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Publisher's Summary

The coauthors of the New York Times best-selling Difficult Conversations take on the toughest topic of all: How we see ourselves.

Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen have spent the past 15 years working with corporations, nonprofits, governments, and families to determine what helps us learn and what gets in our way. In Thanks for the Feedback, they explain why receiving feedback is so crucial yet so challenging, offering a simple framework and powerful tools to help us take on life’s blizzard of offhand comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited input with curiosity and grace. They blend the latest insights from neuroscience and psychology with practical, hard-headed advice. Thanks for the Feedback is destined to become a classic in the fields of leadership, organizational behavior, and education.

©2014 Douglas Stone (P)2014 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Thanks for the Feedback is an extraordinarily useful book. It's full of helpful techniques that can be put to use by anyone seeking to manage an organization, lead a team, engage a business partner, or navigate a relationship.... Stone and Heen have done a remarkable job of showing individuals and organizations how to leverage the enormous value of feedback, one of the most powerful instruments available for human learning." (strategy+business magazine)

"Surprisingly little attention has been focused on being an effective recipient of feedback. Enter Stone and Heen with a well-rounded consideration of 'the science and art of receiving feedback well'. As they write, both of those disciplines are required to receive feedback in productive ways - not only in the workplace, but in personal life as well....the authors do an excellent job of constraining the applications to feedback usefulness while also exploring some of the other ways we can define what "feedback" consists of in our lives. With a culture increasingly focused on the individual and the self, this book on developing the ability to accept and utilize the input of others constructively deserves a wide readership." (Kirkus Reviews)

"I'll admit it: Thanks for the Feedback made me unconformable. And that's one reason I liked it so much. With keen insight and lots of practical takeaways, Stone and Heen reveal why getting feedback is so hard - and then how we can do better. If you relish receiving criticism at work and adore it in your personal life, then you may be the one person on earth who can safely skip this book." (Daniel H. Pink, author of to Sell Is Human and Drive

Featured Article: How to Improve Your Communication Skills


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Narration is fine!

Before you decide not to buy this audiobook based on reviews citing terrible narration, just be sure to check out the audio sample. Check for yourself if you find it irritating or fine. I respect others' opinions, sure. In my opinion the narration is just fine, and certainly not sufficient to deter me away from the useful and well-presented content. It's not read by a professional narrator, but the sound quality is good, and the authors read the material clearly and with a bit of a conversational tone.
Also, the advice and explanations make this a great listen for me. Not everyone is born with, or learns naturally, a good set of tools for communicating. I need this book and have already benefitted. If you are interested in how people communicate, especially at work, and how we can sometimes be vague when we think we are being clear, and how misunderstandings can easily occur...AND how to help work around that, then you will probably like this book. Already I am grateful for this information because I don't dread my next performance review; the insights in this book have helped me reframe my expectations and given me a rationale for really listening to, and getting the most put of, feedback. Great, great audiobook!

32 people found this helpful

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Beneficial Information, Important Skill

I happened to listen to this book while participating in Toastmasters, an organization that incorporates regular feedback into its program. The book is very helpful with respect to recognizing the need to develop the ability to work well with feedback. Listening to this book helped take much of both the stress and the sting out of feedback. I am now more able to look at feedback as a positive, particularly when delivered well and early. Someone has taken the time to offer me the benefit of their opinion. I have the opportunity to consider their opinion and determine whether to agree with and act on the feedback.

Participating in a contest and honing a speech with repeated feedback definitely left me with the impression that seeking and using feedback accelerated my improvement.

This is one of those books that I have listened to over and over again. It is probably another of the occasional books that I will eventually buy in paper or e-book format because of the wealth of useful information available in the book.

I gave a well received Toastmasters speech inspired by the ideas in this audiobook.

I recommend it for assistance in developing skill in both giving and receiving feedback. I believe that listening to this book has helped me provide others with more useful feedback, delivered in a more constructive manner.

Not the greates narration ever and the book could have benefitted from more professional narration. But, there may also be some benefit from hearing the voices of the authors, perhaps to a lesser extent.

11 people found this helpful

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Poor narration ruins yet another good read

The content in Thanks for the Feedback is useful, insightful, applicable, and valuable, and the authors write with credibility and humor. However, as with their previous book, Difficult Conversations, the content is rendered difficult to understand and therefore almost inaccessible due to poor narration (Douglas, sorry to give you this evaluative feedback: you mumble and your delivery is stilted; Sheila, your narration is somewhat better; at least you're easier to understand, if a little sing-song-y in places) and poor production (vocal pitch and modulation drop off to the point that it's impossible to hear the end of many sentences - where is the vocal coach?).

If this is ever re-recorded and re-released, I'd consider keeping it as a reference. Without a wholesale revision it's a slog to get through the first time, let alone experiencing it a second time.

Authors, if you're not trained in narration, please get someone else to read your work for you so your work presented in the best possible manner. Your audience will thank you for putting aside any ego attachment you may have in favor of accessibility.

35 people found this helpful

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Everyone should read this book

I saw Sheila Heen at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. (it's a place I get my reading assignments for the year)
I am impressed that everyone should read this book. I'm impressed with the ubiquitous nature of feedback. Everything is feedback and our ability to receive feedback makes us strong and wise. Inability to receive feedback makes us weaker and foolish. I am a psychotherapist in private practice. I noticed that good clients are great at receiving feedback. I also noticed that clients not helped by counseling are very poor at receiving feedback. I also learned about my style and what hinders me. I can't think of anyone who would not benefit from this book. I also liked listening to the authors read. So much more communicated when I hear their emphasis. Thanks for "Thanks for the Feedback"!!

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Could have been written in a single chapter

It's an OK book, with a clear methodology.
However, it felt like this methodology could have been communicated in a single chapter instead of spreading and repeating it over 14 chapters and an entire book.
But again, overall good.

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Terrible Narration for an Insightful Book

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Do yourself a favor and read the book instead of listening to the audio. Had the book been narrated by professionals it might have been easier to listen to. The content is good, but I found myself struggling to listen to the authors. As a result it took much longer to get through the book.

What didn’t you like about Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone ’s performance?

There are few authors that can do their work justice. The narration was the equivalent of listening to paint dry. With the right narrator this book would have been a much better listen.

Any additional comments?

Most people don't distinguish the different types of feedback. The book will make you rethink the way you approach feedback at work and with family. It is a must read for anyone who is in a supervisor position.

11 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Excellent book. Interesting perspective on the different functions of feedback. Clearly depicts why giving and receiving feedback can be so complicated. Offers viable and relevant alternatives that just might work! I'm going to listen to it again and again!

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Excellent! (App would not let me give it all 5s)

Finally, a book that handles the intricacies of feedback from the receiver's perspective, while emphasizing the shared responsibility for a constructive feedback conversation! Very accessible, with a very engaging writing and narration style. Expert handling of the critical distinction between evaluation and coaching. Highly recommend for individual learners and anyone looking to create a culture of curiosity and learning in their organization! I'll be using with a group of leaders as a companion resource to a 360 process.

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Required reading

This book is an exceptional tool for anyone that wants to have good relationships personally and professionally.

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usable resource. will put it to work today@

this a manual for receiving ang giving feedback that is practicsl and put feedback in a realm of doable and preferable events. well done.

1 person found this helpful