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4 TED Talks From Women That Will Change Your Relationship With Feedback

Short but powerful ideas to make you more comfortable giving and receiving feedback.

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BY Joe Hirsch - 11 Dec 2018

TED Talks from women

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

It's fair to say that most people have a complicated relationship giving and receiving feedback. That's the reason managers serve up "praise sandwiches" to soften tough news, and why employees dismiss feedback they receive as insincere or unhelpful.

If you aspire to give better feedback, look no further than TED, the destination for change-making ideas. After viewing many talks on how to give better feedback (and giving one of my own), I've put together a short list of four TED talks that provide quick but transformative ideas on how to change your feedback mindset, method and message.

1. "How to Use Others' Feedback to Learn and Grow" (Sheila Heen)

Harvard Law School lecturer and author Sheila Heen argues that instead of changing the way people give feedback, we should focus on getting better at receiving it. Heen identifies three conditions that cause people to mishandle feedback:

  1. "Truth triggers" -- the inability to determine what people are trying to say
  2. "Relationship triggers" -- the difficulty accepting feedback from certain people
  3. "Identity triggers" -- the negative emotions that run beneath the surface of what we hear

When we overcome these barriers and open ourselves up to receiving feedback, it can fuel our growth and relationships. Heen says that one of the keys to gettiing better at receiving feedback is to treat it as a gift as opposed to a burden.

2. "How Difficult Conversations Create Growth" (Janine Stichter)

Behavior expert Janine Stichter says that difficult conversations are the key to making big changes. From making lifestyle choices to major life decisions, it's these difficult conversations that pave the way to success. Stichter outlines the key steps in embracing difficult conversations as processes by which to effect change that sustains and leads to growth -- not only in our organizations, but the people within them.

According to Stitcher, the key is to realign feedback as a change opportunity. "When we make it about change," she says, "we open people up to the idea that this can be something exciting, not just fearful."

3. "Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable" (Luvvie Ajayi)

Writer and activist Luvvie Ajayi pulls no punches in this entertaining and frank talk about confronting and managing fear. By describing the series of choices she made to live "at the edge of the plane," Ajayi spent a year living uncomfortably -- including jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet - and developed a greater sense of possibility and courage as a result of those experiences. Ajayi shows how small challenges in our status quo can create major shifts in our life experiences and impact.

 

4. "How to Have a Good Conversation" (Celeste Headlee)

Radio host and personality Celeste Headlee thinks most of the discord and disagreement in conversation comes down to a simple truth: We are more interested in talking than listening. A conversation requires a balance between the two, something that's been lost in a tribalized world. Headlee shows us how to become better listeners with ten basic rules for holding conversations, including, such as "Don't pontificate," "Ask open-ended questions," and "Go with the flow,"

Headlee believes that anyone can hold a great conversation -- which can be turned into a powerful tool for giving feedback as well.

 

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