B-Side: HubSpot's Brian Halligan, CrazyEgg's Hiten Shah, the ProfitWell Crew | Feedback is Non-negotiable
This episode might reference ProfitWell and ProfitWell Recur, which following the acquisition by Paddle is now Paddle Studios. Some information may be out of date.
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Feedback from the crew
Today, we're taking a deep look into feedback: why it matters, why we're terrible at giving and receiving it, and ultimately, how to do feedback right.
Feedback can be challenging as it feels inherently personal and can fuel all the not so great emotions - insecurity, vulnerability, anger. Yet, as HubSpot's Brian Halligan points out, it has to be faced, and, if utilized correctly, it can be one of the most critical factors of building a company.
Topics covered in this episode:
- Interviews with Crazy Egg's Hiten Shah, ProfitWell's Facundo Chamut and ProfitWell team members Erin Phinney, Neel Desai, Peter Zotto, and Ben Hillman
- Why feedback is crucial to your business
- How feedback makes us disinclined to be obedient
- How to use feedback as leverage in our favor to get people on board to give great feedback
- Actionable methods to solicit feedback and proper environments in which to give it
- What constitutes feedback and how to interpret all different kinds
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00:00:02:02 - 00:00:26:23
I used to lose my temper. Losing your temper is not a useful exercise for you or anyone else involved with it. Ten years ago, I probably lost it 15 times in a given year. Got it down to maybe three or four. And then the last year, the last couple of years have been zero. Took some work till I calmed down and worked through problems in a more logical way and off the surround people who didn't drive me crazy, who would prompt me to lose my temper.
00:00:27:00 - 00:00:42:04
That's been a very, very useful exercise. You don't want people around you on eggshells worrying that you're going to lose it. And so I've gotten much better giving actionable, useful feedback in private versus public and just kind of control myself in my emotions at a much, much better way.
00:00:43:00 - 00:01:14:08
That was Brian Halligan, the CEO of HubSpot, who we interviewed in the last episode of Protect the Hustle. Brian mentioned this journey to Zen when I asked him what was something that he struggled with in his career that he had worked on and overcame. And as he was telling me the story, it really hit me really hard because for better or for worse, I knew exactly what he was talking about, and it just felt so fulfilling because there was someone else out there, someone who was extremely successful in business, who had had these moments where he wasn't as buttoned up.
00:01:14:08 - 00:01:34:16
He had these moments of vulnerability, these these moments of anger when reflecting on this, we need to realize that anger is a secondary emotion. You don't just get angry inherently. I'm sure there are some people who have, you know, something impacting their limbic system that do get inherently angry. But for the 99% of us who get angry, it's because of some other emotion.
00:01:34:22 - 00:02:01:21
It's insecurity, it's vulnerability, it's frustration. Anger is always one degree away from truth. And when I reflect on what makes me angry, not only in the past, but also today at profit, well, it's typically that that anger centers around feedback. When I get angry, it's either because someone's giving me feedback that inadvertently preys on my insecure kitty because I either don't agree with it or I agree with it so much.
00:02:01:21 - 00:02:27:10
And they're just kind of hitting me in an extremely hard manner. Or on the flip side, I get angry sometimes when I'm giving feedback, mainly because of insecurity as well, because I'm talking to that person in some frustrated manner that I'm giving them feedback on what they're doing. Yet, as Brian said, outwardly losing your temper isn't helpful. And when I think about it, I've had a pretty similar experience as his.
00:02:27:10 - 00:02:51:03
When it was just Peter and I in the early days, I lost my temper publicly more than I do today during these feedback sessions. And if I ask you listening, when the last time you got frustrated or angry or sad when someone told you something you didn't quite want to hear or you went a little aggressive giving someone else feedback, you probably can think of too many instances and I encourage you actually try for a second.
00:02:51:11 - 00:03:17:03
Think of the last time someone gave you feedback that didn't go over well or you gave feedback in a manner that you're a little embarrassed by that slight twinge in your chest or your heart. That's what we're talking about today. We're going deep on feedback. Why is it important? Why we're terrible at giving and receiving feedback and ultimately how to do feedback, right?
00:03:17:17 - 00:03:48:16
Because feedback is central to being human and there's likely nothing more crucial to the success of your business. Yet as we're going to find out in a bit, it's pretty uncomfortable because feedback and any emotions that stem from it are deeply personal and however hard we might try to be an emotionless robot, these traits that make us deeply human, these emotions of evolutionary reactions to stimuli, they always find a way to rear their ugly head from profile will recur.
00:03:48:16 - 00:04:10:01
It's Protect the Hustle show about those who are in the trenches actually doing the work. I'm Patrick Campbell. And on today's show, we're talking about feedback and why it's really hard. We've got interviews for heat and shock for conditioning some of the profile crew and make sure you pay careful attention to the end of the show where we'll tell you how to get hooked up.
00:04:10:11 - 00:04:41:15
Some protect the hustle and profit. Well, swag feedback is crucial to your business because it's the only way you can get better. I'm sure you've heard that notion before because it's absolutely true. But when it comes to feedback, a lot of just just take its importance at face value. And when you take anything at face value, typically you're not actually invested in the concept, or at least you don't know the weight of that particular notion.
00:04:42:04 - 00:05:03:20
So let's jump in by first understanding why feedback is so crucial by first chatting with my partner in crime Profit Well, CPO and biggest giver of feedback that always cuts to my core Vacunacion pay close attention to how feedback is essentially our best journey to a testing environment or our ideas.
00:05:03:20 - 00:05:24:23
Feedback is the price we pay for trying to do something great. It is just part of the journey. It is an unconditional part of the journey. Without feedback. It is really, really hard to imagine doing anything that is anywhere near good. What are the mechanisms through which we make anything that is worth making? It generally takes a lot of iteration.
00:05:25:02 - 00:05:50:09
A few decades ago, a group of social psychologist decided to make a following experiment. They took a group of people that were about to start a pottery class and they split that group in two to the first group. They said, Guys, you're going to spend the next 30 days making one base. Your job is to make as good a base as you can, but you're going to be one to the second group.
00:05:50:11 - 00:06:12:09
They told people you're going to do as many bases as you want. Good, bad, doesn't matter. Just make a lot of bases. And at the end of the month, we're going to be one of them. Consistently, the people in the second group made better bases. The point that I'm trying to make is that one of the better mechanisms that we have to make anything great.
00:06:12:21 - 00:06:49:06
It's doing a lot of read. The Anatomy of a successful read is sort of like the following, right? You try something, you observe the outcome in genetic programing or evolutionary programing. We call this a fitness function. You need a heuristic for whether what you're doing is worthy. It's good. And if you take this premise right, if you take the premise that to make anything great, you do something, you observe the outcome and you ascertain whether the outcome is worthy or not, then it follows that the way to do anything great is to be able to shorten the cycles and to do as many as you possibly can not.
00:06:49:06 - 00:07:20:19
Unlike defaults on the pottery class. And when it comes to most of the things that we do on a day to day at profit level, US leaders as engineers, US sales guys, as marketing people, as pricing analysts, typically the outcomes are the outcomes take a while to play out. And so how do you know whether what whether you're going in the right direction or not, feedback sort of having an outcome which maybe having a customer reward you with their hard their money or a really, really happy girlfriend.
00:07:20:19 - 00:07:32:08
If you're talking about personal relationships or a bunch of friends that you really like to hang out with you, short of those things, the the best that we can do is tell each other how we're doing.
00:07:32:13 - 00:07:35:13
It basically takes that cycle.
00:07:36:00 - 00:07:49:05
And it it almost like artificially shortens it. So we're not quite getting an outcome, but we're getting kind of tested outcomes like in a testing environment. But there's also the element of like the diversity of thought, right?
00:07:49:05 - 00:08:16:11
Absolutely. That's a really good point. And I'm happy you bring that. The reason I think diversity of thought is important, it's because we are constrained by our personalities and our our environment. And so the search space for solutions of whatever problem we're working on tends to be relatively narrow and again, constrain by who we are as humans. Where diversity of thought comes in is that it expands that playground and expands the search space.
00:08:16:11 - 00:08:22:07
It forces you to look for solutions on places that you wouldn't naturally do.
00:08:22:07 - 00:08:51:03
So feedback shortens the cycles to doing something great, and whether it's feedback gained from an actual outcome, like seeing someone use a new feature that you built, or it's feedback that's short circuiting those reactions in the testing environment of those people that you trust, you're essentially getting those reps and sets to sand down the rough patches of an initial idea into the polish result of something that you can ship.
00:08:51:18 - 00:09:12:21
This is why a core value at. Prof. Well, is this whole concept of feedback being non-negotiable? We say that phrase to people in our hiring process. We bring it up at our all hands and we really bring it up. When chatting consistently about feedback because feedback is crucial. Here's what's kind of interesting, though. We conducted a study of 5000 team members and managers in the tech industry.
00:09:13:05 - 00:09:33:23
We found that half of all team members surveyed wanted more feedback than they're currently receiving, and that number jumps to 72% of respondents. When looking at strictly millennials. When we asked team members to rate the feedback that they receive, only one out of ten said that their managers gave them good feedback. To make your head spin a little bit more.
00:09:34:10 - 00:09:58:08
Eight out of ten managers believe they're giving their reports enough feedback. So there's a pretty big disconnect here. And I think this break down exists. It's because feedback is really emotional for everyone. When someone comes to you and tells you that your product sucks. It cuts like a knife through your heart. Conversely, only when someone tells you that that new feature is amazing, you're on cloud nine.
00:09:58:22 - 00:10:24:20
Feedback is an emotional roller coaster and to explore this, I got one of the all time cut it to me straight and tell me what I don't want to but need to hear. Friends of mine. Heaton Shaw, the founder of Crazy Egg and why I listen closely to how Heaton lays out how feedback actually triggers are aversion to being subservient.
00:10:24:20 - 00:11:02:00
We all have different personalities, we all have different upbringing, and we all have a different tolerance for other people telling us things, whether it's telling us what to do or giving us feedback. And I think there's actually a fine line between telling somebody what to do and giving them a big more the more I have given feedback and also did my best to receive it and asked for it more, I realized that it's all about thinking through why you have the feelings you have when someone's talking to you or when someone's giving you what you would call feedback.
00:11:02:10 - 00:11:24:15
But my perspective is simple. Everything is feedback. Even right now I'm saying a bunch of stuff. You're giving me feedback by nodding your head like, Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right, cool. I'll keep going that right. And I know that sounds really minuscule and small, but like it's more about how you take in the world. And so if someone's telling you something and you have a reaction to it, it's really important.
00:11:24:15 - 00:11:45:00
Identify what is that reaction? Why am I having that reaction? And if you can figure those kind of things out for yourself, that the whole world and what what people are bringing to you or what you're asking for from people, whether it's feedback or anything else, turns into a much more wonderful thing because you're taking it as, Oh, I'm having a reaction.
00:11:45:08 - 00:12:02:16
And that reaction is either going to be positive or negative for me. And if you say something to me, right, like, Hey, you're really screwed because you're you're messing up your pricing on this business of yours. To me, I take it as feedback to be like, well, well, not just Patrick knows what he's talking about on this topic.
00:12:02:16 - 00:12:21:00
It would just be like, Oh, someone has an opinion to share with me, right? And they decided to share it. So that's kind of like feedback coming in. That's easy to get triggered by. I can sit there and be like, Oh crap, I'm screwed. Or I can sit there and be like, Well, someone's trying to help me. And there's a fine line between that difference of how I feel when I hear something.
00:12:21:07 - 00:12:47:17
So my best piece of advice about feedback is start recognizing your emotions around people and triggers and exactly what's causing you to feel the way you do about something. For example, like if someone gives me actual feedback like, Oh, this thing you're doing is screwed up or the thing you're doing can be improved these days, I just stop and I'm like, okay, I have to be in listening mode.
00:12:48:08 - 00:13:10:02
I actually should not react because if I react, I might lose the opportunity to get the most valuable feedback or the most valuable information that I really need to improve. That is the hardest thing to do. We're not taught to be subservient to other people. We're not. We don't Most people don't grow up like that. We're taught to be an individual, right?
00:13:10:02 - 00:13:29:16
That's the world we live in. If someone gives me feedback as if they're telling me what to do, my first initial reaction for myself is, Oh, hell no. Oh hell no. You're not telling me what to do. Even it could be the most amazing thing for me. But it's just it's just a reactive to me.
00:13:29:16 - 00:13:57:23
That fine line between telling someone what to do and giving them feedback is basically my emotional tightrope. If I feel like someone's telling me what to do, my reaction is that of Heaton's Oh hell no. And as executives and founders listening, you're taught to lead. You're taught to go break through walls. You're taught to get to. Yes. So someone telling you what to do hits on the very nerve that you're taught not to have in your body and your mind.
00:13:58:12 - 00:14:22:21
And this is what makes us uncomfortable. This is what makes us emotional. And I wanted to talk to for Kundu about this because he and I share this emotional soup together of swirling feedback because it's our job to make each other better and we're both extremely full of fault and make more mistakes than anyone. He brought up a really, really good point, though, that sometimes is critical.
00:14:22:21 - 00:14:33:10
Feedback is actually easy to take, but pay careful attention to where we get to around emotional security feedback.
00:14:33:10 - 00:14:53:11
It is at times really, really hard to take, and I have a theory as to why that is, but it's sometimes it's really, really easy to take to great when you tell me, Hey, Fargo, you just reacted very poorly to someone's someone's suboptimal undertaking or you just you were really, really intolerant. You shouldn't have snapped. You shouldn't have lost it.
00:14:53:19 - 00:15:13:11
That is not hard for me to accept. And I think that the reason that it's not hard for me to accept is because I have personally come to terms with this being the personal lacking of my right. And so when you pointed out, I have no problem saying you're absolutely right, thank you for bringing it out, please keep doing so and help me get better at this.
00:15:13:11 - 00:15:45:13
Conversely, feedback is really, really hard to take when what we hear it is sort of like in direct contrast to the stories that we tell ourselves about our strengths and weaknesses and basically ourselves, right? So if you were to tell me, Hey Fargo, you just babbled to the team for 7 minutes and they have absolutely no idea what you were talking about, then That's probably a little harder to accept, right?
00:15:45:13 - 00:16:09:17
So at this point, after chatting with two people that I love and respect, I'm starting to get a lot of anxiety. I realize my own insecurities when I'm receiving feedback are detrimental and how that makes me feel and just the emotions of it all. But what starts to get me anxious is really the type of emotions that the people I give feedback have.
00:16:09:17 - 00:16:34:11
I'm the CEO, I'm pretty opinionated and I can be pretty intense. That's a terrible cocktail for me, giving feedback to people that I work with regularly. So I wanted to go to the source and actually ask them. Here are a few takes from people that I give feedback to on a regular basis. That profile, and just to kind of get ahead of the game here, All of these answers aren't great.
00:16:35:00 - 00:16:40:04
First up, Ben Hillman, who leads our show production and who's been at Provo. Well, for just over a year.
00:16:40:16 - 00:17:07:19
When I first got to propper. Well, you know, I just come from a different job where I had a lot of creative control and there wasn't a lot of feedback. Like I was basically able to do what I wanted, like with with some feedback. But for the most part, I had like full editorial control. And so coming in here, getting to know you at first, like, Hey, I wanted to murder you because of the feedback that you were giving, because I had never really received honest feedback before.
00:17:07:19 - 00:17:35:11
And honest feedback sucks because like, you have to kind of put your emotional truth to the side and you have to kind of like separate everything from the project that you're working on because the person like yourself, like what I came to realize, but I didn't realize at first was you were being honest from what you saw. And I may not able to trust you on things like audio or like tripod level or like camera, like shutter speed or something like that.
00:17:35:11 - 00:17:44:11
Things that like you may not know because you didn't go to film school. However, I do need to trust that on those things you are trying to learn as much as.
00:17:44:11 - 00:17:51:08
I'm trying to learn. Here's Erin who leads up our event marketing and see what she has to say after only being here two months.
00:17:51:22 - 00:18:16:23
I think you are a double threat because you're very opinionated, but you're also very articulate in your opinions. And I mean that in a good way, is it's good to have opinions and it's good to articulate them well. But it's also really hard to counter because you're like, that's a good point. It's like you said, it's emotional. I think being new, it's hard because when people give you feedback and your new in a company, you very quickly have that kind of visceral reaction of like, do they agree with me?
00:18:16:23 - 00:18:39:12
Do they disagree with me? Am I right or am I wrong? Am I good or my bad? And especially when you're new, you immediately go to those emotions because you want to be categorized and you want to be perceived succeeding in your role. So for me, I can find myself in this new role and I see it in myself going back to those very visceral emotions and you want to categorize as black or white.
00:18:39:12 - 00:18:52:17
Clearly that's something that I'm trying to, in my own way, move past. And I think that that comes naturally. The more time you spend somewhere, the more comfortable you are with people who are giving you feedback when you're new. At least for me, I can feel it happening.
00:18:53:04 - 00:18:58:17
Now. Here's what Neil, who helps lead a product, had to say. And Neil's also been here for just over a year.
00:18:58:22 - 00:19:25:07
You have an interesting role, obviously our role as leader here and all of us not only wanting to succeed in our own role in this company, but wanting to never let you down. Right? So I think getting feedback from you is a extremely helpful and getting better, but at the same time can really be hard sometimes, right? Like it's tough, it's honest, it's brutally honest as it should be and as I appreciate it to be, Sometimes it can be difficult, really taking that in and internalizing it.
00:19:25:09 - 00:19:38:15
But I think after being here for over a year now, we've really embraced that and I really understand that our incentives are aligned with. Your ultimate desire is just to help me grow as a person at this company and ultimately to succeed in our mission.
00:19:38:20 - 00:19:42:10
And finally, here's Peter, who's been with me for five years now.
00:19:42:19 - 00:20:03:16
All the feedback that was you for me early on, it was so transparent and honest, and I don't think that was something that I had ever received before. And in a working career that I took it all of deeply personal. Even if the feedback was, Hey, man, like that email that you wrote was a very good or the way that you conducted yourself on that call didn't give me a lot of confidence or didn't give the prospect a lot of confidence.
00:20:04:02 - 00:20:21:11
You weren't attacking me as a human. You were attacking my approach, which is totally viable, totally fair for you to do. It was and it still is today. But the way that I interpreted it and I think actually part of your your own growth is you delivered it in such a way that wasn't perfect. But the way that I took it was, you're being a jerk, Get off my back.
00:20:21:18 - 00:20:36:11
Let me do my job instead of maybe that call didn't go as well as I wanted, or when I brought that email or the way that I spoke to that person wasn't ideal. And it didn't come to the conclusion that we all agreed that we wanted to come to which is, you know, to advance the mission or to advance the deal or whatever it is.
00:20:36:11 - 00:20:57:22
So there were times that, like I noticed my fists were clenched when you were giving me feedback because I wanted to probably throw a punch at you. Right. And we got into these heated exchanges where even over stuff that like felt trivial or feels trivial now, that really felt important.
00:20:57:22 - 00:21:26:13
Hearing from these folks is incredibly difficult to come to terms with because my intentions, I'd like to think, have always been pure. I want to help people get better. I want people to help me get better. Feedback is the only way for those things to happen. But me giving feedback, whether I'm right or wrong, makes people feel bad for their own emotional reasons, or even puts them in a place where they don't necessarily know how to respond, which isn't exactly the point of giving feedback.
00:21:26:21 - 00:21:57:03
You need buy in for that feedback to sink in. This is why we have apprehension into giving feedback, though most of us don't want people to feel bad. And the other part of us that doesn't necessarily care about that, which you obviously should end up giving feedback so aggressively that it doesn't really sink in. The problem is without feedback that sinks in, you end up not getting the advantages we spoke about of shortening your iteration cycles and building the greatness that you're capable of.
00:21:57:13 - 00:22:19:09
You end up just wasting your time in a pool of frustration or thinking that you're absolved of responsibility because you're giving feedback, even though it's not sinking in. So how do we give good feedback? The foundation comes in recognizing that for most founders and executives, we have a lot working against us, but we can use that leverage in our favor.
00:22:19:22 - 00:22:33:15
Here's Facundo again on how to start getting people on board to giving great feedback and note how he talks about how disagreeable we both are.
00:22:33:15 - 00:22:55:03
The correlation that you observed when you said that people that take the feedback the best are the people that have been with us. The longer it's really accurate, Right? I think that there's two things that you and I have growing against us. One is we are the chief executive officer of the Chief Growth officer, and the second one is that we score very low on agreeableness.
00:22:55:03 - 00:23:14:02
We are not easy to approach. We are passionate. We get a little loud. I would like to think that it's not exactly fear, but there's an element of something when I think about how to make this better, given that these are personalities and they serve us really, really well on a bunch of different dimensions and we are unlikely to change them.
00:23:14:08 - 00:23:44:18
I always wind up coming to the same sort of like conclusion, which is how I will make sure people know that you are on their side. The best way we have to lower the bar is to make sure that people know that we don't judge them when they say something that's a little knuckle headed, that their jobs are never at risk for coming and telling us something that they think we wouldn't want to hear and that we are better than anything else invested in their success as much as they themselves stuff.
00:23:44:18 - 00:24:08:18
The whole concept of making sure your team knows that the person giving the feedback is in their corner is the absolute foundation. No amount of tactics that we'll talk about in a bit will matter if you don't have this foundation. This means that you need to make sure that feedback is part of your culture. And culture is the collection of behaviors that you encourage and reinforce every single day in every single moment.
00:24:09:11 - 00:24:38:14
So in every moment you need to create great feedback, experiences for your team, experiences that help them. Even if the feedback is critical, you probably should give positive feedback too, because it reinforces the entire notion that you're in their corner and don't just see things that need to improve. One piece that's pragmatically helped us here well, is this whole notion of feedback being non-negotiable, because we're constantly priming people with that concept.
00:24:38:19 - 00:25:08:00
It acts as this great reminder that feedback is important, so people consistently give it up the chain, down the chain, across the chain and everywhere in between. Yet it also acts almost as a practical excuse. People say in the vein of feedback being non-negotiable. I want to share some feedback with you, which makes it easier to give and then take that feedback regardless of seniority more tactically, we're in the process of implementing or have implemented a few useful feedback mechanisms.
00:25:08:02 - 00:25:27:02
For one, we've added roughly a dozen different channels for giving feedback, not everyone wants to give feedback in the same way, so we have a Slack channel, a form you can fill out, an anonymous form you can fill out. You have your manager, you have all hand's feedback sessions, you have other leaders in the company and the list goes on one avenue we're about to test.
00:25:27:02 - 00:25:49:23
We actually stole from Toyota, where during the first week of onboarding, new team members are put in a red square that's been painted on the ground at the factory. They aren't allowed to leave that until they point out something that's wrong or something that could be improved on an interpersonal level. One thing that I found useful is speaking with folks that report to me or I often give feedback to about how they like to receive feedback.
00:25:50:10 - 00:26:13:02
It seems small, but while giving feedback should be non-negotiable, the way someone receives feedback should be very negotiable because you want it to sink in and it's not always going to feel great going deeper, though, we're also focused on training folks how to give good feedback beyond making sure the person you're giving feedback knows that you care. Great feedback typically has three elements.
00:26:13:19 - 00:26:34:09
First, it has context. You want to make sure you're answering why is what you're giving feedback on important and also how does it fit into the bigger picture. When you provide this context, at the very least, you bring the recipient of the feedback to the same level of magnitude around the feedback. Second, great feedback is clear and direct.
00:26:34:18 - 00:26:55:19
There's nothing worse than someone leaving a conversation thinking one thing and you thinking another, especially when it comes to feedback. Finally, you need to focus on the future. Feedback isn't about the present, it's about the momentum that you're gaining to be better dwelling on the bad or the good doesn't do much to reinforce or help fix behavior going forward.
00:26:56:14 - 00:27:11:18
You have to remember your cue, though, when you're giving feedback. It's about the environment and the mindset. And to reinforce this, I really like what he has to say about being a great communicative manager.
00:27:11:18 - 00:27:29:22
If I'm sitting there and like, you know, I'm talking to someone on my team, I do want them to assume positive intent. The problem is I can't expect them to think of that right away when I'm talking to them. If I'm giving them feedback or if I'm giving anyone feedback. I actually am very conscious of when I say it how I say it.
00:27:30:02 - 00:27:49:18
Is it going to impact them in a positive way? Is it going to create a discussion? Is it going to enable me to explain my thinking or help them see my way or even when I'm giving feedback because there's not much of a difference in giving and getting feedback, quite frankly. Am I giving them feedback, assuming that I know what kind of reaction they're going to have?
00:27:50:06 - 00:28:15:04
And, you know, that's that's not that hard to do. That's why I, like people walk around, be like, my boss is a jerk or your boss is a jerk because your boss probably doesn't know how to speak to anybody and give them real feedback in a way that they can respond to. And if you are being managed by someone and they're able to reach you where you are, that's the best thing.
00:28:15:04 - 00:28:33:09
After all of this around feedback, though, I'm still left struggling because here's the thing. There's some feedback that it doesn't really matter how you give it to me or it doesn't matter how I give it to Ben or Facundo or Erin. I can give it to them in a textbook perfect way, or they could give it to me in a textbook perfect way.
00:28:33:22 - 00:28:51:12
But myself or that recipient is just not going to take it well, because it cuts to the core of our psyche as the giver of that feedback. You still need to give it though, but we need to keep in mind that feedback is a two way street where maybe the ultimate onus is definitely on the giver of the feedback.
00:28:51:12 - 00:29:17:02
But there's a large portion of this that sits on how you receive feedback and through these wraps of giving feedback, we also need to help our teams develop a mental model through which you can filter things that cause you to have the Oh hell no reaction that heat and spoke about. Let's go back to heat now to learn a bit more about how he's trained his brain to make feedback of all forms ultimately useful.
00:29:17:02 - 00:29:36:21
I have a process to be honest, and I think the start of it is awareness. Be aware in every moment, not just when you think you're getting feedback. Because what's happening is when people are interacting with you, you're having a response. Can you recognize what that response is? Not just a negative response, but is it a positive response?
00:29:37:05 - 00:29:57:22
And start finding those times. You could call them patterns. If you want to find those patterns where you are reacting and you're understanding what is causing you to have that negative reaction or the positive reaction. And once you figure out some of those patterns, you'll start saying, Do I want to have that response? Do I not want to have that response?
00:29:58:07 - 00:30:16:20
You know, where does it come from? What's producing it? How do I work through it? And like this kind of stuff like this is not the stuff I read about in a book. This is not what they say about getting feedback. They tell you like generic stuff, like, Hey, everything's feedback. Assume positive intent and all these things that like they sound great.
00:30:16:20 - 00:30:35:14
In theory, I love them. They're great, right? Like what? I read those books are like, Yes, let's go. But then when I'm in the real world and someone's giving me feedback, I forget. I don't remember that I should assume positive intent or I should consider anybody saying anything critical as feedback. No, I forget. I get to stop, right?
00:30:35:14 - 00:30:55:22
I get emotional. I'm like, Oh, crap. Like they're trying to attack me. I get defensive, you know, like, that's just a natural reaction. So I think it's really about identifying your reactions. I think what you're looking for is what's going to cause you in your own way to stop. And this is where like sort of a system comes in to stop, don't react.
00:30:56:06 - 00:31:13:05
And what I mean by don't react is you could think whatever you want in your head. Please think. Take it in your head, do not say it. And then instead of reacting, just ask why you know what we do to each other. We throw these negative emotions at each other, right? And then it turns into something where you don't.
00:31:13:05 - 00:31:18:06
You're not using the feedback appropriately.
00:31:18:06 - 00:31:44:20
Everything comes back to those emotions. And as an economist and statistician, that just doesn't feel great. The thing is, though, the endeavors that we've embarked on as operators and founders, they're just deeply personal, which makes them deeply emotional. We get upset because someone's not in our head, so they make a mistake and we give them feedback. We don't take feedback well because it preys on our insecurity about not being good enough.
00:31:45:18 - 00:32:09:02
To me, though, in building profitable and maturing over the years and observing thousands of founders and executives at this point, the secret isn't denying that these emotions exist. It's embracing these emotions with open arms and harnessing the leverage that these emotions bring us to use the momentum for good and for making us great. We will things into existence as leaders.
00:32:09:12 - 00:32:34:11
It's our job to build things. Yet we need to understand that the primary structures that we should be thrusting forward are ourselves and our teams. Each building block is a piece of feedback in our ability to harness that feedback will be the great equalizer between us and every other challenger. That's why feedback is non-negotiable.
00:32:38:15 - 00:33:05:22
Protect the Hustle is produced by Dan Callahan and Ben Hillman with help from Robert Burn and Aliza Chan, written and produced by Patrick Campbell, with special thanks to Hayden Shaw, Peter Zeno, Aaron Phinney, Ben Hillman, Neel Desai and Facundo Sharma. This week's episode is brought to you by app Cues Improve Adoption and feature discovery by letting non-technical teams build personalized products variances in minutes, not weeks.
00:33:05:23 - 00:33:21:06