4 paradoxes of feedback, one core insight, and 18 tools to get the best feedback:
Paradox 1: the more painful feedback is, the more important it is to get it.
Which leads us to the 2nd Paradox of Feedback:

The feedback you most need to give is the feedback you least want to give.
You want to receive feedback to get better, but it hurts, and the feedback giver knows it, so she doesn't want to give it

That's the core insight you need to realize to get good feedback: you need to go past the fear of the giver that she will hurt you

How? Here are 18 tools:
1. Ask for it
A prompt to give feedback pushes the giver, but it's not the only reason.

A person who asks for feedback shows maturity and curiosity. They’re much more likely to take the feedback positively. The giver will feel more confident that he won't hurt.
2. Anticipate feedback
If you ask for feedback before a project starts, the ask will be less emotional:

1: Hey Alex, how did the speech go?
2: Hey Alex, I’m about to give a speech. Do you mind looking for areas for improvement you can give me?

Which one will work best?
3. Model feedback
If you show you can take feedback, others are more likely to give it. So show it by... giving feedback to yourself in front of others:
In speeches, I say lots of ‘umms’, I pace a lot, I'm not very engaging...Do you agree? What else can I should improve?”
4. Show receptivity
If you ask for feedback with a frown and jitters, you will show you're scared. Your interlocutor will be scared of hurting you.
Instead, show that it's not a big deal, you won’t take it badly. Confidence and a big smile will help.
5. Be vulnerable and ask for help
It might not always be possible to show confidence. If scared, show it:

“Hey Alex, I’m nervous about asking for feedback, but I’d love to get it from you. Do you mind helping me to get it and to cope with it?”
6. Realize you’re not supposed to remain calm
"Hey Alex, can you give me feedback? I’m sure it will hurt, but that’s ok. I need to hear it. I will listen and take it in. I might take a few moments, but that’s ok, I still need to hear it"
OK now you've asked for feedback.
The session starts.
How do you take feedback in?
7. Don’t interrupt, encourage
Interrupting shows you’re not listening. You might not be that receptive to feedback
Interrupting might feel like you’re telling them they’re wrong
The feedback giver might be emotional. An interruption might scare them or anger them further.
So never interrupt a piece of feedback. Simply sit, listen, and encourage the person to continue their feedback with things like nods, “aha”s, “please continue”, “I hear you”, “that makes sense”, “oh, interesting”, “I can see that”, and the like.
Sometimes, however, you might feel an incredible urge to respond because what they’re saying is completely wrong, dammit!!!

But here’s the 3rd paradox of feedback:

Whether you agree with feedback or not, it’s right.
Another way to put it:
With feedback, perception is reality.
Which leads to:
8. Separate poor actual performance from poor expectation management
The other person has feedback for you because she has a perception of something wrong. If she has had that perception, other people are likely to have had it too.
So any piece of feedback you get, whether you disagree with it or not, is actionable: either they’re right, and you should take it, or they are telling you that your communication style wasn’t right, that you didn’t convey your work well enough, and so you must work on that.
9. Thank the feedback giver and celebrate feedback
Once the person has finished, thank them. Remember, you want to show them that you are good at taking feedback, so you can get more of it next time

Be as effusive as you can, so that they can see that you’re not just pretending
10. Rephrase
Rephrasing has 2 benefits:
- You show you listened, so you care
- You can check whether you actually understood or not
11. Ask for more details
To extract as much insight as possible, ask for more precision:

When you said this, what did you mean?
Can you give me examples?
What did that make you feel?
How do you think I should have done it differently?
Why you think others reacted that way?
12. Separate the signal from the noise
Feedback is a mix of many things: your true performance, the perception, other people’s preferences, their goals… Their feedback will be relevant or not.

It’s not their job to tell these apart. It’s yours.
13. Try to avoid telling them they’re wrong
For the pieces of feedback that are noise, don’t tell your interlocutor that they’re wrong. They are taking a risk giving you the feedback, you don’t want to discourage that. And as we saw, there’s no such thing as wrong feedback.
14. Apologize precisely
Sometimes, feedback will demand an apology. How to go about that?

Apologies have a very specific function: they are meant to prove that you won’t do the wrong thing again.
If you need to apologize, discern exactly what you did wrong, explain it, prove that way that you understand it, and then say you won't do it again.
15. Don’t tell them you know
Even if you already know the feedback you receive, the other person is exposing herself when giving it, so you should reward that with a “thank you” instead of an “I know”.
16. Dissociate identity from behavior
Many ppl are rude or don’t know how to give feedback. They will attack who you are.
Or they might not, but you’re defensive. Don’t do that. Realize who you are is ok, it’s just your BEHAVIOR that needs adjusting.
17. Act on it
If you never act on the feedback you get, you will show that you were in fact paying lip service to it. Then people will learn that their feedback is unheeded and will stop trying to give it to you.
So do it, prove you learn, and you’ll get more feedback.
18. Make it regular
The first time you receive feedback, the other person won’t be comfortable. But if you do a good job, she’ll learn that she can give you feedback without unpleasent consequences for her, so she’ll be more likely to give you additional feedback in the future.
More details in this article:
I have 2 articles coming on how to GIVE quality feedback, and how to do it tactfully.
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