Glade Holman shares why the “feedback sandwich” doesn’t work and a better approach. He also discusses “Generative Feedback”, and the importance of teaching people how to receive feedback regardless of how it’s delivered. People can learn to receive feedback graciously and act on it visibly. Finally, he provides a powerful 3-step model to make great use of feedback and help others rewrite their narrative about you.
Glade Holman, Founder of LearningBridge and Managing Director of Park Li, has 20 years of experience working with senior executives at global firms like Procter and Gamble, Citigroup, JP Morgan, VISA international, and Glaxo Smith Kline.
Glade is passionate about using strategy as a leadership tool. He really likes to work with individual leaders on how to combine the human dimension of leadership along with an analytical dimension and as part of that work, he’s very good at using feedback as a foundational starting point for growth and development.
Troy Blaser (00:05):
Hello, welcome to Simply Feedback, the podcast hosted by LearningBridge. I'm your host, Troy Blaser. Our guest today is Glade Holman, who is the founder of LearningBridge. We've had the pleasure of having Glade on the podcast previously, but we're excited to have him back again this month to talk about some things that are new, to talk about what he's been up to. Glade is, as I mentioned, the founder of LearningBridge, he is the managing director of ParkLi group. He has 20 years of experience working with senior executives at global firms like Proctor & Gamble, City Group, JP Morgan, Visa International, and GlaxoSmith Klein. Glade is passionate about using strategy as a leadership tool. He really likes to work with individual leaders on how to combine the human dimension of leadership along with an analytical dimension. And as part of that work, he's very good at using feedback as a foundational starting point for growth and development. Glade it is great to have you here with us today. Thank you so much for joining.
Glade Holman (01:05):
Troy, I'm excited too. You know, I think it's been a while since I've been on the podcast, I've enjoyed consuming it. I'll tell you that I, you learn insights from everybody's experience. And that's one of the things I think is great about feedback is it's the idea that I can learn from other people's experience of me. And I find the podcast helps me do that and I found it be incredibly informative. And so I just wanted say, compliment you for the work you guys are doing with the Simply Feedback podcast. It's a powerful one. I really enjoyed the episodes.
Troy Blaser (01:34):
I think we've come a long way since you and I recorded that first episode quite a while ago. We've come a long ways in the technology, but we've had a wide variety of guests since then, like you said, and it's been really enjoyable to talk to each one of them and see what they have to offer.
Glade Holman (01:49):
Well, I hope I have something to add to the mix this time around.
Troy Blaser (01:52):
I think you will, let me just start with this question. We've, it's kind of become part of, the standard question that we really like to start with. And that is, if you don't mind, if you would share with us a time maybe that somebody gave you feedback that had a, maybe a significant impact on your life or marked a turning point for you.
Glade Holman (02:10):
You know, I'm going to, now that you've asked that question, I'm going to couch it in the context of actually feedback when I kind of zeroed in on what about feedback? Not just like I got keyed into feedback and its usefulness. And back when I was 19, I was kind of in a teaching setting where I thought I was pretty darn good, even as a 19-year-old. I thought I really had things mastered, I was well prepared.
Troy Blaser (02:30):
I think every 19 year old feels that way. Right?
Glade Holman (02:33):
Yeah. You know, I could do this, you know, I'm awesome at this. And I could really help other people become better at it. And I invested a lot of time in my teenage mind to be really excellent at this kind of teaching environment. And part of it, we did as a role play and then we're supposed to get feedback. And so my whole expectation was I'm going to role play and boy, am I going to get glowing feedback on how insightful I am and how skilled I am and how appropriately I've applied all the models and all the techniques. And so I was very excited for the feedback because I thought it was going to confirm my learning and my preparedness and everything that I invested into it. And so I did it and I've got, you can imagine I've got my smile on my face of like, I've just done so great. And then the first bit of feedback wasn't so like, Hey, that was awesome. You did great. Wow. You're so good. How did, you're just brand new? You know, that's what I was expecting to hear.
Troy Blaser (03:21):
Glade Holman (03:21):
And that's not what I heard. And what I heard wasn't really even harsh. It was just, Hey, here's a tip, here's a tip. But that "here's a tip, here's a tip, here's a tip," just chipped away at this vision I had of who I was as a 19-year-old. And all of a sudden where I thought feedback was going to be a glorious, uplifting experience to me, all of a sudden it was one that knocked me down. And I mean, it wasn't knocked me down. It just, it got me to reappraise the view of what I looked like, because now I had another vantage point that someone else shared with me. And so at first it was kind of hard for me not to react and push it away and say, well, yeah, don't you know how good I am? If you knew how good I am, you know, you'd know your feedback was off the mark.
Glade Holman (04:07):
And it maybe wasn't that bad, but that's kind of what's processing in my head. But I remember it so well because of that expectation I had, and it didn't meet the expectation that I had in my head of what I was going to receive, but that experience turned me into, oh my goodness. I need feedback. If I don't get feedback, I'm going to continue to think I'm wonderful when I might not be. And boy, I better figure that out. And so I learned that I didn't have to accept, even in that experience, all the feedback the individual gave me because that individual's maybe 20 and I was 19. And you know, there's something about difference of a perspective, but I keyed into, okay, there's a place for feedback in me.
Glade Holman (04:52):
I gotta get rid of my assumptions about how good I think I am, or, and it wasn't even just thinking how good I am. How appropriate I was and how well I'd applied the model, how well I'd done something and then hear about it from someone else's perspective and then make adjustments. So that was very powerful to the fact that I can still remember it now, where I was sitting, the temperature of the room, you know, where his chair was, where my chair was, that kind of thing.
Troy Blaser (05:15):
Isn't that funny?
Glade Holman (05:16):
But it stuck with me. It really did.
Troy Blaser (05:18):
It's funny how that gets embedded in our heads as a memory like that. Like you say, you can remember all those details about the environment and things like that. Is that something that then had an effect on how you gave feedback to others as you were continuing to teach?
Glade Holman (05:35):
You know, I do think it keyed in and said, you know what, be aware, Glade that when you give someone else feedback, because that's also something I was required to do during that same time, that they might have a similar experience that you had in that they'll go in with this expectation, the feedback's going to be conformatory and maybe, you know, lift me up. And instead it's actually constructive, they'll point me in a new direction. So I certainly do think that probably did influence the way I offered feedback, trying to think, how could I offer feedback in a way that's encouraging rather than discouraging. And I think that was a key that kind of filled in early on in that experience there. And I think has been present with me ever since.
Troy Blaser (06:20):
Glade Holman (06:21):
The discourage versus encourage in the context of offering feedback to an individual, how do I make sure I get the encourage rather than the discourage outcome from the feedback experience.
Troy Blaser (06:33):
And you know, it's useful maybe to even think that, to be aware of, if you're about to give feedback to someone or if you're evaluating someone, if you can be aware of maybe what their expectations are, you can try to couch your feedback in a way that addresses those expectations while still giving the feedback that's needed. In other words, part of what you were just saying a minute ago was, you know, you finish your role play and you were like sort of waiting for the compliments to roll in and you got tip number one, tip number two, and you're kind of going, but, where are the compliments? You know? And so you sort of had that expectation and maybe the feedback could land a little better if that expectation was at least maybe partially fulfilled, you know, spoonful of sugar, kind of a thing.
Glade Holman (07:17):
Yeah, for sure. You know, I think that's an interesting point too. You know, there's a lot of, there's something that was termed, and many of us will be familiar with it, feedback sandwich. I'm going to give you a counter example to that, and it's not exactly what you were saying there, but feedback sandwich was, you know, here's how you do a performance review, tell them something nice, give them something constructive in the meat of the sandwich and then tell them something nice again. So you kind of had it sandwiched by a positive, a constructive, and a positive. And we're so conditioned to that these days that that rote model usually happens as like, as soon as I hear something positive, I'm actually thinking like, well, there's a negative, there's a but that's coming. And so you want to be balanced in your feedback, but you want to make sure that as you're offering it, it doesn't come across that I am actually following a pattern to get you into that right spot. Because we've like, Pavlovs dog, you're giving me positive feedback. I know what's coming next. So I don't hear the positive.
Troy Blaser (08:10):
Or you think it's insincere, right. Well, you're just telling me that because you need something so you can get to the negative feedback.
Glade Holman (08:16):
And there's actually really good research now that's been formalized and officially kind of shown that the feedback sandwich doesn't work. Either they miss the constructive message or they throw away the positive message. And depending on which one you wanted them to do. So I think that there's a, so the tricky part is, and I think you alluded to this, is how do I enter a feedback situation that I want someone to come out of it empowered and feeling excited about the future rather than discouraged and feeling defeated. And is one way to do that, to give them some positive reinforcing feedback, along with the constructive feedback. And I'd say yes, but it's not a rote model. I think the best type of feedback experiences that you have, if it's a long-term relationship with somebody, is find lots of opportunities to have done the positive feedback outside of that moment.
Glade Holman (09:05):
So if you and I have a chance to have a relationship, let me engage in what I'll call, right spotting, very often with you. Where I never give you a but, the piece of feedback coming off. But the nature of our dynamic of our relationship is I'm giving positive feedback spontaneous to you. Unsolicited spontaneous feedback. And that's appreciated. Unsolicited constructive, spontaneous feedback's not always appreciated. But let me build up the confidence of I'm here for your success. I'm here on your side. I'm a useful person for you. Then when I offer you the constructive, it helps. In fact, I kind of found when you, if I right spot long enough, people start asking me to wrong spot. And then that wrong spot's going to be received much more easily. So, challenging to do it when it's a one off experience. But if you can do that confidence building or trust building before you land the constructive feedback, that's the best way for me to go about it. Would be my advice.
Troy Blaser (10:08):
I love that. That's fantastic. You know, in our last conversation, the last episode that we did, I don't know, a year and a half ago, we talked a lot about generative feedback .and of course people can listen to that episode if they want to hear more, but maybe can you give us a quick recap of generative feedback?
Glade Holman (10:25):
Yeah. And this is something I'm super passionate about. Because like I said, I think sometimes feedback gets a bad rap, you know, like we'll have a, maybe we have a, we all have a relationship with it. Some of us want to take out a restraining order against it. You know, and some of us want to welcome it into our, and sit down on the sofa next to us. And feedback is something that helps me and feedback is something that's good for me. Feedback is something, not even just like spinach that I need to eat to make me strong, but I actually enjoy it. I want to help people have an enjoyable experience with feedback that's constructive. That's, that's helpful to them, not when it feels like feedback's being done to me, and often feedback harms me. So I want to change that fundamental relationship and generative feedback is a way of encapsulating that conversation.
Glade Holman (11:13):
So when we say generative, what does that mean? Well, it produces more energy than it consumes.
Troy Blaser (11:18):
Hmm. I like that.
Glade Holman (11:19):
So, if you have feedback and it knocks the wind out of you, that's energy draining. At the end of a feedback experience, and sometimes that cycle might actually have to, you know, encompass a weekend, but in the end, I want it to be energy generating. And I firmly believe that negative, constructive, unfair, ill-intended, all feedback can be turned into one that generates energy, positive energy for change toward where you want to go. Sometimes folks will receive feedback from someone. And what they're hearing is the intention that the individual has for them on where they need to be. That's the wrong mindset. Generative feedback says, I'm going to take that feedback. I'm going to find what values in it that will propel me towards where I want to go. And that that's generative. When you remain kind of in control and you use it to power you forward to achieve your ends, your aspiration that you have for yourself and your professional personal life.
Troy Blaser (12:24):
That's a really empowering way to think of it, to say, you know, all this different feedback that might come in, some of it welcome, some of it unwelcome or ill-intended. I'm still in charge of how I react to what that feedback is. And how can I use that to give me energy towards where I want to go.
Glade Holman (12:41):
One imagery I think for me that, I don't know if you've ever seen these like, three wheeled, kind of sailed desert racers, you know, they're like three wheels and you see these little, the sail going up and it's like you're in this, you know, souped up tricycle that's looking like a little go-kart down there with a sail up. And they are zipping across this open field and they're zipping in all different directions. And the only thing that's powering them is the wind. And the wind is blowing in one direction, but they've taken the initiative to put a sail up and to capture it and then to point that sail and maneuver it in a way where it takes them and propels them forward to exactly where they want to go.
Troy Blaser (13:20):
Glade Holman (13:21):
You know? What I'll often kind of think in my head about folks is look, the very piece of feedback that you need to grow, that you need that will make all the difference in your career to create a point of inflection. It's already present. It's already there. It's already prepared somewhere waiting for you. It's, and what you don't have is the skill to put the sail up and then know how to taper that sail to power you forward. So if you could see feedback, you know, rather than taking the wind out of your sail, actually putting it into your sail and regardless of the direction it's blowing, you can pivot that to make it increase your speed or take you to the objective that you have. So for me, that's, that's my mental model for feedback. I don't want someone to be, you know, sitting there in a sailboat with wind blowing all around without the sail up when the very thing they need is there just let's put the sail up, figure out how to use it and take it to where you want to go, but you better have a destination you want to go to. Otherwise, you know, the feedback's not going to help you.
Troy Blaser (14:17):
Yeah. So, Glade, thinking about this generative feedback, and as you've had a chance to bring it into different organizations, what differences do you see as you help employees in these organizations use generative feedback?
Glade Holman (14:30):
Well, I'm glad you focused on as you help employees use generative feedback rather than saying, give generative feedback. I do want people to give generative feedback, but I already started with this premise that whatever feedback's out there, even if it's given poorly can still be generative. So the first and primary responsibility, I think resides on you to make it generative. You, the receiver. You say, what about organizations? Most organizations have some kind of training for their managers to give effective feedback. And they teach the models, Tthey attend workshops, they do role plays, but even with all of that training and all of that development, most of us that have been the receivers of feedback, don't necessarily feel like we've been given feedback by an expert giver. And so for me, I wipe that out because I know every person I'm working, going to work with, they're going to get feedback from people that aren't experts in giving it.
Glade Holman (15:24):
And so when you say what's the, what's an important transition point for you, it's invest in training people how to receive feedback generatively, regardless of how it's delivered. That's the most empowering thing I can do for an individual, because that way they can put their sail up in whichever way the wind is blowing, they can position the sail to make them, you know, go to where they want to. So investing sometimes in the skills to receive feedback well, and then as I've said before, figure out, you know, receive it graciously and then act on it visibly is the empowering component that I want the recipient of feedback. And to permeate the culture, that feedback is something that helps me and feedback is something for my benefit and that I'm responsible to make it be such. And I can do that. Feedback is independent of who I am. It's not who I am. And that's a core challenge for folks.
Troy Blaser (16:19):
Well, I was going to say is that maybe the biggest difficulty that you see as you come into an organization is the challenge around how people are receiving the feedback that's given?
Glade Holman (16:29):
I do think so. I led with it right there. I said, sometimes people think that feedback, you know, is them, rather than just the feedback is about something that somebody else has observed, that's independent of who they are. And so I think one of the empowering parts of an approach and that relationship to feedback that you have, you know, where you don't want to take out the restraining order. Is that when you realize the feedback is independent of you and it's actually revealing as much about the giver of the feedback as it is about the receiver. You know, that the giver is going to be unveiling to you, their belief around whatever effective something looks like. If they're giving you direct feedback on your presentation skills, they're giving you their opinion of what a good presentation looks like. They're going to share information about what they value and what their belief sets are.
Glade Holman (17:16):
So it's as much about them and probably more tightly tied to them than it is to you. And so don't think, feedback is independent of who you are. You know, I'll often talk to folks and say, look, there are narratives that exist out there about you as a person in other people's minds. And those narratives are different. And what you want to know is what those narratives are. And recognize that everyone is starting from a, you know, they're writing their script from a very limited data set. But because we're humans, we love stories. We take two pieces of data, add a third to it that we imply. And then we create a story that then lives in our head that then I look for something to confirm that story, the next time I interact with you.
Troy Blaser (18:02):
Mm. That makes sense.
Glade Holman (18:03):
And so it's, start to see feedback as independent from you are that you want to understand, because then if I can, you know, I'll say to folks, it's like, there's almost like a field of opinions out there that you want to cultivate and nurture and figure out what they are. And each one is different based on the story that that person has constructed in their head about who you are. So listen to it because then you'll know the parts of the story that they've, how they've connected the dots. You know, you might agree on the dots, but they connected them differently.
Troy Blaser (18:33):
They filled in different details a little bit. Well, so since we last spoke and, you know, we talked a lot about generative feedback last time, but, and it sounds like some of those ideas have evolved. What are some of the things that you've been working on lately? What is new for you?
Glade Holman (18:49):
You know, I'm glad you asked. So as you can tell, we're very excited to give people access to the feedback they need to go where they want to go. And help them get there faster and change their mind if they'd like to. So we want to do everything we can to make it as accessible to folks as possible. So we've been trying to build out ways that don't require, you know, sit down and conversation with me or with someone on our team or a coach that I can learn this skill of how to accept feedback, how to receive it graciously act on it visibly, something that you've heard us term before, Feedback Jiu-Jitsu, which is encapsulated into a whole concept of how do I take the energy and it's coming towards me that might even be aggressive or not, and not fight it, but actually roll with it, grapple with it and come out in a position of benefit, regardless of what that is. Not to say that feedback's a combat art.
Glade Holman (19:38):
So there's a set of skills that we've built up around this idea of Feedback Jiu-Jitsu, to help someone understand how they can take any feedback and turn it to their benefit that we'll do, like in a webinar where we're designing tools to support that that can be self applied. But that's only one piece of the bucket. And so we thought, you know, there's more to this feedback than just how to receive it. There's also giving it. And if I master how to receive, what can we offer to managers who may struggle in giving feedback to people? Even though I say that's a spot where a lot of organizations invest, I think there's still a perspective that can come from a generative mindset where you can do that. And we call that Feedback Matching. And so Feedback Matching is how do I match my feedback to the capacity of the receiver to accept it and then act on it?
Glade Holman (20:25):
How do I increase the likelihood that it's going to be encouraging feedback, regardless if it's quote, corrective or constructive? How do I kind of stack the cards in my favor that it will be generative feedback, even if the person doesn't know how to apply this stuff that we talked about in Feedback Jiu-Jitsu.
Troy Blaser (20:40):
Glade Holman (20:40):
So that's kind of Feedback Matching. And then we have, you know, we call it a trilogy. The third leg of the stool is something that we refer to as Feedback GPS: Career Pathfinder. So that gets into a lot more detail on, okay, well, great. I understand how to receive it. I know how to give it, and that helps me be more successful in my career too, but how do I really use it to chart my course and to course correct when I need to over the course of my career on its long term arc.
Glade Holman (21:08):
And that's something we, you know, as I said, we've termed Feedback GPS, because obviously with GPS, you need different, you know, satellites to give you, triangulate and get you in the right spot. But then you also have to have a destination. And then you also have to, you know, know how to navigate that destination and continue to get the feedback you need to end up where you want to go. Or to help you decide to go to a different destination. And so that feedback trilogy, Feedback Jiu-Jitsu, kind of the art and science of how to receive it, Feedback Matching again, a little bit of the art and science on how to give it, and then Feedback GPS: Career Pathfinder, how do I use it to get my long term career aspirations? And all of that tries to reflect what we know from brain science, from neurology. So the neuroscience components of that kind of like, how do I hack my brain rather than fight it. So we bring in, that's the science part. It's not just the good will or the good understanding or my experience set. That comes too, but it's also underpinned with the idea that there are ways that our brain works, that if we understand we can actually position ourselves for greater success in each one of those realms, the receiving the giving, and then using it to power and enable me to achieve my aspirations.
Troy Blaser (22:22):
That sounds like a really cool package, very complete, well rounded. How does it land, as you've shared these ideas out, you know, among your clients, do you find that it resonates with people?
Glade Holman (22:35):
I can tell you where, usually in our material and sometimes a client might experience this in a Feedback Matching kind of entry point versus a Feedback Jiu-Jitsu versus a career discussion. Kind of think of those three buckets. We can enter at any one of those points. And when they find an idea that is useful, that generates information and energy, it leads naturally into one, either a precursor or something that follows. And so what's exciting for me is you get a virtuous circle, you know, a virtuous cycle that kind of becomes to start is someone has a positive experience for the feedback. And they say, I want more. And then we say, well, let's give you a little bit more and it builds on it. And that three package set does a really great job of distilling some of the most salient, easy to pick up techniques, right. And they're really designed to be, you know, here's a great idea, but not just a great idea, let me put a handle on it that makes it easy for you to pick it up, and then pull it out when you need to use it. And so when you say, how is it received? Very well, because it's like a perpetual, you know, kind of energy generator. And so the first experience generates more energy, which you can then use in the next one to generate even more energy.
Troy Blaser (23:46):
I like what I heard, I want more, give me more, right?
Glade Holman (23:48):
Yeah. Yeah. And it's not just here. It's also, because I applied it, you know, today. I applied it tomorrow and I wish I would've applied it yesterday, but it's easy enough. It's very hard to go through one of those trilogy, even if it's just a webinar experience with them, and not find at least one tip that can make a world of difference for you. And if so, that's kind of my measure of success. If I can get a 1% improvement, you know, that's what I'm excited for because if I get 1% improvement and you're committed to do 1% the next day and the next day and the next day, you know, you're on your path to having really outsized results, even though you've only invested in making small changes. And that's, what's exciting for me.
Troy Blaser (24:31):
Are there, are there any particular experiences or coaching experiences that you've had that are relevant that you could share with us, you know, as particular anecdotes where you've shared some of the feedback trilogy with someone that's made a real difference for them?
Glade Holman (24:45):
Well, I mean, I kind of, this is maybe across that current past to present, kind of like, experience a little bit with this one. But I, earlier in my career I kind of got a reputation for being able to offer feedback to people like, so I had an executive, as an HR and she was the Chief Human Resource Officer and it was like, oh, there's some feedback this person needs. And it would be really helpful for them, but it's kind of, you know, we know those can be fraught. How do we get that? Well, oh, let's Glade do that. You know, let's have Glade do that. He'll do it, you know, he'll do anything. And so it's like, I do it. This is several years ago. And when I say I do it, I mean, I'm coming at it from the perspective of many things that we embed into Feedback Matching.
Troy Blaser (25:27):
Glade Holman (25:27):
So I communicate with the person I'm here for your success. You know, the feedback's not here going to kill you. It's just going to be a stepping stone for you. And it was successful with the individual where they have a career shift. And then what's kind of crazy about that is then, well, the person that had kind of pulled me in to offer the feedback gets super excited because she sees a change in the individual. I get super excited because I see the individual get turned on to being able to make change rather than having a defeatist mindset. So I did that, you know, with one person and it's like, oh, now let's do it with another person before you know it, my weeks were getting booked up with people that said, we have some messages all these folks need to get and we need someone to give it to them. And that's, by the way, not a really efficient model. And you shouldn't necessarily use out outside resources to do that.
Troy Blaser (26:14):
I was going to say, it sounds like there's some work there to teach them how to give the message, right?
Glade Holman (26:17):
Right. And so it's kind of like a crutch. But they even had this, oh, Glade's the VP whisperer because you know, let's get him in there and it'll work. And, but that's where a lot of the Genesis for much of the thinking that we've done around giving feedback comes from is that experience. And so when you talk about, you know, are there from my coaching settings, what is it that gets me excited or makes me, makes it happen. It's when the light clicks for a person that says, Ooh, feedback is valuable. I want more of that. And it's not about who I am. And that's my number one success kind of like of a coaching experience that I kind of mark for myself is do I help someone kind of cross that divide to where feedback becomes a key enabler rather than something to push against.
Troy Blaser (27:04):
Glade Holman (27:05):
And so when you see that happen and it just happened, you know, probably six weeks ago I started with an individual and it was like, I know the manager had some question marks or like is this going to happen or not whatever. I was most excited in the fact that we transitioned over the hump to feedback is going to be something that's useful for me. And by the way, I can change, I can grow.
Troy Blaser (27:26):
It's like if feedback is a tool, someone has taken that tool, it's now in their toolbox, as opposed to saying, I don't want that.
Glade Holman (27:34):
I love that. Yeah. And so that's a really great way to think of it. So it's like, oh, I'm now, I've now left them with a new tool. And by the way, it's like a multifunction tool. You know what I mean?
Troy Blaser (27:44):
Yeah. It's one they're going to want to get out of their toolbox frequently. Because it's useful to them.
Glade Holman (27:48):
It's not a hammer, you know, it's like, I can, you can change the bits or whatever, you know, it's a multifunctional tool. And when that happens, you just see all of a sudden the rate of progress goes up. I mean, and it's fun for me to see both the individual catch fire, as well as the, their stakeholders around them acknowledge the growth and the change in the individual. And here's, what's the power of feedback for me in your professional setting when your manager or that person that evaluates you or your stakeholder set, all of a sudden starts to see you as someone who can grow rather than someone who just is, you know, providing them with a service or someone who can learn, the nature of that relationship just changes fundamentally for them on their day job.
Glade Holman (28:33):
And then people start to view them as a partner and a colleague and they self reveal and they know the person can grow. And that comes from demonstrating that I can accept, I can receive and then I can act on feedback. And so I can think of three individuals I'm working with now, where that, for me, that's one of the primary outcomes. You think about, oh, building a skill, yes. They're much better at presentations. They're no longer making inappropriate comments, whatever the little tweak was that was going on, their professionalism, wasn't showing up in the right way, whatever it might be, that's great. But the thing I was most happy about was that they learned how to pull out that tool and use it to fix that attribute or to maybe, you know, shape that attribute. And they can pull out that tool and use it on the next thing. And they've shown that they can grow. And just when you see the belief in someone change that goes from, I am what I am, what I am. To, wow I can be what I want to be. And I'm in the driver's seat there and I'm going to use feedback in my college, my manager, my stakeholder sets to help me get there. That's what to me is super exciting around coaching. And then many times I just kind of, you know, exit stage left, you know.
Troy Blaser (29:40):
Your work is done. Yeah.
Glade Holman (29:42):
They're self-empowered. I don't try and milk it into the next one. You know, it's just like, stage left, they've got the tool. I'm good. Let's go.
Troy Blaser (29:49):
You remind me of Mary Poppins in that regard, you know, she'll stay until the wind changes. And then she has to go. Thinking about, oh, so I'm thinking about our listeners right now. They're listening to our episode. Do you have some specific advice that you could give to somebody listening to today's conversation, maybe that would make a difference for them this week or what's some advice that you could share with our listeners?
Glade Holman (30:11):
You know, let me go back to that relationship with feedback and give you a really simple three step model that will help you improve that relationship with feedback. And it's the way you should look at any feedback that comes to you. Remember I mentioned already that the feedback you need, that piece of feedback you need to get where you want to go probably already exists and you just need to find a way to put your sail up and capture it. And then how do you move your sail to go in the direction you want? But we know that I started with my whole feedback experience. Sometimes feedback can be a demoralizing, energy draining kind of a moment for you. So the three steps that I talk about with any, with feedback is three steps to master it, to use it for you.
Glade Holman (30:50):
The first is get comfortable. The second is get curious. And the third is get busy. So get comfortable, get curious, get busy. The get comfortable is all about not having what I talk about in Feedback Jiu-Jitsu, the neuroscience behind that fight-flight response that sometimes feedback triggers how to avoid the amygdala just taking all the blood out of your prefrontal cortex and pushing it into your lungs and your arms when you want to be thinking. So that's comfortable. Remember, it's not about you. It's independent of who you are. It tells you about who they are. It's get comfortable with it. It's not something that's there to kill you. It's been blowing around you for a long time. You've just now put your sail up to try and capture it. And it's up to you to now get curious, to figure out how I should be tweaking that sail to take that feedback that's coming in to help it go to where I want to go.
Glade Holman (31:33):
So when someone, when you receive a piece of feedback, fight the urge to call it right or wrong. And part of that is getting comfortable. If you are in a right/wrong, that's going to put you potentially into a fight-flight experience with feedback.
Troy Blaser (31:50):
I've seen that before.
Glade Holman (31:50):
So that's why the next step is get curious, right? Get curious means I'm not judging it. And so I, you know, I remember working even just, you know, a couple weeks ago with a senior executive that we're trying to change his relationship to feedback and guidance from him. And I said, look, here's what I want you to do that first moment when someone's giving you feedback and your instinct is to tell them, you know what, you're wrong in that feedback or that feedback's doesn't apply, or you don't understand. It's like, before you say that, and it might be true.
Glade Holman (32:19):
But before you say that, I want you to say one phrase and. That is, tell me more. Tell me more. And I feel like, tell me more, then here's the second phrase, say more about that. And before you communicate agree, disagree, you've gotta say, tell me more or say more about that three times. That was my assignment for that individual, and that was changing the nature of feedback, because what happens when you say, tell me more, and this is the get curious part, right? Say more about that. This is the get curious part. The giver starts revealing more about themselves and starts revealing more about you and starts filling out the, the fuller picture. And the giver also says, you're listening to me. You're hearing my feedback. You're valuing what I have to offer. I'm going to up my game and try and give you something even more helpful.
Glade Holman (33:11):
So fight that urge. Once you've got comfortable, it's not going to kill me today. Avoid fight-flight. Now get curious. And that means, tell me more. That means listening. That means exploring it. And then you find that one gem, right. Or that one, even, maybe it's not a gem, but maybe it really is a diamond in the rough, or it's a piece of coal. You find one piece where you can get busy and then you've got to actually show them that you got busy. So, you know, you gave us, we had that conversation. I got comfortable, we got curious. I decided I was going to try and do this. And I let them know, I'm going to try and do this. And then I get busy doing it. And if I check back in with them and say, Hey, remember me, I was getting busy about doing that.
Glade Holman (33:53):
How have I done? Because remember they've got a narrative in their head and if they gave you a piece of constructive feedback, you know, that they've revealed that narrative. If you want them to rewrite that narrative, you've gotta get more data into their head. So don't just stop the behavior. Because if you just stop the behavior, what happens is they think it's still there. It persists, right. For a long, long time. You know? And then soon when it pops its ugly head, which it used to pop its head every other day and now it pops it six months later. Well it just fit the narrative that they never revised. So that's when I say you, I want you to act on that feedback visibly and I want you to help them rewrite their narrative by drawing attention to what your change is.
Troy Blaser (34:36):
That makes sense.
Glade Holman (34:37):
And that's the get busy. That's, because you want them to leave saying, oh, they can grow.
Troy Blaser (34:42):
I love that.
Glade Holman (34:42):
So, comfortable, curious, busy. That's your relationship with feedback. It's not, is it right or wrong? Is it fair or unfair? No, it's not going to kill me. Get curious. Ask them, tell me more, say more about that. Tell me more, say more about that. And then it's okay. Get busy doing something. I think that will change your relationship with feedback, that will change your relationship with the giver, and that hopefully will change the relationship with your extended environment. As you continue to kind of navigate using the sail to power yourself forward to where you want to go.
Troy Blaser (35:13):
I'm glad I asked the question. That's a great summary, a great package, easy to remember, get comfortable, get curious, get busy, for anybody to take away and start, you know, this week, putting that into effect. You know, at work at home, wherever we're interacting with people and getting feedback from them. If people want to know more beyond these three steps, right. You know, what should they do? What if they wanted to continue the conversation with you? Are you open to that?
Glade Holman (35:42):
Oh, absolutely. I mean, you could probably tell from my passion, I very rarely turn down an opportunity to talk to someone about the power feedback to help them go where they want to go. Our website is set up to answer those questions. I welcome a personal connection through LinkedIn. Or on our website. I welcome the opportunity to have dialogue on this topic. And that dialogue is how I continue to learn and grow. Like I said, I love the podcast because I get another little understanding that comes my way as I listen to others, talk about their experience with feedback.
Troy Blaser (36:12):
You hit it right on the head. You're teaching about feedback, but you're also quite open to hearing feedback about what you're teaching or what, you know, what you're sharing with clients. I think that's fantastic. Well, Glade it's been fun to check in with you again, not that you and I don't talk outside of the podcast, but to have another conversation for the Simply Feedback podcast, it is exciting to me. So thank you so much for your time today. It's been fantastic.
Glade Holman (36:38):
Thank you, Troy. Absolutely wonderful opportunity to again, share with you a little bit of my experience. I hope it's helpful to some of the listeners out there. I really do. I think it'll make a big difference if we can apply just one idea. Thanks for the chance again.