Episode 225

225 - Feedback Is Your Friend

Feedback is a gift, right? We've all heard that. Heck, Josh has said it like 1,000 times. It sounds excellent and is quite catchy, but the reality of executing that phrase is REALLY, REALLY hard. Listen in as Bob and Josh talk this through to help you grow.

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Transcript
Bob:

hey, everyone.

Bob:

He's Josh Anderson

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, I'm Josh Anderson.

Josh Anderson:

Am I supposed to say you're about bail?

Bob:

nope, nope, nope.

Bob:

You, you just need do whatever you wanna do, which is par for the course.

Josh Anderson:

I bet there's some feedback.

Josh Anderson:

In your life.

Josh Anderson:

Home work, whatever it might be.

Josh Anderson:

That's still sitting in the back of your brain.

Josh Anderson:

Bothering you that's.

Josh Anderson:

Okay.

Josh Anderson:

That's what this episode is all about.

Josh Anderson:

Stay tuned.

Josh Anderson:

And we'll talk through all the ways that we can help you work through that.

Bob:

We got some feedback.

Bob:

From some someone what, what I think what generated, and I didn't read all of it.

Bob:

You were, you were much more, uh, you know, sort of engaged in dialoguing, but

Bob:

we got some feedback on one of our recent

Josh Anderson:

Well that's, that's part of what you need to do with feedback.

Josh Anderson:

Bob.

Josh Anderson:

Step one, consume it.

Bob:

You know, and it's not just the quippy remark, it's the

Bob:

smile on your face that you get before the quippy remark, right?

Bob:

It's,

Josh Anderson:

it loads

Bob:

as it loads as, as you've loaded, there's the loading . There's the

Bob:

loading facial expressions, right?

Bob:

And I know No, you, you're right.

Bob:

But you know, part of it, to be honest is, um, We can start the episode this way.

Bob:

I'm a little vulnerable.

Bob:

I don't know if you are.

Bob:

I think you might be because of football and stuff.

Bob:

You might be this super feedback magnet and sponge and able to

Bob:

digest anything constructively.

Bob:

I'm not wired that way.

Bob:

I.

Bob:

I get defensive, uh, and I'm, this is vulnerability on my part.

Bob:

These, and I've been working on this, so I've gotten better with my

Bob:

defensive posture and my behavior.

Bob:

But for me, constructive feedback, my initial reaction is to say,

Bob:

No, you were full of crap.

Bob:

Or, or, and, or you don't understand.

Bob:

You know, you're giving me a myopic bit of feedback, like from one perspective

Bob:

and there's a bro, I have a broader view to what's going on, et cetera.

Bob:

And I start like, and this is all going on inside my head,

Bob:

but I, I still, and I think this feedback triggered me a little bit.

Bob:

Um, not that it, it wasn't the feedback, it was the meta

Bob:

cast is near and dear to my.

Bob:

And I'd like to think that every episode is a good.

Bob:

and, uh, when, when we get critical feedback.

Bob:

And the other thing with me is I like to get balance feedback, like positive

Bob:

feedback with critical feedback.

Bob:

And I, I always feel that like sometimes people in the community aren't balanced.

Bob:

They love to give you critical feedback, but you don't always hear positivity.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

And we do get some, So I, so what I do in that case is I.

Bob:

I'll sort of not ignore it, but I'll go through it real fast and then I'll put

Bob:

it on the shelf so I settle myself down and then I'll go back and digest it.

Bob:

So I'm still in this subtle , I'm still in this settle period

Bob:

for, for, for that feedback.

Bob:

Meers.

Bob:

I'm not, I'm not saying that's, I fact, I, I would judge myself and

Bob:

see that's probably not the best.

Bob:

My perception on you, Josh, is you just take this stuff and you're like, you're

Bob:

smiling and you're whistling Dixie, and you're saying, Please gimme more,

Josh Anderson:

Yeah,

Bob:

da da da.

Bob:

So you're

Josh Anderson:

The really weird part about me is positive feedback is of

Josh Anderson:

little value to me because it doesn't.

Bob:

really.

Josh Anderson:

Help me get better.

Josh Anderson:

Like, yes, I like it.

Josh Anderson:

It's nice to hear, it's cool, but it's not functional.

Josh Anderson:

You know, It's not something that I can say, Okay, cool.

Josh Anderson:

Here's how I can refine this.

Josh Anderson:

It's it just like in a review, like anything that says nice

Josh Anderson:

stuff, I just skip over.

Josh Anderson:

Um, like this is like a performance, like in a job.

Josh Anderson:

My boss is right at the end of the year or every quarter.

Josh Anderson:

However, our company.

Josh Anderson:

There was the feedback that was good, and then there was always the feedback

Josh Anderson:

that was at the bottom of like, Well, here's the things that you should work on.

Josh Anderson:

And like, I just skipped all of the other stuff and would jump straight

Josh Anderson:

to that bottom because that's the thing that I could take action on.

Josh Anderson:

Um, so I admit I'm not normal.

Bob:

No, no,

Josh Anderson:

I'm not, I'm not sure that's healthy, you

Josh Anderson:

know, the way that I operate.

Josh Anderson:

Um, I know

Bob:

I actually admire it.

Bob:

Stop.

Bob:

Josh, let me give you some positive feedback.

Bob:

Ha ha.

Bob:

No, I admire that about you.

Bob:

I think it's a strength.

Bob:

Um, I didn't know about the positive.

Bob:

I, I think that might be a little over the top.

Bob:

So you, you know, you can get, like, you get balanced feedback.

Bob:

You should take that, embrace it and really appreciate it for yourself.

Bob:

But at the same time, No, no, I admire, I admire your ability to cut, cut

Bob:

through it and take it and internalize.

Bob:

I get there, but I go through like . I go through like a really

Bob:

painful trail to get there, . So

Josh Anderson:

And I think you are like, that's like, that's the norm.

Josh Anderson:

What I, what I've developed over the years is not normal.

Josh Anderson:

And it took me a while to understand that, and that's why

Josh Anderson:

I said it might not be healthy.

Josh Anderson:

And the, the part I didn't add was as a leader because that's how I led people.

Josh Anderson:

, I didn't value the positive feedback to me, so I did very little of

Josh Anderson:

dolling it out to, to our team.

Josh Anderson:

Not, not enough when I started, right?

Josh Anderson:

So I had to learn that skill.

Josh Anderson:

Like it, it was a, a skill I had to develop to force myself to not

Josh Anderson:

say, All right, that was good.

Josh Anderson:

What do we need to fix?

Josh Anderson:

And like, focus on.

Josh Anderson:

Air quote, bad stuff.

Josh Anderson:

It didn't, you know, it was bad.

Josh Anderson:

It was just something that we needed to work on, and I didn't do

Josh Anderson:

a good enough job of celebrating those small wins for the team.

Josh Anderson:

It didn't affect me, but it was something that I as a leader had to

Josh Anderson:

figure out how to just continuously stream that positive feedback to

Josh Anderson:

my teams, cuz my teams were good.

Josh Anderson:

, but I wanted him to be great and like world class.

Josh Anderson:

So I was always trying to sharpen that.

Josh Anderson:

Saw even like when the saw was turned off and the blade was in

Josh Anderson:

the, was in the closet , I was still like, we gotta make this sharper.

Josh Anderson:

So that's a, that's a, a thing that I've had to work on from the

Josh Anderson:

side of the spectrum that I'm at.

Josh Anderson:

But I think a good thing for us to talk about would, would be helping others work

Josh Anderson:

through the same thing that you're trying.

Josh Anderson:

Work through and understand the value of that feedback and being able

Josh Anderson:

to disconnect it from your person.

Josh Anderson:

That's where, that's the thing that I am able to do, is to say,

Josh Anderson:

Okay, that feedback is here.

Josh Anderson:

It doesn't represent me personally because I know what I did, and this

Josh Anderson:

person has a, has a view of what I.

Josh Anderson:

But I'm proud of what I've done, so, okay, cool.

Josh Anderson:

Let me learn from that.

Josh Anderson:

But there's some, it's hard to not connect that with yourself cuz you pour so much

Josh Anderson:

into it, just like you said, Right.

Josh Anderson:

It's near and dear to your heart.

Josh Anderson:

And you know when somebody says your baby's ugly, that,

Josh Anderson:

that it's not comfortable.

Bob:

Yep.

Bob:

The one thing I do, and I've, and I didn't, I used to, gosh, God helped the

Bob:

people that I reported to early in my career because if I got constructive

Bob:

feedback, I, I really sort of went over the top and I got very defensive.

Bob:

Now, I, I've learned to, uh, I still have, I have an inside bob and an outside.

Bob:

So I still have the inside Bob that gets a bit defensive, but the outside

Bob:

Bob is, I, I thank people for the feedback and, and I, and, and I'm

Bob:

really appreciative for it, right?

Bob:

I, I really have my mindset that because I'd rather have it than not have it.

Bob:

Like not having it, you can't take action.

Bob:

So that is the, to me, that's the antipater.

Bob:

So at least, at least I'm getting it.

Bob:

I may not like it, but I get it.

Bob:

So I'm appreciative with people and I ask for more.

Bob:

The other thing I try to do at the point of attack is, is clarify

Bob:

it not, and it's a, it's a.

Bob:

It's a balancing act so that you don't, you know, you want to ask

Bob:

clarifying questions, but not those obnoxious questions that are,

Bob:

that are not honest and genuine.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

That you're, you're really challenging the feedback rather

Bob:

than really trying to understand it.

Bob:

So I'm, I'm better at, I'm much better at the point of attack.

Bob:

Uh, And what I'm doing is I'm, I'm packaging it up so I go, can go away and

Bob:

digest it later, if that makes sense.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

I can, you know, I know what it is and then I can go handle it.

Bob:

Once I , once I settle myself internally down, I can go and can digest it.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

You know, a lot of people say feedback is a gift and that's how you should treat it.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, but I think a lot of people say that and don't actually believe it.

Josh Anderson:

Like that's a, that's a buzzwordy thing to say.

Josh Anderson:

I try to.

Josh Anderson:

Explain to people that are struggling with that concept of it's not easy to

Josh Anderson:

walk up to someone virtually or live and say, Hey, this thing that you're

Josh Anderson:

pouring your heart into, I think it could be better if you did X, Y, and Z.

Josh Anderson:

So the people providing the feedback care about you and

Josh Anderson:

or what you're doing so much.

Josh Anderson:

They've put thought, they've dedicated brain power, lots of

Josh Anderson:

cycles to say, You know what?

Josh Anderson:

There's this thing I really like and I think it could be better,

Josh Anderson:

and they noodle on it and they spend time and come back and say,

Josh Anderson:

Okay, here's a, here's the package, whether it's packaged well or not.

Josh Anderson:

They put the effort in to come to you and say, Hey, I thought a

Josh Anderson:

lot about this and here's, here's something I think that could help.

Josh Anderson:

So it's not just yes on the internet, you get these, like off the cuff, random

Josh Anderson:

comments, you know, that are spur of the moment that that's, that's different.

Josh Anderson:

But for real feedback where someone comes to you with views on ways,

Josh Anderson:

something could, could be they, they gave you part of their brain power.

Josh Anderson:

A substantial amount of time and then also have the courage to come and

Josh Anderson:

say that to you, which unfortunately, in my view, many people don't do.

Josh Anderson:

So that's how I get people to try and understand that it really is a

Josh Anderson:

gift because in the internet world, social media, you do get in this

Josh Anderson:

thing where people are just flinging insults basically, because it's easy,

Josh Anderson:

it's faceless, all of that stuff.

Josh Anderson:

So isn't.

Bob:

Yep.

Bob:

I, I would agree.

Bob:

Um, and I, and I'm trying to look on that.

Bob:

Part of my appreciating it is looking at that side and understanding.

Bob:

Um, recently I've been, I've been reading things and getting feedback

Bob:

from neurodiversity folks, folks that might be bipolar or adhd, et cetera.

Bob:

And, and one, one of those folks comes to mind and they, they sent me feedback.

Bob:

On something, not, not really on Agile.

Bob:

Um, but, and then I was thinking, I know that they go through it, I

Bob:

was talking to them, and it'll take, they'll go through like six or eight

Bob:

iterations, Josh, to get the words right.

Bob:

And the words aren't good.

Bob:

I mean, they're not perfect, but from their point of view, it's a,

Bob:

and I'm, I'm, I'm like, Yes, Anding and doubling down on what you said,

Bob:

looking it through their eyes and really appreciating the effort and even

Bob:

assuming positive intent with the effort.

Bob:

Like whenever now, whenever I get something from this person,

Bob:

I'm like, and, and it usually.

Bob:

Just because of where they're coming from, it's, I can usually

Bob:

trigger on it, if that makes sense.

Bob:

But, but that empathy that

Josh Anderson:

A good way or a bad way.

Bob:

In a bad way, I'll, I'll, I'll still, they're giving me hard

Bob:

feedback or they're, or they're suggesting things or doing things

Bob:

that I wouldn't do it that way or whatever, but I'm, I'm triggering on it.

Bob:

But then I flip it and I'm like, you know, they, they put so much effort and they're

Bob:

probably still not explaining it well.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

There's just way so many words, but I, I agree with that.

Bob:

Is it it, it is a gift.

Bob:

And if we can flip ourselves, we have to consider it the gift, otherwise

Bob:

the, the, the, the counterpoint and ERs, this is what can drive you.

Bob:

This is what drives me it to, to it, to receive it well is if you don't

Bob:

do that, people are gonna shut down.

Bob:

It is a gift from their point of they're, they're putting

Bob:

time and effort into forming it.

Bob:

And if you always deflect that, that's that spigot, that stream of

Bob:

good feedback is gonna shut off.

Bob:

And you're, and now you're gonna be out there in the wilderness and not, and not

Bob:

getting any feedback on your behavior.

Bob:

So that's your, that's your counterpoint.

Bob:

So if you want that, great.

Bob:

See how that works for you.

Bob:

Uh, but, but to me, that was my, that was my epiphany.

Bob:

It's like I would rather get disgruntled and go through my,

Bob:

my feedback assimilation curve than get no feedback whatsoever.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

And if you choose to take your career in a leadership direction,

Josh Anderson:

you are gonna have to work very hard to foster that environment because

Josh Anderson:

the air, the air quotes are going around this, uh, the higher you go.

Josh Anderson:

The less often you get feedback.

Josh Anderson:

if you don't foster that culture of feedback, it's gonna get

Josh Anderson:

very lonely and very quiet.

Josh Anderson:

It will still be lonely and quiet as a leader, but you can still

Josh Anderson:

work to create that environment where people are comfortable and

Josh Anderson:

capable of giving that feedback.

Josh Anderson:

Um, another thing from the other side as far as giving it, there are.

Josh Anderson:

A lot of people that have said, or I've read about working with friends and that

Josh Anderson:

that often ends up in reduced feedback and people don't say the hard things

Josh Anderson:

that need to be said to their friends, and I find it completely the opposite.

Josh Anderson:

They are my friend.

Josh Anderson:

I deeply care about this person.

Josh Anderson:

I would feel like a traitor if there was feedback that I felt

Josh Anderson:

they should hear, but because they were my friend, I didn't say it.

Josh Anderson:

So I feel an even greater pressure to share more often and more freely with

Josh Anderson:

a friend that I'm working with because they are that friend and I don't want to.

Josh Anderson:

Not have their best interest in mind.

Josh Anderson:

Not that I don't have the best interest in mind of everybody that

Josh Anderson:

is a part of my team, but that's a, that's a personal connection that I

Josh Anderson:

intend to have for potentially life.

Josh Anderson:

So I don't wanna, you know, be having a conversation in 20 years

Josh Anderson:

and say, You know what, Back when we worked at, you know, x, y, and Z

Josh Anderson:

company, you really socked at this.

Josh Anderson:

I'm like, What?

Josh Anderson:

Why didn't you tell me?

Josh Anderson:

You know?

Josh Anderson:

So that, that's a, that's a thing that, uh, I don't necessarily buy.

Josh Anderson:

A lot of that you shouldn't work with your friends because you do get to a point

Josh Anderson:

as a friend where you can have an open conversation and that's a healthy thing.

Bob:

Well, I think there's two sides to it though, Josh.

Bob:

Um, the friend has to be receptive, so, so there's a, there's a

Bob:

receptivity, defensiveness scale, and you can still be friends.

Bob:

So if you have a friend that you really care about, but they get defensive.

Bob:

A large part of the time, then you're gonna filter the feedback, I think, right.

Bob:

At times you'll, you'll step up, you'll step up to the defensive perimeter as

Bob:

much as you possibly can, but, but all I'm saying is that, what I'm suggesting is it

Bob:

takes two to tango in the feedback, Right?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

It's.

Josh Anderson:

It's a delivery decision at that point as far as how I handle that with them,

Josh Anderson:

which is not different than how you have to handle every member of your

Josh Anderson:

team, is you have to understand how feedback is best received by each person.

Josh Anderson:

Cause it's not gonna be a one size fits all.

Josh Anderson:

It's gonna be a thing that you're gonna have to work through based

Josh Anderson:

on personality, work, experience, the path they have to hear.

Josh Anderson:

Maybe they had very oppressive leaders in the.

Josh Anderson:

And they've been shut down or they're used to that feedback.

Josh Anderson:

So there, there's all these variables that go into, uh, continually making

Josh Anderson:

the world of leadership difficult.

Josh Anderson:

But that's one part.

Bob:

It's also, I, I think of someone that I know who I co

Bob:

who's a friend, uh, colleague, if you will, in the, in our space.

Bob:

Um, and I've given him feedback over years.

Bob:

Uh, And what I've noticed, I'm just using this as an example.

Bob:

This is not you, Josh , but I've, I've noticed that he,

Bob:

you know, it doesn't work.

Bob:

He doesn't internalize the feedback, so at some point we're

Bob:

friends, so one we're friends.

Bob:

Two, I care about him a lot, but three.

Bob:

some point, I'm gonna just stop.

Bob:

It's not even that he's getting defensive, that he's so part of taking

Bob:

feedback is doing something with it.

Bob:

I think, uh, now, now I am not suggesting that he would have to do,

Bob:

take all of my feedback to heart.

Bob:

But in all these years, you know, There are some areas where it, it's

Bob:

just been ignored, and that's, that's absolutely his prerogative, but then

Bob:

it's my prerogative to, at some point to say, You know what, , he doesn't

Bob:

wanna hear feedback in that area.

Bob:

And I'm just gonna, I'm, I'm just gonna stop.

Bob:

So it, I think you were saying it is a dance, right?

Bob:

It is a, it is a delivery decision.

Bob:

There's a lot of factors in it.

Bob:

I think history is one of those.

Bob:

Um, I'm, I just finished a Cal class and one of the things I was emphasizing to

Bob:

people in the curve is, is getting the feedback, digesting the feedback, right?

Bob:

Figuring out what's valuable to you, and you know what?

Bob:

The wheat separating the wheat from the chf, right?

Bob:

Then once you have the wheat, then internalize.

Bob:

And then take action on it.

Bob:

Meaning do like, do a discernible outward action, change your behavior so that

Bob:

the people who gave you the feedback can say, ah, it actually landed, and,

Bob:

and Josh or Bob did something with it.

Bob:

So I think there's like a loop to the feedback.

Bob:

I'd love to hear your, your, your response to that.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

The one tweak that I have learned to put on that cycle is I used to take

Josh Anderson:

feedback and like blindly apply it.

Josh Anderson:

What I learned to do is that wasn't, that wasn't the intent.

Bob:

Yep,

Josh Anderson:

So what I over time learned how to do was receiving that

Josh Anderson:

feedback, thinking through it, and, uh, normalizing it for myself and

Josh Anderson:

how I work and who I want to be.

Josh Anderson:

And that maybe wasn't, you know, maybe I didn't take a hundred percent

Josh Anderson:

of what they said or how I should do it, but I spun it to make it.

Josh Anderson:

For Josh because what works for someone else isn't necessarily

Josh Anderson:

gonna work the same way for me.

Josh Anderson:

And learning and understanding that helped me establish and maintain

Josh Anderson:

my style of leadership that I, that I thought was pretty good.

Josh Anderson:

I think is pretty good.

Josh Anderson:

And, but, but, but that was, That was a couple years, well, probably

Josh Anderson:

more than a couple, probably like five years of learning to learning

Josh Anderson:

how to receive the feedback.

Josh Anderson:

To your point, separating the bits and pieces, but also, okay,

Josh Anderson:

so like, here's the nuggets.

Josh Anderson:

Now what do I do with that nugget?

Josh Anderson:

Maybe I melt it down and make it into something else.

Josh Anderson:

Or maybe I just take the nugget and just move it over here and it's solid goal.

Josh Anderson:

You know?

Josh Anderson:

So that's a, that's a key thing that, um, you might be doing

Josh Anderson:

and you might not know is.

Josh Anderson:

It's not, it's not to be taken verbatim.

Bob:

And that's something I, I learned, I learned early on, I, I

Bob:

learned that, I think maybe one of the epiphanies for me with that was

Bob:

my first book and I was writing a book and I sent it out to technical editors.

Bob:

So like 15 people who were, who could have written the book, right?

Bob:

They were peer technical peers in that space.

Bob:

um, And they barked about it, The book a lot.

Josh Anderson:

Just, just like my puppy.

Bob:

exactly.

Bob:

But, uh, so I got 15 streams.

Bob:

So the good news was I got 15 streams of feedback.

Bob:

Uh, and since they were designers, you know, they were technical

Bob:

folks, it was pretty detailed.

Bob:

Uh, the bad news is I got 15 streams of feedback and now I had to figure

Bob:

out what to take and what to reject.

Bob:

And it was all valid.

Bob:

But getting comfortable with, it's not all.

Bob:

I have to determine the truth of the feedback.

Bob:

Uh, that's another mistake I think people make.

Bob:

Is they sometimes to your, like what you were alluding to, all feedback is true.

Bob:

No, no.

Bob:

It's, there's fa, there's falseness, not lies, but there's falseness in feedback.

Bob:

Let's figure out what's false.

Bob:

Maybe based on their perspective or maybe based on they don't have your point

Bob:

of view or a variety of factors, look for the truth in it and then, and then

Bob:

apply that and get really comfortable with throwing things away and not, not

Bob:

taking it personal or not feeling bad.

Bob:

That's I, that's a natural part of, I think, the feedback process.

Bob:

So getting editor feedback.

Bob:

The other thing is my voice.

Bob:

I don't wanna lose.

Bob:

So there's 15 people giving me feedback, but then there's Bob Galen,

Bob:

who's the author, and I don't want to try to serve these 15 streams

Bob:

of feedback and lose my own voice.

Bob:

So I, I always had to double check.

Bob:

And, and that book experience has sort of carried into my, you know,

Bob:

feedback as a leader, et cetera.

Bob:

And I'm always, I'm always sort of, that's one of the reasons why I need a pause.

Bob:

I took OS training and they talked about this a little extreme, but

Bob:

they, one of the, the tools or the metaphors in os, which is a coaching

Bob:

class, is looking for 2% truth.

Bob:

So the, they, they use that for people who get very defensive.

Bob:

So, so it's like you're not looking for 50% truth, you're not looking, is

Bob:

that, They said, can you find the one little nugget that you could agree

Bob:

with and then do something with.

Bob:

And I think that's a nice place to start for people who get

Bob:

ultra defensive medic, right?

Bob:

Is is bring the, bring the truth oter down to something that's so narrow that you

Bob:

can find it and then, and then find more.

Bob:

And then find more, and then find more.

Josh Anderson:

The truth, Oter is now a thing, so everybody,

Josh Anderson:

everybody start using that.

Josh Anderson:

You know, I, It's surprising given your.

Josh Anderson:

Discomfort with feedback that you've written so many books because the

Josh Anderson:

world of books, especially on the internet, is review heavy and, uh, and

Bob:

and, and

Josh Anderson:

putting yourself out there.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Like that's, that's, uh, that's pretty interesting that you

Josh Anderson:

were, that you keep doing it.

Bob:

You know what though?

Bob:

It's changed.

Bob:

I think, uh, for me personally, this is an interesting aside, or maybe,

Bob:

but early on I would get people didn't understand my, uh, my intent.

Bob:

One, they weren't assuming positive intent and I didn't have a track record.

Bob:

So if I misspoke something, the vultures would attack.

Bob:

And since I'm a perfectionist, and you know this about me and I don't

Bob:

handle feedback well, it would have a, it would ha and, and I, and I'm a,

Bob:

I care about the community, that it would really hurt me actually a lot.

Bob:

Uh, it didn't stop me.

Bob:

I'm thankful that it didn't stop me, but it could have stopped me.

Bob:

It really was hurtful.

Bob:

Some, I mean, and sometimes people l like they assume negative.

Bob:

Uh, and, and a lot of times this were pe these were people, this wasn't just

Bob:

common folks, this was like pundits.

Bob:

It was, you know, regular folks in the community, but also like, you know,

Bob:

thought leaders would attack me and, uh, either publicly and or privately.

Bob:

Um, but now it's, I think what's happened is, I, I still get that.

Bob:

I still have to have a thick skinned, um, and, and delay, but I think more people

Bob:

in the community know that I, where my heart is at or where my intentions are.

Bob:

So if I misspeak a lot of them, assume positive, more, more of

Bob:

them assume positive intent.

Bob:

Uh, and don't attack me.

Bob:

Um, and in some cases, those sms, those, those thought leaders, I attack them back.

Bob:

Right?

Bob:

So I do, I do reserve the right to get feisty.

Bob:

And so maybe I've just, maybe I've just frightened them

Bob:

away or something like that.

Bob:

But you're, you're, you're absolutely right.

Bob:

That's actually, I think that's one of the reasons why people don't write

Bob:

or, or don't do, some of the things we do, is it's not a friendly world

Bob:

sometimes from a feedback point of view.

Josh Anderson:

Right.

Josh Anderson:

Um, the last thing I'd like to cover is try and give the listeners slash

Josh Anderson:

viewers, cuz this one's on video too.

Josh Anderson:

, uh, some of the like, ways to get through that initial sting and start

Josh Anderson:

to do the hard work of separating the useful from the not so useful or useless.

Josh Anderson:

If you wanna go that far, Just, just Wade, because I know so many people

Josh Anderson:

that struggle this, and I was lucky to have this like beaten out of me.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, but not everybody has that past.

Josh Anderson:

So how, how can we help people?

Josh Anderson:

What are tools we can give

Bob:

So can we, can we put that on the table for a second

Bob:

and go somewhere else first?

Josh Anderson:

Sure.

Bob:

And I want to get there.

Bob:

That to me is an end.

Bob:

Can we talk a little bit, a few minutes about how to get it, uh,

Bob:

like what are ways to get feedback?

Bob:

What are some, what are, and I know it may sound obvious, like asking for it.

Bob:

So ask someone for feedback.

Bob:

But then that doesn't always get you feedback because you have to have, there's

Bob:

a relationship bit and a safety bit, uh, and there's a tenured bit, like,

Bob:

you know, what is our relationship?

Bob:

What is the tenure of that?

Bob:

So I could, I could walk up to you in the street.

Bob:

You don't know me from Adam and I say, Josh, tell me what

Bob:

you think of my agile chops.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Bob:

And, and so I ask for feedback, but it's, you know, what level am I

Bob:

gonna get and what do I do with it?

Bob:

So how do we get feedback?

Bob:

Just, just a random set of effective ways.

Josh Anderson:

You asking is obvious, but there's more to it.

Josh Anderson:

Um, I think one of the things you can do is clearly demonstrating.

Josh Anderson:

That you find value in it, that as you learn, see, hear things, you grab it and

Josh Anderson:

run with it and start making changes.

Josh Anderson:

Um, because you can work with somebody and know, uh, whether.

Josh Anderson:

They're open to feedback or not.

Josh Anderson:

Just the way that they operate, the way they respond in meetings

Josh Anderson:

or to an email or anything.

Josh Anderson:

You can tell if that defensive posture shows right up or not.

Bob:

One of my favorite piece of advice for product owners with

Bob:

Scrum teams is to take feedback from a, a sprint, uh, review.

Bob:

Not all the feedback, but I'm like, every once in a while, take a critical

Bob:

bit of feedback that you got, like a feature feedback from a stakeholder or

Bob:

something and nail it in the next sprint.

Bob:

Like, show people that you care and you were listen.

Bob:

I e take action on the feedback.

Bob:

I'm like, And what, what, what, what will happen is that engenders, now they

Bob:

know, you know, to me there's feedback level one or DEFCON level one feedback,

Bob:

which is superficial, and you wanna get to DEFCON level five feedback,

Bob:

which, and in order to get that, I think you have to prove that you.

Bob:

You're gonna take action on some of it.

Bob:

Right?

Bob:

And what I've seen, and I've seen that increase the interactive

Bob:

and the engagement loop on the part of stakeholders.

Bob:

Cause the aha goes off and it's like, Oh my God, I'm not just

Bob:

talking to myself , like people are

Josh Anderson:

Right.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Bob:

paying attention to me.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

One of the things that I've had to coach my kids on through, through sports is

Josh Anderson:

I've had to help them understand that coaches, sporting coaches invest their

Josh Anderson:

energy, which often is manifested in yelling in players that they think

Josh Anderson:

can take it and use it to get better.

Josh Anderson:

And I've said, as soon as a coach stops yelling, They decided you've like topped

Josh Anderson:

out and they're not going to invest time and energy trying to help you get better

Josh Anderson:

because you've shown you don't receive the feedback and you're not gonna get better.

Josh Anderson:

So the potential isn't there.

Josh Anderson:

So I had to get them comfortable with like, Hey, this is actually a good thing.

Josh Anderson:

So it's very similar to what Bob just said, is you have to show

Josh Anderson:

a willingness to take action.

Josh Anderson:

Maybe not blind, 100% action.

Josh Anderson:

I'm gonna do exactly what you.

Josh Anderson:

, but okay, I hear ya.

Josh Anderson:

Here's how we twisted it for this, because X, Y, and Z.

Josh Anderson:

And again, show that you'll receive it and then that door goes from

Josh Anderson:

cracked to being kicked open as far as the flood be of feedback.

Bob:

Uh, I agree.

Bob:

Another way to get feedback, I think, is to give it, so I think there's

Bob:

a reciprocal nature to it, right?

Bob:

Giving, getting, getting, giving.

Bob:

Um, which cart before the horse?

Bob:

I don't know.

Bob:

It's, it's start, but.

Bob:

And, and again, it's that level one to level five or what, I'm joking a

Bob:

little bit meers, but getting into deeper feedback, you have to earn that.

Bob:

But to your boss, like are you giving feedback?

Bob:

So, so Josh, if I was reporting to Josh, it's not just one way feedback.

Bob:

Josh to me, um, and Josh and I have talked about this.

Bob:

Leaders don't get a lot of feedback.

Bob:

You can really engender yourself and really support a leader by giving them.

Bob:

Valid feedback.

Bob:

Now they have to receive it well and they have to make it safe, et cetera.

Bob:

But you also have to, to step into that.

Bob:

But I think, I think being on both sides of that loop increases

Bob:

the quality of the feedback.

Bob:

Um, oh, the other thing is I would say Josh, is don't forget

Bob:

positive feedback right in.

Bob:

I was in this Cal class again this week, and this is my bad.

Bob:

I keep, when I talk about radical candor, crucial conversations, I very

Bob:

often bring up these constructive examples or negative examples, and.

Bob:

and I over lean into that, and those are important.

Bob:

The reason I lean into it is people are uncomfortable with those situations.

Bob:

So I'm leaning into it, but I lean so hard that I forget that half of

Bob:

your conversations or half of your feedback should be positive, Right?

Bob:

Or appreciative feedback, particularly if you're a leader, you know, and a team.

Bob:

If you're a team member, are you saying nice things to anyone?

Bob:

Uh, so, so it, I think going on both sides, making sure you're

Bob:

not leaning one way or the.

Josh Anderson:

Y Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, you know, a lot of places I've helped out in the past couple of decades, there

Josh Anderson:

was a missing piece of trust and so when there isn't trust, feedback cycles

Josh Anderson:

either don't exist or they're painful.

Josh Anderson:

That's where leaders forget title.

Josh Anderson:

Someone that's going to be a leader extends trust first.

Josh Anderson:

And then that starts to create that space where I trust you and we're gonna give

Josh Anderson:

this feedback and we're gonna hear it, and we're gonna do something positive with it.

Josh Anderson:

But there's so many times where it's like this.

Josh Anderson:

High noon standoff, where both sides are standing at the end of that dusty

Josh Anderson:

street and just staring at each other, waiting for the other one to flinch.

Josh Anderson:

When in reality what needs to happen is someone on the other side has to put

Josh Anderson:

the gun down and walk across and shake hand, and then that changes the game.

Josh Anderson:

Someone has to start that game of trust.

Josh Anderson:

Otherwise, it's just gonna be a stal mate forever, and no one's gonna be.

Bob:

Absolutely.

Bob:

Another thing with feedback is you wanna be perfect in your pros, but.

Bob:

So, so a lot of people, one of the inhibitors is, uh, is perfection.

Bob:

I want to have, it's a hard bit of feedback, so I, I wanna polish

Bob:

it so that it's perfectly received or something, uh, and then you can

Bob:

convince yourself not to give it.

Bob:

So avoidance is, you know, or perfection.

Bob:

Uh, I would argue that just giving it, like doing it well is nice,

Bob:

but doing it, giving feedback, even if it's in a crappy package.

Bob:

Or it, or it's not eloquent or it's not, you know, it doesn't, Still giving

Bob:

feedback, lean into giving feedback.

Bob:

Right.

Bob:

And then get be and get better at it over time.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Don't, don't let perfect be the enemy of good is the old saying,

Josh Anderson:

and that that can, that can happen.

Josh Anderson:

The, the, the other key thing is freshness.

Josh Anderson:

Giving that feedback as close to in the moment as possible because

Josh Anderson:

the, the longer you wait, like maybe you're nervous to give the feedback

Josh Anderson:

or you're trying to polish it exactly the way you want to say it.

Josh Anderson:

So by the time you go to give the feedback, it's like two weeks.

Josh Anderson:

And the context is mostly lost in that moment where the

Josh Anderson:

thing happened, good or bad.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, so that's why that freshness is so important because it's,

Josh Anderson:

it's fresh in everyone's mind.

Bob:

Hey, Josh, why don't we flip it?

Bob:

I, I wanted to flip to the front and I think we covered that a little bit.

Bob:

Uh, can we go back to your point?

Bob:

You were, you were on the, how do you digest it?

Bob:

What are some guidance around filtering it and things like that?

Bob:

Go back there.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, to have that walk away.

Josh Anderson:

If I'm struggling to not get defensive, what are some tips and or tricks

Josh Anderson:

that I can start to apply that will help me try to figure out how to

Josh Anderson:

disconnect it as and not see it as a personal attack upon my, upon.

Bob:

So I gave one.

Bob:

I just wanna reify, I, I think 2% truth is a really effective way to do that because

Bob:

out of, you know, a hundred percent of whatever you've said, you're only, you

Bob:

know, out of every a hundred words of feedback, you're only looking for the

Bob:

two words that where there's a nugget of truth that you can take action on.

Bob:

So that helps.

Bob:

I, I've applied that even before I knew about it.

Bob:

I've applied that view of, I, I was trying to look for the truth as

Bob:

opposed to reacting to the whole.

Bob:

Um, and, and I think if you, if you're to, you know, if that's a problem

Bob:

you have, then go to a narrow truth.

Bob:

Just look for one, just start with, is there one nugget

Bob:

there that I can agree with?

Josh Anderson:

Yeah,

Bob:

And if that's true, we'll then take action on that nugget.

Josh Anderson:

the.

Josh Anderson:

The spin that I put on that very similar approach, but it just kinda how it works

Josh Anderson:

with my brain is I talk a lot about everybody's path to here is different.

Josh Anderson:

So no one has walked in your shoes.

Josh Anderson:

No one knows exactly the path that you have to hear and the actual moments

Josh Anderson:

that led up towards whatever happened where the feedback is coming from.

Josh Anderson:

So, except.

Josh Anderson:

That they haven't walked in your shoes, but that doesn't mean you discarded.

Josh Anderson:

But just understand the angle and the lens that it's coming from because

Josh Anderson:

that will help you separate out that 2% that really lines up because the

Josh Anderson:

opinion and the view that they have is.

Josh Anderson:

It's valid from the lens that they're looking through, which

Josh Anderson:

may be orthogonal to yours.

Josh Anderson:

So just parsing that out.

Josh Anderson:

That's a, that's a mental approach that I take is it's coming at it

Josh Anderson:

from a different angle, but there's still bits in there that add value.

Bob:

I love what you said.

Bob:

So Josh, you were building empathy into it.

Bob:

So look at the feedback.

Bob:

If I paraphrase, look at the feedback from their point of

Josh Anderson:

Mm-hmm.

Bob:

So I get feedback from Josh and I, I think me says this

Bob:

is a powerful sort of point.

Bob:

So Josh gives me feedback before I react.

Bob:

I looked at the world, and this is scary to me, everyone

Bob:

because he's bigger than I am.

Bob:

And, and, and I've gone side by side with him and I've tried to, If you've seen

Bob:

those meas videos, it's, you know, I'm relatively small, but look at the world.

Bob:

What was his, what is his lens?

Bob:

What is his intent?

Bob:

What is our relationship?

Bob:

Um, what is he trying to tell?

Bob:

Uh, maybe even what he didn't tell me, maybe he's trying to be soft,

Bob:

et cetera, and then flip it back, Look at it through his eyes and

Bob:

then look at it through my eyes.

Bob:

I, I think we should all, whether we're defensive or not, take

Bob:

that approach for the feedback.

Bob:

It's like, build the empathy cause that'll help you understand

Bob:

where the truth is, right?

Bob:

That'll really help with the truth

Josh Anderson:

Yeah, and that's a very valuable tool when giving the feedback, is

Josh Anderson:

understanding that the lenses that the two of you have aren't perfectly overlapping.

Josh Anderson:

So understanding that there is likely something in that person's

Josh Anderson:

world that you don't know.

Josh Anderson:

There's a gap in your understanding of what they're working with

Josh Anderson:

against or whatever that might have made that behavior?

Josh Anderson:

100% absolutely the best.

Josh Anderson:

But you assume things and you fill in your own world and assume the way

Josh Anderson:

that they operate or think or believe, or whatever it might be, and then

Josh Anderson:

that creates that tension because you don't spend the time to understand

Josh Anderson:

that person and what their lens looks.

Bob:

Well, Josh just did that meta casters with his, uh, sports

Bob:

coach story with his children.

Bob:

, right?

Bob:

So if I'm, if I'm Josh's child, and I could be, if I'm, if I'm Josh's child,

Bob:

I, you know, and I'm getting yelled at by a coach, I'm immediately going to

Bob:

overreact and trigger to that, right?

Bob:

They're yelling at me.

Bob:

I'm looking at it from how am I ha here I am working my hardest.

Bob:

Here I am.

Bob:

I just had a great game.

Bob:

Here I am doing this stuff and, and I'm just considering my lens.

Bob:

But then he shared that other lens, You know what coaches.

Bob:

Yes, they're yelling, but they're doing it because they wanna grow

Bob:

you because they see potential.

Bob:

Now, bring that back.

Bob:

It was still obnoxious.

Bob:

I still, they swore at me, they spit.

Bob:

I can cut through all of that, but, but you know what, there's some nuggets

Bob:

of truth in there and I can get to those nuggets of truth from that.

Bob:

I was like, you know what, that was performance feedback.

Bob:

They're right.

Bob:

10% of what they told me I can use to increase the performance in my,

Bob:

in my baseball swing or whatever.

Bob:

It's.

Josh Anderson:

Yeah.

Josh Anderson:

Yep.

Bob:

And, and people, I, I don't think a lot of folks do what you're talking

Bob:

or what we're talking about, Josh.

Bob:

It's more so on the face.

Bob:

We take the fe we take the feedback on the face of things, right?

Bob:

And it's not just the words, it's the emotion, it's the delivery.

Bob:

Like the yelling is a one delivery if it's in anger and, and then we respond in kind

Josh Anderson:

yeah.

Josh Anderson:

It,

Bob:

anything else to Atlantic?

Bob:

Go ahead.

Josh Anderson:

No, I mean, it, it's, it, it just is a, uh, like.

Josh Anderson:

A lot of people when I'm, when I'm new to working with them, they tend

Josh Anderson:

to tiptoe around the feedback and soften it before they give it to me.

Josh Anderson:

And one of the things that I do similar to that, like extending trust part

Josh Anderson:

is say like, Listen, you're gonna have to work really hard to offend me

Josh Anderson:

with anything that you're gonna say.

Josh Anderson:

You know, the, the, the only time I'm going to like question

Josh Anderson:

is if you like, pick up a table or a chair and throw it at me.

Josh Anderson:

Cause like those were the moments in football where it's like, okay, this.

Josh Anderson:

Totally lost it, but like, you could say anything to me.

Josh Anderson:

And so I, I right outta the gate, create that environment where it's like,

Josh Anderson:

bring on the feedback cuz I want it.

Josh Anderson:

Um, and then I start showing that I do something with it.

Josh Anderson:

So that's how I create that bridge.

Josh Anderson:

Right, Right outta the gate.

Josh Anderson:

Did we

Bob:

Did we, did we do a good enough job?

Bob:

I, I feel like we covered this topic pretty well, Josh.

Josh Anderson:

I feel good.

Bob:

Hey, hey Meers, video, audio, give us feedback.

Bob:

All joking aside, give us feedback.

Bob:

N not so much on our delivery.

Bob:

I care about the delivery.

Bob:

And this is an example of you can ask for feedback but make it very pointed, right?

Bob:

You can narrow the feedback.

Bob:

What I'm looking for is in the topic area of giving, receiving, actioning

Bob:

feedback, is there some ideas, tools, techniques that we missed or

Bob:

didn't discuss that you could drop in and share with other meta casters?

Bob:

So I'll, we'll take any feedback, but I'd really be interested in sort of

Bob:

deepening this, this wonderful discuss.

Bob:

Around feedback in all directions.

Josh Anderson:

Agreed.

Josh Anderson:

A couple things, a couple ways for you to do that.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, this will be on our YouTube channel.

Josh Anderson:

I will make sure the link is in the show notes so you can post comments there.

Josh Anderson:

We have a Discord server where you can come in and post.

Josh Anderson:

Thoughts we now have like a q and a session where the

Josh Anderson:

community's gonna respond cuz they're pretty freaking amazing.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, and also social channels like everywhere.

Josh Anderson:

So the best places for you to do this are gonna be in Discord

Josh Anderson:

because not only is it us there, but it's members of the community

Josh Anderson:

like you that can jump in and help.

Josh Anderson:

Uh, otherwise your second best is probably because this is a

Josh Anderson:

video one on our YouTube channel.

Josh Anderson:

Cause that's just made for comment.

Josh Anderson:

So that's where, that's where you can focus and give us

Josh Anderson:

feedback on the feedback.

Bob:

No, I, I mean, I, I, I think that's actually part of the, you know,

Bob:

part of our practice of it is, is we can have a broad, like, tell me how,

Bob:

so let's lend the episode on this.

Bob:

I'm getting inspired again.

Bob:

Maybe there's a part two in this, Josh.

Bob:

It's like if I ask Josh, like, Josh, gimme some feedback.

Bob:

It's so open ended that he's now that, trust me, me casters

Bob:

that is not gonna stop.

Bob:

Josh, Josh is gonna step into that invitation, but, but, but a but a lot of

Bob:

people won't or gimme some feedback on.

Bob:

You know, sort of how I handled myself yesterday in the meeting.

Bob:

Uh, was I encouraging enough?

Bob:

Did I create safety enough?

Bob:

Now we're talking about, so the scope of that feedback request, make

Bob:

sure you're controlling that scope.

Bob:

You know, tell me how I'd or, or gimme some negative.

Bob:

Give me like, gimme some negative feedback.

Bob:

Give me some constructive criticism.

Bob:

Those are not good ways to solicit feedback.

Bob:

Be more, be more specific.

Josh Anderson:

Yes.

Josh Anderson:

Agreed.

Josh Anderson:

And, and the other cool thing that that does is that puts a reminder in

Josh Anderson:

that person's brain for the next time where maybe they weren't watching

Josh Anderson:

as closely, but now they're like, Oh, okay, I can help Bob, so let me

Josh Anderson:

really pay attention to, to this.

Josh Anderson:

And then I'll eagerly run to Bob and say, Hey, Bob, like here, this

Josh Anderson:

is what this is, this is great.

Josh Anderson:

And then talk.

Bob:

uh, what a nice way to to end this episode.

Bob:

I like that.

Bob:

That's sort of, it builds on itself is, is is absolutely true.

Bob:

So if you're seeing that build, you're doing something good.

Bob:

If you're not seeing that build over time, then you need to improve

Bob:

on your, on your feedback loops.

Bob:

Hey, Josh,

Josh Anderson:

Hey, Bob

Bob:

from beautiful downtown Cary, North Carolina, and

Josh Anderson:

North Carolina

Bob:

I'm Bob Galand.

Josh Anderson:

And I'm Josh Anderson

Bob:

Shake.