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The library of essays of Proakatemia

The power of open feedback

Kirjoittanut: Thais Santos Araujo - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well
Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

The book “Thanks for the Feedback”  gives an interesting insight into how to receive feedback effectively, offering practical advice for individuals and organizations. It focuses on the psychological and emotional aspects of feedback, providing an understanding of why receiving feedback can be challenging and how to overcome those challenges. The authors argue that receiving feedback is a skill that can be learned and improved upon.


The SYNTRE team has invested significant effort at various moments of the teamprenour journey, trying a diverse array of feedback mechanisms. We’ve experimented with methods such as anonymous feedback, open feedback channels, concise feedback exchanges, and even in-depth feedback sessions.


While we as a team already had a couple of pajas (training sessions) dedicated to the topic, it was interesting reading from the Stone and Heen book that feedback can be divided into three different types: appreciation, evaluation, and coaching. The understanding of the feedback types seems to be relevant because otherwise, miscommunication and frustration between the two parts can be triggered. Each type of feedback has its own purpose.


Over the years, the most difficult challenges for our team have been triggers and reactions when receiving feedback. The book helps us understand that people tend to have emotional triggers and automatic reactions when they get feedback. Just knowing about this natural response is already a big help for our team members. It means we can be more open and not react strongly when we receive feedback. It’s about appreciating that someone is taking time to help us grow, instead of getting upset when they point out something for our improvement.


Recently, I had a valuable open feedback session with Sille, who currently shares the Business Leader role with me on our team. Together, we’ve been collaborating on various tasks and ideas to enhance our team’s development and fulfill SYNTRE’s community responsibilities as Proakatemia members. This constructive feedback experience was truly enlightening for me, helping me identify areas where I could improve. It also provided an opportunity for us to discuss areas where our dynamics weren’t entirely aligned and how we could make adjustments for our future endeavors. Our communication as co-Business Leaders has always been clear and positive, but this feedback session allowed us to go the extra mile, creating a safe space for achieving even better results and gaining a deeper understanding of each other as colleagues.


Once more, providing and receiving feedback is something we can get better at with practice. I’ve personally seen my own progress, starting from the initial feedback discussions, including one-on-one sessions with various SYNTRE team members. These days, I find it much easier to understand and accept the feedback that’s given to me. Instead of reacting emotionally right away, I give myself some time to think and respond with a simple “Thank you for sharing it with me.” Viewing feedback as a helpful gift rather than a negative critique has allowed me to grow and be more open with others.


Self-improvement is only possible by knowing what could be improved. So, being welcome for feedback in different forms and situations allows the team members to be willing to give feedback one next time. I liked how the book covers the topic with very practical examples and still explains in detail the theoretical content, answering what and why the feedback tool is so trick and so important. SYNTRE has been creating an open feedback culture over the last two years, and we want to keep pushing this culture, keep regular reminders of how feedback is a gift, and allow sessions where people can express their feedback in a psychologically safe way.


“Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well” . Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

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