And Receive Constructive Feedback To Strengthen Relationships

Strengthen Relationships

For maximum productivity and successful relationships, it’s important to learn how to give and receive the best feedback.

Thanks for the Feedback by Kate Jameson shows you exactly how to do this.

From exploring why people respond differently to different types of feedback, to delving deeper into how our genes influence how we perceive feedback, and learning why we often think we’re the best managers around – this book provides useful insights on giving and receiving effective feedback.

It also covers topics such as how bad feedback can ruin a relationship, as well as strategies on handling negative criticism in order to turn it into a constructive learning experience.

All of these aspects are invaluable when it comes to ensuring that both parties can benefit from providing positive and productive feedback – ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace and happier personal relationships.

Learn To Identify The Right Kind Of Feedback You Need For A Successful Outcome

In “Thanks for the Feedback” author Douglas Stone explains that there are three key types of feedback which serve different purposes: appreciation, coaching and evaluation.

Appreciation is a motivating and encouraging tool which acknowledges effort, as well as reinforcing good behavior.

Coaching helps improve performance over time by providing personalized advice on how to do better in the future.

Evaluation helps us understand exactly where we stand and what goals we should be striving for.

For example, before a basketball match the coach might give a pep talk – this is a form of coaching, while during the game they might provide encouragement and praise – this is appreciation.

Following the game they would evaluate performances – this is evaluation.

Different situations call for different kinds of feedback; it’s important to learn when each type will be most effective, so you can go out and seek it.

Being able to identify what sort of feedback works best for you will help your progress further in the future.

Use Other People’S Opinions To Help You Gain A Better Perspective On Yourself

It is important to understand the feedback you are receiving so that you can know how best to respond.

Before becoming defensive or disregarding the feedback altogether, try to understand the intentions behind it and look for key points in what is being said.

The person giving the feedback may make general comments that mean something different to them than they do to you.

For example, the statement “You’re a reckless driver,” could be referring to your decisions while driving, or it could mean something deeper like “you take too many risks when operating a motor vehicle.” Knowing how to interpret these types of comments can help you better understand why someone thinks this about you.

Additionally, it helps to ask yourself what you should do with the feedback once you receive it; Is it telling me to drive more carefully in general? Or maybe get a hands-free phone installed? Understanding these types of questions will give your response more purpose and depth.

Finally, remember that other people’s opinions are valuable pieces of information, especially if they know information that you don’t.

They could provide useful statistics or customer reviews which would help shape your response.

In short: if someone critiques your management style based on facts instead of feelings — listen!

The Difference Between Self-Perception And Perception By Others


Feedback is an essential tool for understanding our blind spots.

We often interpret things about ourselves differently than others do, such as how we view our facial expressions, tone of voice and intentions compared to how they are received by those around us.

This can lead to miscommunications and even misunderstanding of our intentions or character traits.

It’s important to remember that feedback allows us to understand what these blindspots are, enabling us to make corrections and enhance our self-understanding.

If someone complains that you’re unfriendly, for example, you’ll be able to use the feedback as a way of looking inside yourself and making corrections so you can grow from the experience.

This is why feedback is the key to seeing your blind spots – it can open doors on a deeper level, showing you parts of yourself that might otherwise be invisible.

By understanding our blind spots through honest critique, we can improve on weaknesses and become better versions of ourselves.

Understanding The Role Of Relationships In Accepting And Responding To Feedback

When it comes to feedback, relationships play a big role in the way we interpret and accept it.

We’re more likely to take in criticism from someone we trust and have an understanding with than from somebody with whom we have tension.

This can also lead to us dismissing advice from people who don’t know much about our work or situation as, naturally, we give greater weight to opinions of experts.

Feedback is also often seen as intrusive and can add strain onto relationships due to conflicting expectations about how feedback should be given, received, and processed.

For example – if one party complains abiut another’s gift choice, the recipient may feel unappreciated while the giver might view them as ungrateful.

Without both sides being open and willing to process any possible misunderstandings or grievances through communication, any potential growth or development that could come out of constructive criticism will be lost.

Seeing The Bigger Picture To Avoid Unnecessary Tension In Relationships

Relationships often create tension when it comes to giving and receiving feedback.

This is because people can be different in the way they approach situations.

For example, one person might like to relax after dinner, while another might want to get the dishes done right away—this difference may cause tension between them.

Another factor that contributes to communication problems are roles.

In certain environments, these roles can lead to inevitable disagreements.

For instance, a policeman and a driver who got pulled over have an built-in adversarial relationship due to their societal roles.

The environment also affects relationships; this means that when confronting a situation such as a car accident, you should always try to look at the whole picture before jumping into conclusions or assigning blame.

It’s essential when dealing with feedback to consider your feelings towards the person, their feelings towards you, and any outside influences that may play a role in your relationship.

With this kind of critical and unbiased understanding of our relationships with others, we can make the most out of feedback given or received.

It Is Clear That Our Genes, Emotional Makeup And Life Experiences All Play An Important Role In How We Perceive And Respond To Feedback

Emotional Makeup

It’s true that our brain wiring, emotions, life experiences and choices all affect the way we interpret feedback.

For example, studies have indicated that at least 50 percent of differences in well-being are down to genes – this means that some people are just naturally happier than others.

What’s more, we all have different ranges of emotions, with some being more sensitive than others – this also affects how we process feedback.

Additionally, research by Richard Davidson showed that the time that it takes for us to recover from negative or positive feedback can differ by up to 3000 percent – depending on which side of the brain is more active!

Lastly, our brains are wired to be on the lookout for potential threats and danger, which means we feel bad emotions much more strongly than we feel good ones.

Understanding how our brains and emotions interact helps us better accept ourselves – even if our reactions to feedback don’t always make sense.

A Positive Attitude Is Key To Growth And Development

It’s easy to become defensive when faced with negative feedback, but we can learn to handle criticism better if we shift our mindset from a fixed mentality to one of growth.

When researchers gave children puzzles, those with a growth-minded attitude improved more easily when they encountered obstacles.

With this approach, you can use feedback as an opportunity for personal development and growth rather than feeling threatened by it.

A growth mentality means believing that you can improve on many of life’s most important qualities such as intelligence, creativity, compassion, and confidence if you keep a positive outlook and focus on applying yourself.

This doesn’t mean that you will be able to become a world-class athlete just by believing in yourself – there are still genetic limits – however it does allow you to maximize your potential and realize your ambition by taking feedback constructively.

By establishing a “growth mentality”, we can not only cope better with criticism but also use it as a powerful tool towards self-improvement.

Wrap Up

In the end, feedback must be viewed as a tool for development and growth.

Whether it’s positive or negative, it should not be taken so personally that it either has us celebrating wildly or feeling like we’ve been completely undermined.

By taking time to process what is being communicated to us, and understanding the perspective of who is giving the feedback, we can develop ourselves into better people in both our personal and professional lives.

The book Thanks for the Feedback provides invaluable lessons on how to accept feedback, assess its validity and learn from all experiences.

At its essence, it reinforces that with an open mind toward learning and improving upon oneself, there really are no limits to one’s potential.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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