These days, the concept of feedback is akin to that of a song overplayed on the radio: initially intriguing but ultimately dismissed as cliche. In reality, good feedback is more like a dance; it requires two partners ready to engage in meaningful discourse. So what’s preventing us from participating in the dance and not just listening to the overplayed song? By and large, we don’t know how to properly give it, receive it, or ask for it.
Today we are going to unpack what lies at the root of our issues with feedback and offer some practical strategies to overcome these challenges. In particular:
Intrinsic feedback, augmented feedback, formative feedback… Where do I even begin?
How to maximize FIT between the person, the performance, and the persuasive appeal.
Using the SHIP (specific, humble, interval-based, practical) analogy to give better feedback
The worst thing you can do when asking for feedback
When is it too much? Feedback dependence and clicker training
If giving and receiving feedback is something you’ve struggled with, you’re in luck! We now offer 1 on 1 and small group communication training. Let us help you work through your personal obstacles by objectively evaluating your current practices and then providing personalized strategies tailored to your needs. The idea and importance of feedback isn’t going away; head to https://artofcoaching.com/communication to learn more.
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Ali Kershner 00:02
Before you ask for feedback, just ask yourself one question. What do I actually want from this? And unless you have a clear answer to that question, hey, I want to get better at my communication skills. If you don’t have an answer to that, don’t even bother asking for feedback. Just don’t. And then if you do, go find the correct source for that feedback. Find an authentic communicator who’s willing and ready to give you that feedback and be specific when you ask for it.
Brett Bartholomew 00:43
Welcome to the Art Of Coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom, and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book Conscious Coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior, and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.
Brett Bartholomew 01:17
So imagine this, it’s date night, and you’re with your significant other, your partner, or maybe you’re just with a friend, and you’re looking for something to do. And you’ve done the dinner thing, you’ve done the you know, you want, you’ve watched plenty of shows, you’ve gone out and done excursions, of course, this is pre COVID. So you could actually go out and do things.
And you think, well, let’s do something that we’ve never done before. Let’s go take dance lessons. So you plan this, you both get home from work, you shower, you change clothes, you maybe go out to a favorite place that you enjoy for dinner, simple not to filling, because you know you’re going to do something active later, you have a couple of drinks, because you want to loosen up. And you end up getting to the venue where you’re going to have this dance, these dance lessons that you’ve heard so much about it’s gotten great reviews online, you can’t wait to take part of this. More importantly, to orient you, these are salsa lessons. So you’re a little bit nervous. Maybe you like to dance, and the class begins.
At first. It’s a little awkward. You don’t really know anybody, things are moving fast. Even if you’ve had lessons, it’s a different instructor. So you start to fumble, and then you wait for feedback. That thing that we crave, you wait for this thing that is going to give you a sense of completion. And hey, that was fun and embarrassing. But man, at least we learned something new and we did it together. But it never comes. At least not the way you want it. Guys, this was exactly how a date night between me and my now wife, then fiance, experienced in Phoenix, Arizona one night, we had been so caught up in work. And we had gotten so so like, just in this zone of we’d come home and you know, we turned home stuff into work, we’d start reading and researching we needed a break. So it was asked in the salsa lessons.
Brett Bartholomew 03:04
Now here’s something you don’t know about me. And we’re gonna come back to them. I actually used to compete in dancing. Yeah, I know, embarrassing, right? Especially if you know, me as this bearded strength coach and guy that used to box competitively and what have you, but I I liked that. I liked it. And so in college, I had dated somebody that was into ballroom dance. So I took a one credit hour class where we learned that salsa, and I actually competed in swing dancing, but back to the date night.
So we get here, and my wife hadn’t really danced a lot. And so yeah, like, this was very much something where she was stepping on my toes. But we’re going into this and the instructor seems like a really nice guy until the music starts. And inevitably, the fast paced nature catches up, I mess up a couple times. And he stops and he says, no, no, no, no, no, this is wrong. And I’m looking around the room, and he’s looking at me. So I’m like, okay, swallow your pride. You did this. You want to take a step back and not be in control. He comes over and says your feet are wrong. And I say all right, well show me what’s right. And he goes, I will not do this. You will watch me dance his words to a tee.
And I proceed to watch this man take my fiance’s hand, which I’m totally okay with, and proceed to dance, high tempo to the music that we just heard. Now I’m thinking he’s going to instruct me, right watch where I put my feet. Feel the rhythm here, place your hands here, or at least give me some feedback on what I was doing. Hey, your posture was wrong. Or your right foot did this but your left foot did this. None of it came, three simple words, watch me dance.
He gives me my wife back. He starts the music again. I proceed to do whatever my interpretation of what he just did was lo and behold, it was wrong. Not five more seconds went by until he stops to the music again exasperated looks at me and says you are not listening. What is your name? Brett, Brett. Watch me dance, grabs my wife again, same song, or different verse proceeds to do the same thing. Got it? So should I do this? Do not ask questions, take it in with your eyes and enjoy all right. But yeah, so what am I doing? Can you show? You try again?
Brett Bartholomew 05:15
Alright, experiential learning, guided Discovery. This is how I coach, I don’t, you know, I’ll give feedback when necessary, but I’m not going to cater fine, I’m with you. Again, this time we actually get through a song, no words, no feedback. I’m left to my own devices, right? Maybe I did. Well, the next song begins. I look around. Clearly everybody else knows what’s going on. I have no clue. I take the wrong step.
Again, the music stops. Watch me dance. This continues to go on for three hours, or something that we paid over $85 to do. Now it started fun and games, there is even some laughs by the end of it. Even my wife was in North, what was supposed to be a fun date night that took us out of our element, and allowed us to have a relaxing night together turned into something stressful to say the least.
Guys, this is a funny example. But it is a telling one of how you can feel defeated, anxious, frustrated, empty. When you’re not getting not just the feedback, you want the feedback you crave. But good feedback in general. And that is what today is about feedback. And this might be a multi part series.
But before I go on, I also want to introduce you to someone that is coming on the show as a manifestation of your feedback. You guys have asked me to bring on a co-host periodically, and I could think of no better co-host than my friend Ali Kershner of Stanford University. Ali. Thanks for doing this.
Ali Kershner 06:44
Absolutely right. I’m honored.
Brett Bartholomew 06:45
Yeah. And guys, if you think that voice sounds familiar, it’s because it should, Ali was a guest. She’s a close family friend, somebody that I’ve gotten to know more and more over the years, but definitely this past year, and she excels at living in this gray area. She excels at studying leadership, especially in improvised situations. And she dives in so she is going to be joining me today not as a guest, but as a co-host to talk to you about these things to give you more diverse examples.
Ali, give us a little bit orientation. Have you had an experience like this? Surely you have an embarrassing story before we get in the meat of this?
Ali Kershner 07:20
Oh, absolutely. Actually, as you’re saying that I was thinking about when I was a first year coach and I was put in the position of demonstrating an exercise to a group of athletes, swimmers at the University of Kansas which is where I was at the time and my mentor colleague at the time Luke Bradford he’ll laugh if he hears this story. He had me look at the lift that the swimmers were going to perform. And he said you have any questions I’m gonna have you demonstrate some stuff.
And I looked at it and no questions felt like I knew with all the material though. All the lifts could demonstrate everything. We walk out on the floor and he says, All right, Ali, here you go. You’re gonna demonstrate this med ball set up throw. I was like, Okay, here we go. So I grab the 20 pound medicine ball. Which have you ever used a one of those big Dynamax medicine balls? 20 pounds, you know, that’s not that’s not like, especially when you’re going to do a metapsychic med ball setup throw
Brett Bartholomew 08:17
Ali Kershner 08:19
Yeah, exactly. Small human. Baby, if you will. So I get down on the floor, we got about 40 people watching. And I sit up and go to throw this medicine ball at the wall and it hits the back of my head about knocks me unconscious. And I am bright red in the face, just completely embarrassed. And I look over at Luke who’s watching me. And he has just the biggest grin on his face doesn’t say a word. So you know, thinking improv, right? Like Brett said. I’m like, Okay, we’re gonna try that again. But you know what, I’m going to do it better this time, obviously.
So I go sit up, throw the medicine ball at the wall. Same thing happens. So now I’m like, Oh, I’m pretty embarrassed right now. Go over to the medicine ball rack. And I was like, You know what? swimmers? I think the problem was the medicine balls a little too heavy. So I grabbed a 12 Let me tell you, the problem was not that the medicine ball was too heavy. The problem was the medicine ball was too big to fit over my head to get it up and over to the wall. The whole time. Luke is just watching and laughing and he’s just letting me struggle. And I’m like, dude, help me out. Give me some feedback. Like, Throw me a bone anything? Nope. doesn’t help me.
The third time, barely makes it to the wall. I’m beat red. I stand up. I say to the athletes. You obviously saw what not to do. You know what I’m trying to do? Go do it. And we walked back in the office afterwards and he said, I purposely did not give you any feedback. I want to see what you’re going to do. And here I was just Like I needed something in that moment, and I didn’t get it. And it was the best learning experience, but also the most humbling experience that I had as a young coach.
Brett Bartholomew 10:08
And I think that’s a phenomenal example. And we’re not even talking about just swimmers and salsa lessons here. Yw one thing that I found as I research feedback, because it’s just a fascinating topic is in 2020, 2019, really kind of this gap between the two, they did a research study where Gallup, one of the largest organizations that studies businesses across the world found that less than fewer than 25% of people are really happy with the feedback they get.
And that’s become an even greater challenge. And now that we’re remote, you know, and I appreciate you sharing that I want to orient the audience a bit more. You know, guys, here’s the core of this episode, part of the statement of the problem regarding feedback is we all want it, but we don’t know how to give it, receive it, and really ask for it. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about. And part of this is because we overcomplicate it. We don’t really have a framework. I mean, we do but they’re crappy. And we’ll talk about that in a moment of how to properly internalize this feedback.
And in some instances, we may not even really want it, even though we say we do I mean, can you relate to that Ali, just this idea of people saying they want feedback, they’re craving it, and then you give it to them. And it’s whoa, we opened the floodgates to a whole another conversation now.
Ali Kershner 11:20
Oh, yeah. What I was gonna say is, I think feedback is such a trait term, it’s thrown around, like, hey, feedback is sexy, and it’s the new thing and you should be doing it, you should be giving it you should be getting it. And I think we all ask for it. Because we think we should be asking for it. Just to check a box, when really all we want somebody to tell us is that we’re doing a good job. And then you can just wash your hands of it. And you can move on saying yeah, I asked for feedback. But we don’t really know what actually is giving and receiving good feedback.
Brett Bartholomew 11:47
Yeah I think you mentioned a great point that it’s a it’s a trite term, it’s definitely something that we need to reevaluate, especially because when you look at this, not only does feedback, giving great feedback, require you to be a very strong communicator, and also the other person to be a strong communicator, because listening is a cornerstone of that. But there are so many different kinds of feedback when I say we overcomplicate it I mean, from a motor learning standpoint, there’s intrinsic feedback, which this is not going to be the focus of today’s show.
But that’s this kind of sensory response, as a consequence of doing a movement, right. So if I, when I played baseball growing up, and I got jammed on an inside pitch, I would get a stinger, you know, you knew that like, Okay, I didn’t, I didn’t turn on that ball quick enough, that stung me, if I throw a jab. I know when it lands correctly, when it doesn’t. There’s augmented feedback. And this is information from an external source, it could be a coach, right? And that, that supplements, the learner sensory info, hey, this is why this happened. Your body was in this position, you know. And then we have feedback terms that we use in the classroom and workplace, which again, just scanning the literature. There’s formative feedback, which is like past a level that occurs during it.
Brett Bartholomew 12:53
Now you see that at our apprenticeship workshops, if somebody will do something, we’ll kind of jump in here and there, or they’ll learn in real time. There’s summative feedback, again, really fancy term of saying this is outcome oriented. We’ll also do that in our workshops. So that occurs kind of at the completion of a semester or the cessation of an activity does semester being a school example.
Then there’s peer feedback, self feedback, you know, constructive feedback. And a lot of these are interrelated, formal and informal. And it’s like, wait a minute, like you said, Ali, we don’t even do feedback. Well, like, why are we creating hierarchical structures? And overcomplicating these things? You know, let’s be real. Nearly every one of us know, someone who’s asked for feedback, and insists that we tell them, you know, tell me like it is, but then we give it to him.
And like you said, we become the bad guy, because they really just wanted, you know, hey, an echo chamber, you know, is there a part in your life, where you remember, hey, I was, I was starved for feedback, other than the swimming example you gave, but I’m talking about more from a leadership standpoint, because who gives you this feedback? Now Ali? Like how do you know your day to day? If you’re doing what you should be? Are you kind of left to your own devices? How does this work?
Ali Kershner 14:02
Yeah, the environment that I’m in right now is very much me having to seek out feedback if I want it, you know, I receive it in bits and pieces if I do a good job on a presentation, but in terms of my performance on databases, one, not a whole lot of people who actually know what I’m doing are observing my day to day, right. Like, as coaches, we’re kind of left to ourselves.
And if we really want feedback, we’re going to have to. It’s an effortful process, we have to say, Hey, can you come watch me coach a session, and then XY and Z give me feedback afterwards? That’s feels like a lot of effort to go through. So on a day to day basis, yeah, it’s like you really got to seek it out. And that’s not always, you know, a realistic task that I can do on a day to day basis.
Brett Bartholomew 14:45
No, but I am glad that you mentioned the idea that you need to seek it out and I don’t want to get too far down this rabbit hole because it’s going to come later in the episode. But that is this idea of there’s push feedback and pull right? This is what I think let’s just, let’s simplify this a little bit, at least one component of it. Push feedback is when you wait for feedback to be given to you, right? And there are some people that do this. I know this running a remote company now we’ve had contractors that will just kind of slowly collect their, their hours and their check and, and they’ll wait, right?
They don’t ever come full bore and say, Hey, here’s, here’s what I completed, let me know. And I want the feedback so I can make it better. They just kind of wait. And they assume that if you don’t say anything, they’re good. You know, even though you might be busy doing 20, other things, pull feedback is what you reference, that’s when you ask for it upfront. And more importantly, are specific. You know, one of the strategies that I think people need to be aware of is one of the worst things you can do. Because this isn’t just about how to give better feedback. It’s about how to ask for it. We do not allow it.
We actively tell people in our coalition groups do not ever say Hey, can I get feedback on this? Because that’s so general, right? Like, what, okay, what are you looking for? I know, that strikes a chord with you because you have a podcast of your own. And I’d love you to tell the audience a little bit about when you ask for feedback and kind of the nature of that discussion.
Ali Kershner 16:05
Yeah. So Brett, what Brett’s not telling you is that that person that just said, Hey, can I have some feedback was me.
Brett Bartholomew 16:13
No, no. Well, that was not you who I was thinking of.
Ali Kershner 16:18
Oh, it’s okay. I’ll own it. Yeah, so I did. I had Brett, you know, I he knew I was making a podcast. He said, Hey, listen to your podcast. And of course, we fall into these same patterns of behavior, right? And I said to you, I said, Hey, Brett, I would love some feedback. And Brett was amazing, right? And this is what we’re going to go into. And his response back was very simple was, specifically what do you want feedback on. And that I think is where we’re going with this. I can, I can add more to that. I don’t know, if you want to
Brett Bartholomew 16:50
We’ll touch on that in a moment. I think it’s a good highlight. And I just want to make sure that people know that this came as a result of me going through these things in my life. You know, one thing that that I hated, there’s two things I hate. And we’re jumping ahead here, but it’s a natural evolution of the conversation there.
One, I was in a workplace where we did 360 staff reviews, and I’ll make sure everybody understands what that is. And sorry, for those of you that do, I’m not trying to patronize you, I just wanna make sure we’re on the same page. But, and there’s some states and organizations, by the way, that you can’t even do that. But a 360 review is this idea, at least it was where I worked. And that’s what I can speak to, is everybody is going to kind of review each other. And this hierarchical structure doesn’t really matter, right? Like you’ll get a review from all your teammates, and let’s say there’s six of them.
Now, how they did it, where I was at is they did it anonymously. And that alone caused some issues. We had a staff member and rightly so said, hey, you know, if we’re given feedback, like, let’s, let’s put a name behind it, I just feel like that feedback. Good feedback is already really hard to get if we make it anonymous, like nobody’s accountable for anything. And I agree with that, don’t you?
Ali Kershner 17:54
Yeah, absolutely. I think I think part of the skill that you need to develop is giving hard feedback, not just receiving it,
Brett Bartholomew 18:00
Right. And that’s where I’m gonna go with this, because we’re taught when we’re kids like, Hey, if you don’t have something nice to say, Don’t ever say it at all. But then we wonder why there’s this role, ambiguity, intention, when we go into the professional workplace where like, not all feedback is going to be good. And that actually means I respect you, right? If somebody if somebody tells me, I would respect somebody less if I put something crappy out, and they’re like, Hey, you mailed that one in, buddy, you know, I’d be like, come on, hold me. I’m not perfect. And I know that happens. We have podcast episodes.
But I remember, you know, it was like year four of this, and I’m getting the same things. Brett is dedicated, passionate this and that. And then the bad was always like, I’m aggressive. I’m impatient. But there was no, there was no context. So I remember one person every year would say I’m aggressive. And eventually, once we mandated that they had to put their name behind him, like, Hey, you said this every year. What does this mean? And, and this was when my job was solely a strength coach. And they’re like, well, when you’re on the floor, you’re just always yelling, and you have music loud. I’m like, I’m running a group of 30 to 50 athletes, like, there’s urgency, these guys are paid great money, and they have a certain amount of weeks to do this. And they’re like, well, that’s just not for me. And I respect that.
But I had to look at them be like, well, I’m not coaching you, you know. And, but listen, what I did wrong, there is I defend, I got defensive, and we see that too, right? There’s two clear delineations of people, when they do ask for feedback. One, they’re either not because there’s feedback sometimes that you’re giving and somebody just doesn’t recognize it as feedback, right?
And they’re like, Well, I’m not really picking up and then you might be direct, and then you’re a bad guy because the amygdala perceives it as a threat. Where do you sit on this threshold? Like when you want feedback? Are you like me? Are you like, hey, give it to me raw and real and straightforward, but at least be specific and helpful, or do you kind of just you find yourself wanting Hey, come in easy, and then we can gradually build
Ali Kershner 19:49
I think I started much more on the come in easy, I’m a gentle flower, all of these things because I don’t think I was self aware enough or hadn’t developed the armor around my ego. To know that whoever has given me feedback was really just trying to help me. And when you, when you find somebody who’s authentically trying to help you, then it becomes much easier to stomach whatever you hear.
But more and more as I’ve grown and am more aware of my deficiencies, right. I think that the first thing is like, if you’re hearing something for the first time, that’s very disarming, you’re like, Oh, my God, that I’m doing that. But if you’re at least aware of it, like I’m pretty aware of my weaknesses, and where I fall short. So when I ask for feedback, I’m pretty explicit and specific about where I want feedback. And more often than not, I end up hearing a lot of the things that I’m already aware of, which is how I know that I need to fix them, right? It’s becoming a pattern.
Brett Bartholomew 20:40
And that’s a great point, you bring up a pattern and knowing and being aware of these things, that having feedback requires the completion or at least semi completion of a task, or at least not you can’t be in this mode, where failure to launch right shout out Matthew McConaughey, where you’re so terrified of what’s going to be said about something that you just never move the needle, and then say, Hey, I’m not gonna, I’m not getting the feedback I want, you know, I have some projects I’m behind on right now. And there’s not going to be anybody that gives me feedback, having run my own company until this thing’s out, right.
But at least I know, like, I can subject it to my own feedback, I have a friend that I can kind of reach out to. But at the end of the day, if if if he’s saying, Well, hey, you want feedback, and you haven’t even moved the needle on this, that becomes impossible, it sounds like you will at least start to you understand that there’s an iterative process here that requires failure, and require some kind of level of like progression for feedback to even matter, correct?
Ali Kershner 21:36
Yeah, absolutely. I think if you’re not constantly trying to make small tweaks, and then putting out an imperfect product, and then receiving feedback on the back end, you’re never changing. And that’s the Lean Startup model. That’s the iterative mindset model, which are really fancy terms for just putting out a product, letting it sink in seeing how people respond to it. And then getting feedback and changing if you need to
Brett Bartholomew 21:58
Huge growth point for me is I had to realize I would wait on things until they were perfect. Because you hear this advice Alilike, Hey, make, there’s got to be one thing, and you’ve got to focus on this. Like right now I’m working on another book. And I’d love to follow the advice of all these authors out here who say make that your only focus, guess what, I’m not just an author, right? I’m a father and I have 20 other things going on. And they would tell you, well don’t write a book.
But I have to know what I can do is I can beta test things like you said, along the way, I can bring up certain topics on podcasts, I can write some blogs, I can get these ideas out there informally and treat them like a beta, right, iOS nine, it doesn’t have to be iOS 25 right away, and see where those things are. Where, what strategies do you implement like that? You know, do you kind of, is there an area of your life where maybe you’re a perfectionist or a little bit OCD about in the past, but now you’ve got better at submitting to that iterative? Just Alright, let me try. Let me see what comes to this?
Ali Kershner 22:55
Yeah, absolutely. I think initially, I did have that, you know, perfectionist mindset, I think a lot of people do. And you’re scared of putting something out there. And I think the biggest thing that helped me get over that hump was actually something you said to me, which was just, you know, put some skin in the game, right. And that’s something that you hear over and over again, on your podcast and in your messages. But once I put something out there, oh, it was really scary to do. And I was extremely nervous about the feedback that I was gonna get.
But I knew that I could stand behind my product. And that at the end of the day was all like that, you know, all that mattered, really. And then putting something out there. And by and large, I was only getting good comments, right? Like, I’m not trying to put anything out there that’s going to change the world or, well, I don’t mean change the world. But you know, reinvent the wheel, that that’s a better term, it’s
Brett Bartholomew 23:39
Okay to say it’s the Listen, you can say whatever the hell you want. Anybody that is socially aware knows what you mean.
Ali Kershner 23:46
Well, maybe I am trying to change the world.
Brett Bartholomew 23:48
Why not? Yeah. I mean, like, at least somebody’s like, that’s the thing, right? We can believe in this pale blue dot, you know, a Carl Sagan. And it’s a great thing. But like, you can change the world where you’re at, you know what I mean? I’m not going to invent the cure for cancer, sadly, but like, I do believe that there’s an aspect to the butterfly effect. That’s real.
So while I’m humble enough to know, yeah, and anything special, I do know that one interaction that doesn’t seem special to you definitely can put somebody else on a different path. And that has an effect to it that so, so don’t discredit yourself there.
Ali Kershner 24:17
Yeah, I mean, I think that butterfly effect was real, when you mean even something as simple as saying, Well, what have you put out there, right. And then that caused me to, you know, publish a blog. And then, you know, I got some little bit more confidence. And I was like, Yeah, I’m not perfect, but I’m providing value to somebody, even if that person’s myself and put a little bit more out there and put a little bit more out there.
And each time I learned, like, oh, my gosh, the first podcast I ever recorded. I joke about this all the time, but it was literally like my co-host, and I were like, it was listening, like listening to two people who had just learned Spanish for the first time. Trying to have a conversation with each other. And it was incredibly embarrassing, but that’s like, if you hear anybody talk about this lean startup idea, they say if you aren’t embarrassed by the product you put out there, your you waited too long.
Brett Bartholomew 25:02
Yeah, I think that’s a great example. And we’re going to come back to that at the end with something that we’ve developed internally at Art Of Coaching, that I, you know, as helped me learn how to give better feedback or mainly discern fit, what what kind of feedback is wanted by certain people that join our organization or even work with us, I want to take a step back and just make sure that we get really clear about something because you and I both are people who appreciate research and like understanding the nuances of things, but still want to be pragmatic.
So I want to define feedback, at least what we’re the type of feedback we’re gonna focus on. Right? So the formative type, which is kind of task based and what have you, you know, what we’re talking about is information that’s communicated to a learner, and that learner can be anybody, dentist, doctor, lawyer, you know, phlebotomist, spelunker, you know, anything like that, that is intended to modify their thinking or behavior for the purpose of improving so it’s information communicated well, aimed to help somebody improve. Is that Is that clear enough? Or could you phrase that better? Ali? Is there anything I missed on that?
Ali Kershner 26:02
No, I don’t think I’m gonna phrase that better than the scientists and researchers who spent their entire careers doing it.
Brett Bartholomew 26:07
Hey, yeah, but you know, you know, as well as I do you read 30 papers, and everybody’s got their own thing, right? Like, the amount of times I’ve even research communication. And I see like, all of a sudden, there’s a litany of all 2013 says this to 20 trends. And I’m like, Well, this guy back in 1968 got it right. Like, why did you like, I understand, we have to continue doing this. But that guy was pretty spot on. But what I want to dive into now is giving people strategies, because we don’t really want to waste time on the podcast, like we all get, we want feedback. But what do we do? And I want to hear yours, too.
I think my number one is get people have to get rid of this old sandwich technique. This idea that hey, yeah, so when you’re going to, you know, give constructive criticism or feedback to somebody go in, try to tell them something they did well, that kind of disarms them, give them the tough stuff, and then kind of wrap it up in something that makes them feel good again. That is awful advice. Yet, it’s in every pop Science Leadership nonsense thing ever. And it’s awful because people expect it, right? Like, everybody’s waiting for the but hey, Ali, love the way that you manage your tonality and the information that you delivered. But like you’re waiting for that, what do you think of that? And do you find yourself doing that? Or if there’s nothing you want to add to that? What’s something that you feel like, it’s just an antiquated, awful idea.
Ali Kershner 27:25
And I catch myself doing that all the time, because I think of myself as a pretty nice person, right? And I never want to hurt anybody’s feelings, certainly. So I tend to, you know, lace my constructive criticism with something nice just to make it easier pill to swallow. But you’re right, I think it’s an antiquated practice that actually is ineffective now. But what I was gonna say is, and I’m sure we’ll touch on this more later. For me, the best technique is something that you taught to me really, and we’ll probably go deeper into that story to just get more specific with what you’re asking for in terms of feedback. And because if you ask for vague feedback, you’re gonna get vague feedback in return and it wastes everybody’s time.
Brett Bartholomew 28:06
Yeah. And I, you touched on a key thing there, you’re like, I’m a nice person, I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. But I remember watching an interview one time from the CEO of LinkedIn, I don’t know if he still is. Pardon my ignorance, but his name is Jeff Weiner. And he talks about this idea of Compassionate Leadership. And I don’t really get into the buzzwords or what have you. But he made a great point. And it was a point that I shared with my staff recently from an example.
He said, we’re scared to kind of give people tough feedback. But here’s the thing. Let’s imagine using a sport analogy, you’re a manager of a baseball team that’s just getting shelled in the seventh inning. And you go out there to talk to the pitcher. Well, yes, a pitcher, hey, you good. Like you’re gonna, Are We All right here? What competitors ever gonna say, not what competitors are going to be like, nope. You know what? I’m going to have to this tough situation, I can’t work my way out of it. I’m done. I mean, of course, there’s going to be some people, but those people aren’t really competitors. And he said, the issue is, and when you look at stats about these things, and granted, statistics can say a lot.
Brett Bartholomew 29:02
But I think common sense rules, this one, that manager goes back to the dugout, and inevitably, that pitcher is gonna do one or two things, they’re gonna go Ricky “Wild thing” Vaughn, and really turn it on, but there’s a reason that’s a movie, or they’re gonna get shelled and hit a home run and put their team in a deeper hole. And he said, So why, if you’re a manager or a leader, are you worried about being nice and putting that other person in a position of power, which it’s fine to empower employees, or, you know, whoever you’re leading, right?
Like, we’re not saying don’t empower them. But we’re saying be pragmatic. Nobody’s going to admit when they’re really struggling with something to a large degree where they can’t, like, you’ve got to know Hey, I know you may not want to hear this, but tonight’s not your night, right? Get your ass out. Let’s go live to fight another day. But we don’t do that because you’re like you said, we want to be Mr. Nice guy or gal, however you identify. But like, don’t you think that that ultimately puts us in a hole or feel free to come back with you know, another viewpoint?
Ali Kershner 29:57
I think it does. And I think where you can overcome That is, hopefully, before that feedback occurs, you’ve had a chance to establish a relationship with that person of authenticity and trust so that they know that when you go to give that very direct, specific, maybe even harsh feedback, they know at the end of the day, it’s coming from a good place. Now, it’s not always possible to establish that relationship on the front end. But if you’ve done your work ahead of time, you can skip right through that feedback sandwich and get to the good stuff.
Brett Bartholomew 30:25
Yeah, and I think that’s where the feedback sandwich just orient yourself to that person. If somebody wants me coach, some people, my neighbor, Heidi, who I, you know, I love her and her husband, they’re great people. And so I do just complete pro bono. They’re good friends, come over, use a garage gym. Heidi has and she’s been on this podcast. I think I mentioned her a couple of times. One of the most rare and aggressive forms of cancer. There is. Right and it is not. It is not responsive to chemo. And she’s a battler she comes over and trains twice a week. If you were to watch me, Coach, Heidi, you would be like you are a completely. What would the word be non compassionate mean? Like, what’s the opposite? And that vernacular and it should be incompassionate but that is definitely savage. Okay. Yeah, they’d be like, You are savage. Like, this is a woman struggling but you know what Heidi wants me to be real and whoop her ass. And I don’t mean whoop her ass like, hey, Heidi burpees for 30 minutes.
I mean, when she’s doing because one thing I’m leaving out is a tumor literally bursts in her brain in July 2020 caused her to go into emergency surgery to correct a midline shift. Memory impacted well, right side of her body, I think it was a right impacted like couldn’t recall things. But there’s some times where I would catch Heidi. And I’d be like, Heidi, because now she’s she’s better she’s recovered from that I go, quit milk in that memory shit, you know what I’m telling you to do here and Heidi loves it. Right. But for some people, that is totally not appropriate. And so that’s where there’s a fit, I want to talk to you before we move on to the next points. How did you determine who your leadership style is a fit for? And how would you even define it as it pertains to the feedback you give people working for under you?
Ali Kershner 32:05
They always comes back to and this is something that I had to develop over time is again, meeting the person where they’re at. And it’s it’s more a sense of knowing what they need, as opposed to enforcing or forcing my leadership tendencies and feedback styles on somebody else. I used to do that for sure. Now, it’s almost the opposite where my work is done ahead of time, like I said, in trying to determine where does that person really, you know, what kind of feedback do they need? What kind of feedback do they, they benefit? Appreciate all of that, and then start from there. And I think that’s, that’s everything that we’ve talked about. And you’ve talked about in your podcast many times before?
Brett Bartholomew 32:42
Yeah, I think we’re, I would push back on old versions of me. And even you respectfully on this, as you made a key point, meet them where they’re at. But when you’re leading an organization, or you’re leading, you know, some kind of team or what have you, there does have to be a fine line. Because what if you have somebody that isn’t, you know, there’s an organizational fit issue, which I’ve been.
I’ve been in organizations where I’m not a fit. We’ve had contractors that aren’t a fit, we have staff members that like even my wife coming into the project manager role, right? Like, she had to come in like her hair was on fire. She’s never done a project management job. And there’s certain ways she’d want feedback. And we can acquiesce to that. And then there’s other ways where the feedback is just going to come because we’re moving quickly.
Brett Bartholomew 33:23
So I think one thing that I’ve learned is, there is a limit to where you can meet people to where they’re at. And I think again, old me probably two months ago, would say BS, but here’s something I want to share, right? And we came up with something internally, and we’re not going to go too much into this.
We’ll do a part two if we want, where we have to know where we’re at, and what your capabilities are, that’s part of Compassionate Leadership, know what you can get, right? If, let’s say, for example, you just got out of a really serious relationship, Ali. And we’re making this up, right, I know you’re in a very happy relationship. But let’s say we got out of a very serious relationship, and you meet somebody else that you like, and there are certain things that they need, right, because of their past relationships and experiences, you might not be able to give them everything they need in that point in time. And if you tried, that could turn what could have been in the right timing, a great relationship, and to something that is maladaptive for the both of you.
So what we had to do is look at Art Of Coaching because we’re a growing company during a pandemic, right, but we’ve got to be smart. And there’s two, I’m referring to some notes here, because we’re still kind of memorizing it and structuring it, we had to look at how we’re able to give feedback. So we came up with a term called like, there’s collective, like somebody that wants to work as part of a tight collective. So this is nearly every project includes in depth, guided education, notice the word their education, we’re bringing you along, high frequency of feedback, and immersive again, we’ve tried to be very specific with our words, team collaboration during every other key word stage of development, right? So that connotates what to you if I say immersive collaboration during every stage? Let’s do Do a word association like what? What do you think of
Ali Kershner 35:03
Brett Bartholomew 35:04
Yeah, it could be hand holding. But it could also be okay in certain Creative Industries, right? Like, if they’re in the ideation phase of a startup, to a degree, or if they’re trying to come up with a prototype and the situation allows for it. So hand holding, that’s my point, hand holding in one company, could be a totally reasonable expectation and another company, you know, they may look at it as not hand holding, I don’t think like where we’re at. We can’t do that. Right.
And then there’s independence. So this is where projects, think of it as a steep learning curve. projects require self education, targeted feedback at checkpoints. So we’ll have that formative and summative mix, accountability of deadlines, so high accountability, and a mix of team collaboration and high individual effort. What does that bring to mind?
Ali Kershner 35:50
Brett Bartholomew 35:51
Just being part of a team, right? Even in your in my background of strength and conditioning, a team has to have individuals, a team is comprised of the collective personalities of the group. It’s really nice to say there’s no I in team. Of course, there is. There’s one in win. There’s one in contribute, right? Like there are plenty of eyes and the things that create team.
And, you know, you look at these things, and so what going back to your point of meeting them where they’re at, I know that if somebody’s like, hey, I want to work as part of Art Of Coaching, but they need a lot of step by step hand holding, again, beyond Ali, mission vision values. Here’s the sandbox, we plan, here’s what’s okay, here’s prior examples of passwords. We can’t give them what they want. And even though I wrote a book talking about meeting people, where they’re at in that case, would not be a fit for their company in this case. Does that make sense?
Ali Kershner 36:43
Absolutely. I think when you say meet them where they’re at, I think it kind of depends on okay, if I’m the giver of feedback, and I’m trying to say a mini and meeting them where they’re at, maybe that’s for somebody who’s not accustomed to receiving feedback frequently, and or is maybe a little bit less mature, self aware, something like that.
But I think it’s a two way street. And that’s really the best feedback comes when both parties are intimately involved in the process, and able to see both sides of it. And I’m sure that’s well, we’ll go there in a little bit.
Brett Bartholomew 37:16
Yeah, and there’s feedback you should ignore right, one of my favorites. I know that sounds weird. I shouldn’t have said, right, because that led you to agree with me, you should give me that feedback. Now. That was Hey, Brett. Sometimes you ask questions that are leading. That happens. Anyway, he was making a point. And I had actually recorded an episode on this. But we ended up trashing it, saying that we live in a world of Amazon reviews, Yelp reviews, what have you, and a friend of his and I’m not going to remember this exactly. So guys, sorry, don’t skewer me.
But Seth Godin was essentially saying a friend of his opened up a Thai restaurant. And it got obliterated by several people saying this was too spicy. This was this. And Seth Godin said, well, listen, like you’re going to a Thai restaurant, like, there has to be a little bit of an understanding that there’s going to be spice if you if you don’t even want the option, or like the chance of incurring some level of spice not suited to you go eat spaghetti, or go eat something else.
And the argument was, well, but this person had said they wanted their dish not very spicy. And why have those options on your menu if you’re not going to do that, but that’s all relative, it’s the law of large numbers. And so I say the same thing. Like if you’re going to be part of a young company, or maybe a team, like like, we’re a young company, but let’s say you go to a school that really needs an overhauling of their sports team, or human performance, what have you, you need to go in without it being overtly stated with some level of understanding of what you’re getting into. And if you don’t know, then you only have yourself to blame when you’re over your head. I don’t think any amount of feedback can save you from that. What do you think?
Ali Kershner 38:52
Yeah, no, I agree. I think it’s, it’s tough. It’s really, really, yeah, it’s, it’s that gray area where sometimes too much feedback is not good. And sometimes enough feedback is too good. And you got to sit right there in the middle and, and struggle through it a little bit.
Brett Bartholomew 39:07
There’s that dependence. I know you have more to say than just that. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna pull that out of you. Hey, Ali, here’s your feedback. You have unique insights. I still think you’re holding back in this episode. This is why we did it live without a script. Come on. You know what I mean? We’re talking about a time where you or somebody you worked with or maybe even an athlete, it could be anything. It could be your father, it could be whatever, where maybe your expectations around a line.
I just gave you an example of somebody going to a Thai restaurant and complaining about spice be reflective. When did you complain about something and then when you step back, you’re like, Hey, idiot, not that you’re an idiot, right? Like, what did you expect? Talk to me about some self talk here.
Ali Kershner 39:46
Well, I think I personally, am somebody who likes a lot of feedback because I like to be very aware of what I’m doing and how I’m coming across to other people. So I typically in the past a lot more than I am today was that person that was looking for that pat on the back like no Ali, you’re doing a great job, this is exactly what we need, right. And so that’s why I was searching for that kind of feedback.
But, you know, it’s funny, you mentioned 360 reviews. At my last position at Kansas, we did 360 reviews, but with our staff in person, not anonymous, where we would have to go around the room. And we would have to say, one piece of feedback, constructive feedback, and also positive feedback for each person. And I remember as a first year coach, I was having to give positive and negative feedback to Andrea Hoody. And that was one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do. Leading up
Brett Bartholomew 40:51
which, quick Sorry to interrupt, inform our audience for those in other settings who Andrea Hoody is.
Ali Kershner 40:56
So Andrea Hoody is she has been in the industry of Strength and Conditioning for almost probably 25 years at this point, she’s at the University of Texas before that, University of Kansas. She’s the Director of Sports Performance for men’s basketball, and has been for a very long time, and tremendously successful. She’s really a pioneer for not just women, but all strength coaches, she’s been in the industry longer than most. And she’s coached longer than I’ve really been alive.
So sorry, who did to age you a little bit, but we Yeah, well, you know, first year, I knew nothing, right. Compared to what I know, today, and which is still very little, and I remember having to go around the room and, and we, you know, it gets to me, and here I am having to come up with something that she did not do well. And I remember saying something super, you know, just try it oblique kind of just kind of skirted around thing. And I remember she said no, like, tell me how it is.
And I think I said something like you are, and I stumbled through it the way that I’m stumbling through it now, right, it’s extremely hard to give something that’s going to be constructive, give it well package it in a way that they’re willing to hear it and not feel like an imposter yourself, as you’re giving it. And I think I ended up saying like, you are just not great with timelines or, you know, following through on, you know, the timeline that I need. And I remember her gracefully, just saying, okay, cool, and then jotting it down. And she took it like just an absolute champ, which is exactly how she should have. I think we even ended up elaborating later. But I think, you know, that was the first instance of me having to go through a really difficult feedback situation.
And learning that the best leaders ask for feedback themselves. And when they asked for feedback, what I would have said to you initially is that would have made me think less of them. But in actuality, it made me think more of them. I don’t know, Does that answer your question?
Brett Bartholomew 43:11
But yeah, here’s what we here’s what you touched on. And I just wrote it down if there’s an expectation in an environment as we’re trying to give people tips. One, you have to outline the expectations. And I gave an example of like in our company. There’s an expectation that if you come to work with Art Of Coaching, there’s a steep learning curve, we need people who love to learn, I want to learn from you, you’re going to learn from us. But we also abide by roughly at 10, 80, 10.
I’m going to give you something, we’re going to talk about who the audience is, what it’s for, what problem it’s meant to solve, how it’s meant to serve. But you’ve got to run with it, because I’m trying to assess you right now. And then you’ve got to come to me with something and then I’ll give you feedback, right? But what’s not going to happen is we’re going to work on everything together. That’s the expectation because I have a job, you have a job. I hire people to do things I can’t do because I’m doing other things. It’s like, there’s this movie where Robert Downey Jr, my, one of my favorite actors, Tom Hardy, the other was like, I’m the dude playing the dude trying to be another dude or something like that.
And, and so there’s times where like, I can’t give feedback, because I’m running, I’m running an event on the weekend, right? And so there’s an expectation, the next part is environment, you have to create a safe place to fail. And you were a part of this is why we created the Apprenticeship. You know, it’s like you’re gonna get peer feedback, you’re gonna get self feedback, you’re gonna have to evaluate, and then you got to look at the perceptual gap. Did you think you did really well? Right? Did Andrea Hoody she did blank really well? And then what was your perception? What is the addition? How many members are on the staff at that time? Roughly?
Ali Kershner 44:38
Probably about six or seven, right?
Brett Bartholomew 44:40
So what you would want to do is say hey, everybody evaluate right, like just independent, don’t talk to each other and then get together. So let’s look at individual bias and group bias. What I thought I did on this category and you know, we do this on seven categories in the apprenticeship workshops, what you thought and then where are we at have a discussion? What happens oftentimes is, somebody gives feedback, like you said, it’s kind of they use blur words, well, kind of well, sometimes well, and I know that you do, you know, and you like all of a sudden you blurred it, because you’re trying to be so polite, that like, the feedback comes out, as did with the Charlie Brown nonsense.
And then if somebody is not as mature as an Andrea Hoody, they hear things amygdala gets targeted, and they go right into defending it. And we see it all the time at the workshops, relax, people, it’s natural Ali, and I aren’t coming at you like some evolved humans that don’t do it. Right. I’ve had people criticize me like on the audio quality of our first 10 episodes, I don’t like Well, yeah, we’re trying to figure it out. I didn’t really have the microphone, and I think I’m giving information really, I’m, I’m defending myself to save face.
Brett Bartholomew 45:45
Now there are two in the same, there is a time where like, if somebody’s like, Hey, I noticed the audio quality wasn’t good. Why is that? Right? And this is where it takes strong communicators. I think if somebody’s like, you were defensive. What? Well, you know, like, you would say, Hey, you seem defensive in this context. As a viewer or evaluator I can understand it may have because the bend because of these three things, can you elaborate? Was that the case? Or was there something else going on? Now that’s led to a conversation? Isn’t that funny how that works, feedback.
Let’s remove that word, let’s have a conversation about these things. And let’s provide guidance, or but we don’t do that. And I never could coach an athlete, you imagine an athlete like, Hey, I’m gonna teach you a hand clean, a really complex exercise for people that are not in our field that is accomplished people lose that understanding. Would you ever just aside from being a young coach, the minute they screw that up, launch into 30? things? You know, no, like, you have to let them keep picking up the bar.
And we said that to each other as a staff, we said don’t if you want to be a competitive weightlifter, metaphorical like a true professional, it requires you picking up the bar, we can’t give you feedback if you don’t even want to get under the load. Does that make sense? Environment and expectations?
Ali Kershner 46:59
Absolutely. I think it plays right into a lot of what I’ve tried to establish in the environment that I’m trying to create with my athletes, which is a lot more autonomous than I would have in the past. And one of the best ideas that I’ve heard is this idea of self choice in feedback and somebody else determining their own schedule of feedback. And there’s actually a lot of research on this, including Andy Bass is somebody that we had on our podcast, and he’s the mental performance coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Brett Bartholomew 47:26
writing the great podcast, the one you have, yes, okay. Yep.
Ali Kershner 47:31
And he, his research was all in a choice on schedule feedback, like I said, so he had people, they dictated when they were ready, and how much feedback they received. And they found that performance increased when that happens. So the way that he’s taken that, and I’ve kind of stolen this from him, because I love it so much is saying to an athlete, who by and large knows what they’re supposed to be doing, hey, I’m gonna be here watching. If you want feedback, or you want me to talk to you about something you’re doing, let’s talk about it, come find me and tell me what you want feedback on.
And that is like one, it creates this environment where they know they’re supported. But they’re not being overwhelmed and bombarded constantly with information. And then when they come to me, and they say, Hey, I want some feedback on that. That prompts me to ask them the next question, which is the best question I think you can ask is, what specifically do you want feedback on?
Brett Bartholomew 48:19
Yeah, I think that’s a good piece. And I’m not familiar with that research. But I did have a quick question. So what happens if something’s you said it’s called self choice?
Ali Kershner 48:29
I think it’s just like, chill. I don’t know what the actual, like technical definition
Brett Bartholomew 48:35
determine the schedule is what you’re getting. Right? Yeah. So what happens if I hire Andy McClellan, made up name. I’m sure there’s an Andy McClellan. What’s up Andy, shout out. If I hand her a higher, Andy McClellan. And he says, Hey, I work best getting feedback every two weeks. I’m supposed to just go off that?
Ali Kershner 48:53
No, I think it’s more guided in a sense of, Hey, Andy, that’s great that you love feedback every two weeks. I’m not here to give you feedback every two weeks. How about when you have something actionable, that you’re ready to deliver to me and or you have something specific that you want feedback on? I’m happy to give it.
Brett Bartholomew 49:13
Yeah, I think you look at and I’m a big fan of alliteration, because I think it just keeps things tight. Let’s say Andy does come to the table, right and he has something what I’m going to do to try to decrease the defensiveness is I’m going to be like, Okay, before you present what you want me to give you feedback on, lay out the context, right? Is there anything you just want to say like, let’s go back to the bad podcasts audio example, just because it was recent memory. If I said hey, what do you think of the podcast? It’s a lot better to say hey, here are a couple episodes I did.
Granted I did have some issues with the audio quality. I was still kind of learning, didn’t know what equipment to buy, got confused on the reviews, but the content is there. Boom. Now I shouldn’t have to, I’ve opened myself up I’ve gotten what’s off my chest good, assuage that little desire, you know, but I think if you give them an opportunity to lay out the context, and then you say great present what you created.
Right, lay out the context present what you created. Now I can give you feedback in that context handy. Knowing this first off great job with the content specifically, laying it out in this type of fashion, right. Knowing that the audio good, we’ll skip past that. But I do want to make sure. Have you gotten that cleared up now? Yes, I’ve gotten cleared up how so? I’ve done boo, boo, boo, boo, boo, boo, boo, boo. Great. That’s a good way to move forward. Because I’ve heard that this microphone allows to, right, now we have a conversation going and it’s less sword fighting. Does that mean like maybe that doesn’t resonate? I’m experimenting here too, as we grow as leaders in our organization. Does that make sense? Would that seem helpful to you?
Ali Kershner 50:38
Yeah, I think that’s tremendously helpful. And I think that it’s something that, you know, we’re talking a lot about giving feedback. But I think equally important is the skill of receiving feedback, right. And I think that one of the best things that you can do as somebody who’s looking to receive feedback is to break a barrier down, not only by asking for specific feedback, but also by allowing that person to know that they can really put it all out there, right, especially if you’re ready for it.
So one thing I’ve heard somebody say, and I don’t, I don’t know how I feel about this. So I’d be curious to hear what you think Brett? Is the receiver of feedback saying to somebody that they want feedback from what’s the worst thing that I did in this project? Or what’s the, where, where did I fall short? Where was the place I fell the shortest, right? And then it almost goes from the bottom up.
So it allows the person that’s giving the feedback when it’s specific. And to it’s like, okay, this person like really wants me to go in. And then I think for me, if I heard that, as somebody who was going to give them the feedback, I’m like, oh, man, like, they’re very aware. One, they actually want specific, good feedback. And two, it’s, it’s all on the table. It’s all in play. I’m, like my, my view of in terms of how much feedback and what I can talk to, is a lot wider. What do you think about that?
Brett Bartholomew 51:56
Yeah, I like it. Because here’s the thing, it goes hand in hand with as somebody that presents a good bit, and I know you present as well, they talk about the worst thing you can do at the end of a presentation is say, any questions or All right, I’m going to open it up for questions. One piece of advice I got once was don’t say that, what did I not make clear enough? Right.
And I think that invites some things because there’s an expectation piece there. If I’m invited to give a 60 minute keynote, which I’ve got to give three virtually this week, I always open that up, like, hey, happiness is reality minus expectations. This is just a sliver. I wish I could tell you everything about this subject in 60 minutes, I’m going to ask for you to work with me. Right?
Brett Bartholomew 52:35
The goal is to give you some above the fold headlines here, some strategic pieces. But you know, at the end of it saying what did I not make clearly enough contextualize Is everything in accordance with how you started? So saying, What’s the worst thing I did? If I remember, that’s how you phrase that? If you’re saying what’s the worst thing I did, you’re right, that breaks down that barriers.
And it’s like, alright, that, to me, says this is somebody that’s self competitive, and they’re interested in doing their best work a lot more than they are their emotions. And that was a big thing, jump for me professionally. I’m not interested, I know that the next book that I write, and I’ve confided this in you, I am going to get obliterated, people are going to hate like, there’s going to be a certain subset of the population that’s going to hate it, they’re going to hate it.
And this book has nothing to do with strength and conditioning. It has everything to do with, well, I’m not even going to highlight it, but there’s going to be people that just hate it. But I’m prepared for that. And I have that expectation. Now, it doesn’t mean that I don’t pay attention to those things, I will actually rebel and probably eat popcorn watching these, reading these reviews.
And I’ll take it seriously. I know that, um, my writing is not going to be perfect. I’m not Proust, I’m not these people, you know, like, but at the end of the day, at least I have something that moves the needle and comes forward and I can grow and there’s experience there. So you have to it goes back to those expectations. What’s the worst thing that I did, breaks down barriers creates an environment where feedback can occur, and the expectation in the ways in which it should be received.
Ali Kershner 54:00
You know, as you were saying that it also made me think of creating that expectation of whatever the feedback culture that you want, is so important. And I love this, my friend Gail works at Facebook, and she’s incredible. She actually works in a committee on a communications team. So how perfect, right? And they, one of the sayings they have at Facebook is feedback is a gift. And they say that from the day that you walk through the door. And while you might say to yourself, Okay, that’s kind of cliche, right? feedback is a gift, right? Well, that’s exactly the culture that they’ve created.
And so she told me, she straight up she’s like, when I first got there, people were like, trying to give me feedback all the time. Like, I wasn’t even asking for it. They were waiting for me after meetings. They were like, bombarding me in the hallway. They were like, very direct and specific. And it was hard. Like the first couple of weeks on the job. I was overwhelmed. And I thought I was just doing the worst job ever. Yeah, but in reality, that’s just the culture of their company. And that’s what they’ve all been in. It’s almost institutionalized. As a practice, right and like you better be able to receive it and hear it. And then that also probably promotes people to be able to give it in the future.
Brett Bartholomew 55:07
And I think about that in relation to combat sport me, me as a boxer, like I never go in thinking that I was going to be perfect. And my jab was never perfect or this or that. And but like, I That’s why I sought out that place. That’s why I sought out that sport, because you’re humbled every time, right? Like there’s this martial art, anything in martial arts, you’re constantly humbled there. And that’s where I just think this where we’ve taken feedback in terms of the workplace, the Office or School, our personal lives, or what have you, we need to look at that as a martial art, we need to look at this as this thing where we’re all students that will never become a master.
But I do think it is just people have got to have higher levels of accountability. There was a story that stuck with me, if you don’t mind you care if I it goes hand in hand with what you’re saying and what we’re talking about. Do you ever? Are you good with that? Absolutely. I want to make sure that you’ve made a great point. So I want to make sure you finish it. You know, it talks about Henry Kissinger and how he motivated his staff to do their best work. That’s really what this is about when he was Secretary of State. And this is gonna be very brief relative to the actual story.
But, you know, Kissinger had been a speech writer, and he thought speeches made policy, and he took a lot of care on them. And, you know, a lot of times when he was going through these drafts, he would have somebody kind of go through this draft. And he was trying to teach them some nuances of these things as well. But basically, this person had said, you know, he had gone in with a draft to present it to Henry Kissinger. And it said it was actually about a presidential foreign policy. And there were some things that were like, kind of apocryphal and not really evident, it wasn’t really, he wanted feedback on it, we’ll just say that. And he didn’t, he slid it across Henry Kissinger’s desk, and he called him the next day, Kissinger called him and said, Is this the best you can do?
Brett Bartholomew 56:45
And the guy, the individual that we’re talking about here, which was Winston Lord, if I remember correctly said, well, Henry, I thought so. But I’ll try again, there was no specific feedback there. And I’m not saying this is good. I’m giving an example. So he said, I went back a few days, you know, another draft, called me and the next day and said, Are you sure this is the best you can do? The key point being this person completed something is moving the needle? And Winston Lord said, Well, I really thought so. You know, I’ll try one more time. And the story goes, at least pertaining to Winston Lord. And what he said is this went on eight times, which for sure is extreme. But that’s eight times and eight drafts.
Then each time and eventually, Kissinger said the same thing. And he said, Henry, I’ve beaten my brains out. This is the ninth draft, I know, it’s the best I can do. And Kissinger essentially looked at him and said, Good, I’ll read it now. And that’s like, there’s an element of like, that is crass. And you could say it’s not compassionate, and all these things, but like, there is a point of why did you turn in, you know, one, like, ask for specific feedback, don’t just be like, here it is.
And two like, have some sense of pride in yourself, I riddle myself. If I waited until things were perfect, I’d never turn shit in and think about this. Right now. I don’t have a boss, my boss are the people we try to help with Art Of Coaching. But like this idea of perfection, it’s just not there. You have to turn something in. And then you have to have this conversation with your own self. Is this the best you can do? And if not, you can’t be scared of that answer. You just got to be like, what could make it better? Because what you really should be asking is what would make it more helpful? And that’s how you need to identify it’s not about you. It’s about how can your work be helpful, the most helpful and intuitive to the people you’re delivering it to?
Ali Kershner 58:30
Well, I think that’s what I love so much about to tie this story. Full Circle is when I did ask you for the feedback on the podcast, you came back and you said what specifically? And I gave you like maybe four or five points that I wanted feedback on, you came back to me with minute markers. And you’re like at 3:48. I think you could have done this better. At 6:42. I love this. I thought it was a great example. Right? It was super specific. And then, you know, even though what you said to me was not it wasn’t like you were pumping me up. And I’ve told you this like you were pretty direct. And I respect you.
Brett Bartholomew 59:05
I respect you,
Ali Kershner 59:07
It was some of it was like actually kind of hard to take. You’re like you told me straight up. You’re like, I don’t think that you took enough initiative in the podcast. Like I wanted to hear more from you. And you, you defer to your guests too much. You know, some of that is if if I wasn’t already aware of that myself, and I wasn’t already actively trying to fix it. That would have been really hard to hear. Regardless, it was hard to hear.
But instead of, you know, turning around and either being defensive or shrugging it off is not important, right? Like what did I do? I went back and I looked at it and I was like, You know what? He was really right. And then it’s iterative, right? Like, all I can do is be better the next time at that. But if I had taken the feedback any way other than as Brett’s trying to help me get better at this, it wouldn’t have worked.
Brett Bartholomew 59:49
Well. I think that’s how we started that call. Right? I said hey, just to orient, do you want you know, what kind of feedback do you think you want and understand that anything I say is in the context of this, right? And then I gave it to you. I said anything I say as a context, because I respect you, I know that you can handle the criticism and what have you, you know, and that goes back to expectations and environment. People could easily listen to this and be like, well, that’s ironic. You gave her that feedback, Brett, because you didn’t defer to Ali enough on yours. So you’re telling her you want to defer more on hers, but not on yours? Well, that’s a different context. I invited you on this as a co-host. I was the one that like we, we came up with a topic together.
But I said, hey, you know, I know you’re busy. I know you have a lot going on, I’ll come up with kind of the framework and a little bit of an outline of where I want to go. Let me let me be the quarterback, right. Like there was an expectation. And I think it goes hand in hand, even with our podcast early on. I had some feedback. And it’s welcome.
People would say, Well, I feel like you talk too much sometimes. I thought this was an interview. And I said, well, that yes, I talk too much in general. But no, my podcast is not meant to be an interview. We’re having a conversation. It says if you came in, you know, and we’re having lunch or what have you. This isn’t? Hey, Ali. What about this? Cool, what about that? Cool, hey, think about this cool, like, no interest there, right? So you, you get the credit for getting that feedback, because you’re like, hey, this is how I need the feedback. This was the goal. And here we go.
Ali Kershner 1:01:18
I think the stuff that stings the most is the stuff that actually is going to move the needle forward the most good, so and even though it can be really hard to hear, take a second and reflect internally. And that’s probably stinging because it’s right, it’s true. And it got to something that you already knew, just didn’t want to admit out loud.
And somebody else recognized it because the second that it’s external, right, it’s out there for everybody to judge. You’re like, shoot, yep. And then if you respond negatively to that sting, there’s no benefit, right? So take the sting note, recognize it, know that it’s kind of, you know, sucky in the time being, but they call it out something that you really needed work on, and it’ll end up helping you in the future.
Brett Bartholomew 1:02:02
Good points, you know, to, to frame these things up, I want to go back to this analogy that you and I had kind of talked about and written down because we, we say get rid of the sandwich technique, get rid of this, don’t do this. And I think we gave plenty of points of things to do. But it would only be right to give people an acronym, right? Because we love acronyms in leadership and management. And, you know, people just like it. So I was thinking and I came up with this idea of what just a SHIP, S H I P, P as in Paul, analogy, one. And this consolidates a lot of what Ali and I are talking about, in some respects, and we ain’t done yet. Be specific, right?
You Ali asked me for feedback on her podcast, I returned timestamp examples. Humble. When you’re giving feedback, remember what it was like being in their shoes and provide examples of your own journey. Meaning saying, Hey, I get that creating this online course is tough. There’s so many directions you can go and you might not seem you might not really know where you want to go. But just go somewhere and see where it leads. Right. That’s what I did in this example.
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:00
Because that kind of takes down this authority, so to speak of somebody worrying about your expectations. Three, you know, or I would be interval based. Yes, timing matters. And I know there’s a lot of people that probably thought I was gonna say immediate, that’s a mistake, because research has demonstrated instantaneous feedback can actually have a negative effect on learning. I mean, it takes time for a learner to process the feedback, as Ali alluded to their own emotions, what it actually means, what did they do? You know, that’s the thing that that guy at this also lets them do. No time to process just watch me that sound like, dude, I’m not learning that way.
Also, instantaneous isn’t the best since the teacher, facilitator, manager, whatever, may have a tendency to lead with that experiential bias, like giving them a minute, and I know I need this. I need 24 hours sometimes to process Hey, what do I really want to give them feedback wise on that bias? Where does that lead them? So inevitably, that leads to Ali, like how long is long enough? That depends, right? When you should give feedback could range from a few seconds to a few days, like sometimes longer. And then P is practical, just simplify it, tune it to part of the bigger strategy and mission, say, hey, this fell short of my expectations. In this way, the design was good, but it’s not going to be obvious enough to the person taking this course how it’s going to help them.
So just take a second, think about what the main thing you want to get across is by providing this strategy, and then make that obvious, don’t make people guess for it. And I think if you’re specific, you’re humble, you use the correct interval based strategies and you’re practical. You’re on the road for giving better feedback, your thoughts on any of that?
Ali Kershner 1:04:42
Yeah, you know, when you said specific, it doesn’t have to be this like very thought out. You know, ultra intricate, very formal, you know, method of giving feedback specific can even just mean putting a name on it, or instead of saying Good job or great work, right, like what did they Do a good job on just attach an adjective, adjective or a verb to that even could be enough to be specific.
That’s really what I was thinking. I don’t think that any of this is complicated. Like you said, I think it just requires a little bit of extra work. I think we’re lazy sometimes as feedback givers. And I think that the simple tasks or this, this acronym that you just gave, could really help make that feedback. Even more pertinent.
Brett Bartholomew 1:05:25
That’s not perfect, right. But that’s it’s a good kind of way of looking at giving now becoming a better asker of feedback. And you mentioned a lot of these things over the time. But again, just to reorient, we both agree the worst thing somebody can do is just say, Can you give me feedback on this super, super broad and shout out to a friend of mine, that’s, that’s in our coalition program, or was in the past? Bradley Schinsky. He would take a podcast and he posted it in the group. He goes, Can I get feedback on this? And every time I’m like, oh, Brett, and he was like, Oh, my God, I just realized what I did. You know, it sounds harsh to say, that’s awful.
But again, what are you really expecting with that broad of a query? And do you even know what you’re looking for? Do you want it like we talked about and then most importantly, what that says is you’re not cognizant of the other person’s time. I’m not perfect, but I’ll give you an example. I had got sent basically a 34 page document by somebody that phished my email the other day, and was like, could you give me feedback on this, I really respect your work, or what have you. And it sucked, because like, one I would felt, I, This is a person who say my work impacted them.
Brett Bartholomew 1:06:26
So of course, I want to help them. You know, you never want to disrespect anybody, let alone somebody that puts themselves out there. And it’s like, Hey, you really made a difference in my life. But then this person gave me a 34 page document that they wanted, can you give me feedback on this? So now it’s a lose, lose, right? Ali?
If I don’t, if I don’t get feedback, and I just ignore it like some advise me to do. All of a sudden, you turn somebody who thought you were their hero, and there are a hater all Brett goes along, they could go long and loud, Mr. Communication didn’t reply to me. You know, if you do to reply to it, you’re gonna be time poor and other areas, which I am already. And even if I say, hey, you know, really appreciate that. You know, what are you wanting feedback on now you’re creating more emails, more interaction, which brought a problem.
So what I’ve started to do if people do that, and I’m time poor, is I just send them feedback, I just kind of say, hey, here are my thoughts. Granted, I’m not sure what your goal is, who your audience is, and what have you. And maybe that’s feedback in and of itself. Here are three points, I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to go through the whole document. I kinda have a main job. And at least you can be honest, but I just think people need to understand, be a respectful asker of feedback, because it’s not just about you and your emotions. It’s about the person you’re hoping to learn from.
Ali Kershner 1:07:37
I completely agree. I think that vague equals vague. And if you give them nothing specific to give you feedback on what are you are you expecting them to give you feedback on, like, your vocabulary, your grammar, the shirt you’re wearing, when you wrote it like that could be literally anything, it could just be what I was feeling in that moment. And anytime you let the other person dictate it, it’s probably not going to be helpful to you. So pick two or three things that you most want feedback on, and then let the conversation take you further. So if you really want feedback on eight things, start with three, you know, be respectful of their time, and the conversation will lead there organically.
Brett Bartholomew 1:08:14
That’s great advice. I think we also have to talk about this territory of we got to make sure and that’s why I love you said Don’t you know, maybe instead of eight things, give them three, it is a real thing for people to get feedback dependence, because they may have confidence issues, they may have, you know, any other kinds of things. And we all have confidence issues to a degree for sure.
But feedback dependence is a really dangerous thing. If feedback dependents, just layman’s terms, what I mean is like somebody becomes this is where I kind of look at that, that that category we talked about earlier, when we say hey, we don’t have kind of this collective kind of thing at Art Of Coaching one, because we can’t but more. Again, we need people that are going to be autonomous. If you start giving a ton of feedback to people, they start to get reliance on that. And we certainly know you and I do that that’s super dangerous.
As a coach, you can’t have athletes that are dependent on feedback. I thought what was also interesting is there’s this individual named Martin Levy, and he is a doctor board certified fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon, and he specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopy. And in the past he had research and all these things related to ACL reconstruction and how to get people back if they had a failed ACL surgery.
But now a lot of his research is concentrated on how to optimize surgical skills of orthopedic orthopedic surgeons without kind of giving them direct feedback meaning of all things and I can’t remember if I talk to you about this, maybe I did a dog clicker. Do you remember talking about this a little bit?
Ali Kershner 1:09:45
Not only do I remember it, you used it on me at the apprenticeship.
Brett Bartholomew 1:09:49
So we experimented with this and to give everybody a super simplified version. You know, the goal with Martin levy is he doesn’t want people to get again, dependent on the feedback or the relation or the perception of the leader or the teacher? So there’s no great job or a well done, there’s no what’s wrong? Or what are you doing? Or how can I help Levy think that eliminating both praise and criticism helps the students focus on the task.
Now, this isn’t that much different from what I got my master’s in attentional focus, this idea that if I want somebody to do something, I’m going to have them focus on the outcome granted, not the task, the outcome because it constrains their, their system a bit less. But that’s an athletic endeavor. He’s talking about helping people suture up and perform surgery, you’ve got to think about the task and we see that we do see people who worry more about what their teacher thinks of them, what their boss thinks of them, what others think of them than just doing the job.
So what he does is he’ll give them a marker and let’s say, and I’m making this up, right, let’s say he wants them to put this rope or this suture two thirds over 1/3. And then close the stitch. When they do that. He clicks it. We do this in the apprenticeship if I, say, Hey, guys, use an action oriented verb three times, I don’t want to break up the conversation going in the role playing at the apprenticeship. So instead of somebody doing that, I’ll click it. So there’s reinforcement that yes, I did what Brett asks, I’m on the right point, and it brings self awareness. What do you think of this idea, like using a dog clicker to help facilitate certain tasks and keep people out of their own feelings?
Ali Kershner 1:11:27
Well, I can speak to how I felt when it was used on me, which was, I was allowed to continue, like you said, the conversation. It wasn’t interrupted, I didn’t have to pause to look over to get approval that I was doing the right thing. I was in the flow of conversation. And it like almost Inception style went three dreams deep into my brain, and I knew okay, I’m on the right track, dig deeper.
And then if you want feedback, you can always ask for it afterward. I think that’s different, separate. But yeah. You don’t need the feedback, positive or negative in the moment, you just need to know you’re on the right track. And then you’re you’re you continue down that path. And if maybe you’re not on the right track, then you’re not receiving those clicks. Maybe that’s freedom for your mind to go somewhere else.
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:13
Yeah I think that’s a great point and like to give people even a more concrete example. So we do something where it’s like, hey, we want to see three or four nonverbal gestures every time you do a nonverbal gesture. And it could be anything it could be. Haptics. So did you touch somebody on the shoulder? To reinforce something? It could be kinesics? Did you shrug your shoulders? Did you use your hands while speaking, you’re gonna hear a click anytime you use that. And instead of that, because again, that saves me because I know sometimes I can I get so excited about information when I’m teaching.
I could be like, Hey, did you see how Vanessa did? They don’t need me just click it. And then like you said, at the end, we’ll do a recap now. Devil’s advocate. And of course, unfortunately, we have to say these things. This doesn’t work in every situation, right. And there’s a psychologist named Barry Schwartz and says, Hey, this isn’t useful for all kinds of teaching. But it can be effective again, in situations where emotional, what they call emotional crosscurrents of praise and criticism are getting in the way of learning. And I know we’ve had that in Art Of Coaching. In many different capacities, we’ve had people that feel like, like I do, in some instances, the work is not good enough, or they’re scared to present it. So nothing gets done. We’ve had this on all avenues.
But it’s like you can’t, you’ve got to do the work, you’ve got to do the task, you’ve got to immerse yourself in the thing. And then you also have to have some accountability being like why didn’t get feedback. So it’s crappy, F that you need to give your you need to look you people know if something’s crappy, let’s be honest like, even a beginner knows that something isn’t up to snuff. Like at some point, you’ve got to be accountable. And you’ve got to be an adult and a professional. That’s hard headed does that? What do you think fight back, if you want to.
Ali Kershner 1:13:51
No, what I think we need to go past good or bad. Like that shouldn’t be the feedback that we’re seeking. That’s different, that’s cruel, you would just want feedback as information. And like you said, it’s information to change behavior. If you just want a pat on the back, or that wasn’t good enough that I don’t think that’s even feedback. I think that’s something different entirely,
Brett Bartholomew 1:14:11
Then you live and die with it. This is the thing that I try to get coaches to understand. Like, you should already be aware of this, you’re gonna have athletes that are gonna bomb I’m like, I remember I won my first boxing match by knockout. And then I lost my second one, right in front of my girlfriend at the time, and my best friend had come. No, none of those people saw me knockout the first guy fought, but they also may lose by points. The second, and I’m sitting here looking at that. And I’m just like, well listen, like you can get in your emotions you can do with these things, but like, you’ve got to be competitive with your own. I know that that wasn’t up to snuff. And I just think that it’s problematic when we want people. I have to do the same thing in my work.
When I put out our next course, our online course. I can beta test and ask for feedback with certain people. But when it comes to, you know, let’s say I do that with 30 people, right, I show members of our coalition group and in turn on staff and what have you. But when I put that out to the world, you’re talking about 10s of 1000s, hundreds of 1000s, maybe millions of people that will come across an ad or they’ll hear something about the course. There’s no roping that in, you know, there’s no and, and that just requires like callus yourself a little bit like you said skin in the game. What do you think we’re missing here? Ali, in terms of strategies, things not to do? Being aware of feedback dependence? What are we missing here? Before we wrap?
Ali Kershner 1:15:27
I don’t know if we’re missing it. But I think it’s worth reinforcing that, you know, like you said, callous yourself because evolutionarily, right, we were evolved to look for things that are dangerous, or that were going to harm us, right? So I think we were way more cognizant of negative feedback that we received than we are of positive. And that’s the one that we tend to remember. And, you know, it goes back to when you get feedback, right? One, look for more than one source of feedback. That’s great.
And, you know, it’s just like, if you get one bad Yelp review, like the the spicy Thai food, if you get one bad Yelp review, I think that’s something that you can brush off, look for patterns, right, that patterns are the ones that you want to pay attention to. But, but yes, callus yourself against negative feedback, but also listen to it, right? No, know that you’re going to be more cognizant, it’s going to make more of an impact on you because of evolutionary reasons. But then also, you know, don’t take everything that you hear as verbatim as stone.
Brett Bartholomew 1:16:27
You know, again, my brother owning a restaurant, if he did that every if he looked at every Yelp review, and I was like, Oh, my God, he would quit. You know, and I know people love quotes. So I think one thing that helped me is looking at the Mark Twain, Mark Twain quote, periodically, of continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection, right? Continuous Improvement is better than delayed perfection.
And then one thing that I’ve tried to work on and I’ll admit, a Megan security that I’ve never admitted on the air before, let alone to you is I had also heard a quote once, and I don’t know who to attribute it to, you know, it’s like anything now you find a quote, and it’ll have Morgan Freeman’s face, but then it’s on somebody says, it’s Bill Gates. And so who knows who said anything anymore, but it was correct a fool. And he and he is just the term they use will hate you. Correct a wise man, and they’ll appreciate you and I think we’re that assuage is an insecurity of mine, Ali, is I’ve had to have the very real talk with my wife, like, I own a business. And we’ve had people come and go in this business and what have you.
And I know, eventually, like, let’s say somebody owns a steel manufacturing plant, if they fire somebody, or they have to let somebody go, or something doesn’t happen. Sure, that person can go long and loud about how the person that owns that plant is awful. But it still doesn’t really say anything about their steel. I have felt like I asked Liz, I go, you know, if we ever have turnover, and we do we have people that aren’t with us anymore.
Brett Bartholomew 1:17:49
I feel like it’s not only, you know, sure what they say about me is whatever people are gonna say what they’re gonna say. But then how does it look, when I own a company, about communication and leadership, yet something didn’t work out, you could make the argument of, well, so much for Brett, you know, haven’t been this expert on people or leadership or management, you know, he can’t even keep this person or that, look, how many people have came and gone? And what I would say to that as well, one I never said, I’m an expert on anything, you know, I work my best to understand the human condition and the strategy and Science of Things.
But two that’s just life, not everybody is going to be a fit. And yeah, I’ve had to know that by the time I’m 30. If I mean by now, there’s plenty of people that don’t like me aren’t gonna like my product. They’re gonna say this and that, but it just, I don’t know, does that make sense where it just felt weird. It’s almost like if, if you’re a strength coach, and you pulled your hamstring, people are going to assume you don’t know what you’re talking about, even if you pull that doing something completely unrelated.
If I own a company that’s about people, communication and leadership, yeah, we have to let go of somebody or there’s somebody that quits because they didn’t like it. Well, then what does that say about me? But that’s just the nature of the game. That’s, that’s what you deal with being in a position like that.
Ali Kershner 1:18:59
So that I’d say what you said in the beginning, it’s about fit, right? It’s a two party system that we’re working in right here. And yeah, you’re not perfect. Nobody said that you were, but it’s also the other person, they’re fit in your organization or with your feedback style, or your leadership style. And it’s not for everybody, right? So, you know, I say, when you’re giving, receiving feedback, you’ll know when you finally reached an interaction with somebody who’s ready to receive it, and you’re ready to give it it feels really great. But that’s always gonna happen. And don’t let one bad feedback giving a receiving session deter you from giving it or practicing giving it in the future or receiving it in the future.
Brett Bartholomew 1:19:39
Yeah, I think one thing I’m really thankful for with your feedback when you did come to the apprenticeship. One thing that made it so worth it for me is you were so giddy and excited at the end that you were like, I’d say, hey, feedback, you’re like I need to think about everything. I’m gonna address it and granted you had seen a very unique, we had to do it during COVID. It was the first apprenticeship where we had a singular On an audience of a singular profession, right, it was a lot of PTS.
There were three that had to be there as opposed to all of our other apprenticeships were mixed professions, which is one of their strongest points. And people had signed up on their own. But like, you got to see what I considered like not one of our best well run things. I mean, you know, there was an issue with the car the night before, Bronson was sick. But that is the nature of things. And you still gave such enlightening heartening, practical, prior, you know, constructive feedback.
And I think just watching you, you could have told me it was the worst thing in the world. But because you were excited when you said it, I knew it meant something to you. So I think that’s one thing we haven’t touched on. But as unique about you. Feedback means something so special to you. And that is something you can’t teach people, it has to mean, like there’s a true genuine gift, like you said, or an opportunity, who taught you that Who taught you to just come in, and be so like, happy to provide input on something. And then not only that, to give concrete examples with how it could be made better, even if you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about in that moment.
Ali Kershner 1:21:05
I mean, I think obviously, it probably came from my parents originally. And it came from a lot of experiences of getting feedback, getting hard feedback. And the moment that it changed for me was when, instead of just letting that affect me in a negative way, I actually use it constructively. And then, you know, in my role as a coach, I give and receive feedback daily, it’s literally my job, right? And I don’t know, it’s a skill for me that I’ve continued to refine and learn more about every day. I’m nowhere close to being as good as I want to be at it.
But I think that when I give good feedback, and the other person receives it in a way that’s going to be helpful for them long term, maybe not initially, it’s gonna be hard for them to hear, you see a light bulb go off. And that’s just what I’m trying to give anytime that I help somebody and or receive feedback.
Brett Bartholomew 1:21:57
Yeah, no, I think that clarifies. And, guys, I hope, if you’re, regardless of where you’re at, in your professional career, I hope you take a lot of different but similar things out of this. And people that deal those of you that deal with imposter syndrome and information overload, and you feel dependent on feedback, you know, just you know, you have to be wary of that, you have to understand that that’s just not going to be the world you live in beyond a certain point, you have to be able to work autonomously, you need to learn lessons on your own.
And that means that you know, you have to launch, whatever you’re thinking of, I thought of this Russian proverb, and then I want to give you the last word Ali, you know, it’s not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats, right, and that idea is that there’s this goal, we need to plow a field, right, we need to overcome a resistance. So we need a horse, right? And the horse has to pull the cart and the cart allows us to do different things, whether it’s seeding the field, plowing the field, metaphorically, what have you. But really, it’s the oats that are the things because the horse knows at the end of this, or maybe periodically through it, it’s gonna get fed. So it’s motivated by an external thing.
Brett Bartholomew 1:23:01
Guys, you can’t be motivated so much from an external standpoint, because you’ll just never, you’ll never find happiness in your life, you won’t. And it’s okay if you have that we all have external motivations to a degree but like, this is where I just I really want you to be careful of reliance, because entitlement reliance, all these things can easily be masked by this like, well, I just want it to be the best. And I’m not saying that everybody says that deals with that .
Again, I think everybody gets what I’m saying here, you have to just go, like scars and shit or the shrapnel of life. And that’s the only way that you have any when people are like, Hey, how do you become an authority in your field? And they ask that question to people at conferences. I’m like, You got to start. You got to start. What do you want to close on? Ali? I’ve talked enough.
Ali Kershner 1:23:47
I think I think you nailed it. I think what I would say is, before you ask for feedback, just ask yourself one question. Like you said, what are the oats? Like, what do I actually want from this? And unless you have a clear answer to that question, hey, I want to get better at my communication skills. If you don’t have an answer for that. Don’t even bother asking for feedback. Wow. Just don’t. And then if you do, go find the correct source for that feedback. Find an authentic communicator who is willing and ready to give you that feedback and be specific when you ask for it.
Brett Bartholomew 1:24:21
There is nothing better I can say there. You were a phenomenal. This is our first foray into co-hosting. I know you have a lot of things going on but I do want to put it up to the audience for their feedback. Guys, how’d you like this format? Would you like Ali to come on more frequently? Do her dulcet tones put you at ease, you know, let us know. We can’t promise because she’s got a real life and I’ve got a life and we got time commitments. I can’t promise it’ll happen all the time.
But you know, we want to mix different things here at Art Of Coaching. Sometimes we’ll have guests we interview, sometimes it’ll be solo episodes. Sometimes we might have this so let us know Ali. I couldn’t be more thankful for your time, your honesty and your ability to roll with the punches when I say Hey, just trust me come on and let’s riff Thank you.
Ali Kershner 1:25:04
Thank you. You’re an incredible mentor, friend, everything and all things so again, appreciate you.
Brett Bartholomew 1:25:11
Guys for more if you’re interested in learning how to become better at giving and receiving feedback or leading teams or anything like that, check out our communication training. This is not so people can get flawless speeches or, you know, use big words. Communication training is so we can become better leaders, because leadership at its core is about communication.
Go to artofcoaching.com/communication. Couldn’t be simpler, artofcoaching.com/communication and please share this with your staff, your friends, anybody who’s interested in getting, receiving or creating ways to provide better feedback.
Until next time, Brett Bartholomew, Ali Kershner. Take care.
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I got a lot of value out of this episode and the accompanying reflection. One thing that I’d like to change about the feedback process at my place of work is that it’s all anonymous, but I think it would be more useful if our staff had our names tied to it so that it could start discussions and lead to better understanding. However, do you think there are advantages to anonymous feedback? If so, when does it make sense to keep it anonymous?