How exactly to ask for feedback?

Getting feedback from others can definitely be instructive. To further your growth, ask specific questions about their experience listening to you: what do they remember? What action will they take as a result of what you said? Do they understand something differently or more fully than before? How did your presentation resonate with them?

Angie Flynn-McIver from, The Problem with Getting Feedback on Your Presentation - Ignite CSP

Saw this today, from our very own @Angie . (And you should read her blog post entirely.) Her thoughts align perfectly with mine and I want to share some details about how I ask for feedback just after I’ve finished a podcast recording with a guest.

I no longer use the words “feedback” nor “comments.” If I ask for general feedback, I get equally general praise. Praise is nice! …but I’m looking for things I can improve, or which I should keep the same.

In the instants after we’ve finished, I think about how the experience just went. I pick one thing — it could have been something I think went poorly, or something that I think went very well, or something I forgot entirely, whatever. Then I ask a very specific question:

For example, in the Movers Mindset episodes, I end with a challenging question, and I even coach people before we start abou that question. I might ask (this could be a guest who struggled with the Q, or a guest who hit it out of the park)…

That last question can be really hard to answer. Was there anything I could have done different in our discussion before we started that would make that easier to answer?

Or, any number of other really specific questions, (but I’ll leave you imagine the things I’d have thought of that led me to these questions):

Was it annoying that I switched to communicating by email after we’d been dm’ing for a year on Instagram?

I have a lot I wanted to cover before we started recording. Was there something that I mentioned that I can eliminate?

I asked you a few questions in a row where I was going “deeper” on the same subject. Did that feel intrusive?

To make the pattern clear: I ask a question that is one of two varieties: how-did-it-make-you-feel? and what-should-I-do/have-done? I do my best to not explain why I do what I do (or did) and I do not provide any more context than is necessary to focus their thinking on the specific thing.

Almost every time the following happens…

People pause to think. That’s great because I don’t want to waste our time with, “do you have any feedback?” and they instantly say, “nah, it was awesome!”

People find it unusual to be asked for feedback with such a level of care and consideration. People appreciate that.

People sometimes give me specific, negative feedback. This is great, because they feel comfortable enough to skip that first slice of positivity-bread in the usual shit sandwich of blasé feedback.

And if they don’t have some specific, negative feedback then they push back, “no, I thought that was great!” Then they immediately give me something critical that is unrelated.

Anyway, those are my thoughts — ɕ

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I’m always happy when a post hits with you, and even more so when our thoughts align!

Angie

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@Angie - just linked to your article via a LinkedIn post. Good material! And, @craig, a solid piggyback of commentary and observations.
Excellent advice that will shift my practices . . . again.

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Hey Craig, your post reminded me of one of the best books on feedback ever written:
“Thanks for the Feedback” by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen (a pair who perform their own audiobook — and remind me of Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler in their best moments — which the book is filled with)…
I love your focus on asking SPECIFIC questions… because most people (through no fault of their own) have no clue as to how to give constructive feedback — which is what you’re aiming at… and what we should all be after… (there’s nothing worse for an artist to hear about their work than: “Yeah, it’s great, I really like it…”) (okay, there’s worse…)
negative feedback scares everyone… but that’s only because it’s normally associated with negativity — as opposed to constructive feedback — which doesn’t aim to tear you down, but to offer honest commentary on what they didn’t like — and WHY they didn’t like it…
that can get very personal…
blah, blah, blah…
sorry for the rant…
just know that this kind of thing is what art school is all about… it teaches you to critique the work of others (and be critiqued) with an eye on improving your own art / work…

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…ty v much for the book suggestion!! (And great to hear from you, as always, Curtis.)

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Nor do I use the word “feedback.” It’s so aggravating that it this word, along with others, have become wide-sweeping, all-purpose, multi-definition words that can mean anything at any time.

It’s bizarre and I think it’s detrimental to our communication, actually.

In my German classes I do a lot of “check for understanding” and I have several ways of asking this. One of my favorites is “Questions? Comments? Complaints?” and half the time I joke that I won’t accept complaints today anyway. :smiley: However it opens the door for people to simply speak, and sometimes a student will speak and then clarify his own thoughts, or it opens the door for another student to ask a question about something closely related–and she might not have otherwise asked that question.

Asking someone “What’s one thing you’d like to hear on my podcast that you don’t hear now?” opens the door for a discussion.

An exchange.

Imagine that. :wink:

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Also, the other day I visited a site and somewhere on the site there was a pop-up that read, “Do you have a suggestion?”

It was so awesome, it welcomed me to make a suggestion if I had wanted to.

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Great thread. I usually ask my guest “how could I have made the experience better for you?”

I’m deliberately seeking thoughts on the pre-interview and interview experience. Thoughts on the published show is something I want from my audience - all three of them :grin:

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I also ask for requests. :slight_smile:

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@craig
You knocked it out of the park with these ‘varieties’, Craig. I needed to see/read your thoughts on this! Very helpful and timely. Thank you.

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