How you deliver feedback can be the difference between wildly successful teams or average performance and lost opportunities. If you have been using the sandwich method, but want to grow your feedback skillset, Let’s Talk, a recent book on feedback by Cognitive Scientist Therese Huston expertly outlines feedback essentials every manager should master. In her book, Therese covers research and feedback strategies; such as learning to apply the power of active listening, setting good intentions early, setting up two-way conversations, tips for creating psychological safety, best practices for frequency of feedback, and surprising research about the optimum praise to criticism ratio.

Managers will love the detailed scripts and templates Therese has included for handling those difficult or awkward conversations that many of us try to avoid. You will be surprised how simple word choices and supportive language can make a world of difference during feedback conversations. Mastering feedback is critical for managers and it is also a powerful skill for parents, coaches, teammates or anyone interested in elevating and helping others. Listen to Therese sharing tips on the Meant For It podcast and add Let’s Talk to your book queue.

Key tips from Let’s Talk:

  • State your good intentions early in the conversation (even if they seem obvious!).
  • Really, really listen with empathy i.e. don’t show up with a memorized script while waiting for your turn to talk.
  • Ask how you can help early in the conversation.
  • Understand the goals of the person you are meeting with and hook feedback to their goals.
  • Apply the ‘no surprises’ rule (don’t surprise people with unexpected negative feedback)
  • Learn how to “side with the employee not the problem”.

What are you favorite resources for improving your feedback skills?