SEATTLE — Dr. Therese Huston, the founding director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University, helps people give feedback so that the other person can actually hear you.
In her new book, Let's Talk: Make Effective Feedback Your Superpower, she presents a model for giving feedback to peers, employees, or your boss without offending or demotivating. The key to being listened to, she says, is to listen. First discover what kind of feedback an employee wants most: appreciation, coaching, or evaluation. Once a manager fulfills that need for an employee, they may be more receptive to other feedback.
She also discusses "counterintuitive strategies" for delivering each type of feedback successfully, including:
- Start by saying your good intentions out loud: it may feel unnecessary, but it makes all the difference.
- Side with the person, not the problem: a bad habit or behavior is probably less entrenched than you think.
- Give reports a chance to correct inaccurate feedback: they want an opportunity to talk more than they want you to be a good talker.
We talked to Dr. Huston about we as employees can communicate our achievements to our superiors, the troubling trend of women considering leaving the workforce, and the documented differences of how BIPOC employees and white employees are managed and how managers can recognize and stop the behavior.