I recently discussed the importance of feedback with my students, and encouraged them to actively solicit feedback, as well as get used to giving constructive feedback. I told them they could practice their constructive feedback on me.
But now it seems like I may need to update my slides and talking points a bit, thanks to the latest Pinkcast from Dan Pink.
In this week’s post, titled: This is how big time performers get the feedback they need, Dan shares some of the work of Shane Parrish, author of the four-volume series titled: The Great Mental Models Project.
According to Shane, the best way to ask for feedback is to not ask for it.
Instead, a person should ask for advice. Here are three reasons why this may be more effective:
- people love to give advice; it’s flattering
- many people do not like being tough and critical, even when it is justified; asking for advice allows them to soften that toughness into something a bit softer and positive, making the person more comfortable
- research seems to indicate that it does not really matter if feedback is positive or negative; what matters is that the feedback is actionable. By asking for advice, you are essentially asking for the action steps that will allow you to get better.
As Shane sums it up: Asking for feedback, creates a critic; asking for advice creates a partner.
Here is the video:
For the most part, I think the difference between asking for feedback vs. asking for advice is semantics, but I can see how just changing the word feedback to advice could make a difference for many people in terms of how they respond to such a request.
So I think I’ll keep my original class notes, and just add this as an alternative way to solicit feedback.
Although I’m worried what might happen when I ask my students for advice on how I can improve my teaching…