Common Outlook Consulting Inc. New Perspectives
August 2014 - Issue # 14-08

Founder's Message

Thanks For The Feedback, the 2014 book by our colleagues Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen(1) moves away from the emphasis the business world has put on giving feedback, to how to receive rise to the subtitle: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.

What I like even more than the title and subtitle is the sub-subtitle which says: "Even when it is off-base, unfair, poorly delivered, and frankly, you're not in the mood." Love it! 

I really like the book, not just because the authors are close colleagues and long-time friends (although of course that disposes me favourably toward it). I feel the book is deep, honest, authentic, funny, and powerful, but it's a lot to digest and is definitely not a light read.

As summer holidays wrap up in the Northern Hemisphere and many of us get ready for the busy fall season, this might be a useful reference book to have at your side.

Check out our book review to help you make that decision.





The road to self-insight runs through other people.
~ David Dunning




Think of feedback as a momentary stop on the journey to where you are going. How you use it will determine what train (of thought) you're going to take.



Coming Up  


September's issue will look at task-styles: how we naturally take action to get things done. As many of us gear up for a busy work season, it might be just-in-time insight and learning!


Book Review


Thanks For The Feedback         

It is the authors' assertion that we not only need feedback, but that in our heart of hearts, we actually want it... given others have insights about us we can't see... insights that help us become better leaders, better team-players, better family members, and better people. It is also their contention that most of us dread feedback because we don't know how to handle it. It triggers us; we get defensive, and as a result, set up obstacles to hearing it. 


For example:   

  1. We listen for what's wrong in the feedback so we can cast the whole of it aside.
  2. We don't trust the giver. We don't think they have our best interests at heart
  3. The feedback threatens the ideas we have about ourselves. It hits a nerve; we feel ashamed or threatened.

As Stone and Heen dive into those core obstacles, we begin to understand why we react the way we do when someone starts providing feedback. Luckily for us, the authors are adept at showing us how to separate, deal with, and move away from reactions, so that we can assess what part of the feedback is useful-what part of it will help us learn and grow.  Read more 


Peter Hiddema

Photo of Founder: Peter Hiddema


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