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November 16, 2021
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This week, we're sharing a two-step framework for attracting more (and better quality) feedback.

The Best Leaders are Feedback Magnets — Here’s How to Become One

Magnet attracting like and dislike buttons

It's performance review season for many right now. Lots of advice centers around getting better at giving feedback to others — and with good reason. If you’ve ever sat down to write up a 360 feedback response, or prepared for an in-person conversation, you’ve likely had at least one of these thoughts cross your mind:

  • “I’m not the right person to tell them this.”
  • “I’ll have time to tell them later.”
  • “I already provided enough info for them to recognize the feedback.”
  • “I’ve already given them a lot of other feedback, and I don’t want to annoy them.”
  • “I’m not good at giving feedback, and there’s too much to lose if I say the wrong thing.”

“People are great at making excuses for not speaking up,” says Shivani Berry. That's why she recommends flipping your perspective.

“To break through this type of fear and discomfort, you have to be proactive. We rarely focus on how to go out of our way to attract useful feedback about ourselves — even though it’s in our own best interest to do so. What’s more is we often unintentionally repel the rare feedback that does come our way by getting defensive or shutting down,” she says.

“But knowing what other people think about you can be life-changing. It's the key to getting promoted faster and becoming the kind of leader people are excited to work with. On the flip side, not getting this intel is a silent career killer,” she says.

In her own career at PayPal, Intercom, and GetYourGuide, and now as founder and CEO of Ascend — which offers online leadership programs to help more women advance into management — Berry has seen this dynamic over and over again. Today, she coaches leaders through the art of unlocking this feedback. (For more of her excellent advice, we recommend going back to check out her Lenny’s Newsletter post on getting buy-in if you missed it.)

In today’s exclusive article, Berry dives into what she sees as the two steps to becoming a feedback magnet: First, becoming more receptive by learning how to manage your knee-jerk reactions to feedback, and second, increasing the amount of quality feedback you receive by empowering your colleagues.

She shares tons of practical examples from her own career, tactical questions for you to try out in conversations, and a helpful template that she uses to marshall the feedback she’s received into an action plan.

Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing!

-The Review editors

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Recommended resources:

This read on how to rebuild relationships across teams in a hybrid workplace.

This post on the product use case frequency spectrum.

How to make yourself into a learning machine.

This thread on how to get better at asking for things (and getting a yes).

Trending this week — Review Reads:

Finding Language/Market Fit: How to Make Customers Feel Like You’ve Read Their Minds
Changes in a few words yield huge differences. Matt Lerner (former growth at PayPal & investor at 500 Startups) makes the case for prioritizing language/market fit.
The Feedback Founders Need to Hear — How to Grow Yourself To Grow The Company
After 20 years of executive coaching, Alisa Cohn shares advice for getting better at self-reflection, collecting feedback, and changing behavior.
The Power of Performance Reviews: Use This System to Become a Better Manager
Performance reviews are key to accelerating your report's career. A former Airbnb Product Lead shares the conversation template that he's used to build high-performing teams and motivate growth all year long.
The Secret to a Great Planning Process — Lessons from Airbnb and Eventbrite
Poor planning can spell disaster for companies and sow distrust among teams. Use the "W Framework" to develop plans, earn alignment and execute effective planning cycles every time.

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