The Study Dude – Toxic Lipstick!

Study Tips from a Semi-Anonymous Friend

There is nothing more that The Study Dude wants for you than to sag your skin with makeup O.D.?s.

Well, in these articles, as The Study Dude, I’ll try to give you the study tips you need to help make your learning easier. I’ll also give you straight and honest opinions and personal anecdotes?even the embarrassing ones that you wouldn’t ever dare read about from any other study tip guru.

This week’s Study Dude explores Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen’s book Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well. They show you how feedback can give off positives and flare up emotions?from profs to colleagues.

Upside of Feedback
When you look past the whiplash of feedback, you might find a rainbow.

Once a prof of a scriptwriting class crossed out nearly every second word of a scene I wrote. He showed my scene to everyone and then handed it back to me, his face smug and self-satisfied.

I left the room the bad-example, and that night I cried.

But instead of wallowing in despair, I stared at the edits?for days.

With the insight I gained, I slashed away at my script, shrinking it to half its size, rewriting entire scenes, shocking the prof.

And that lesson on slashing size serves me now. Thanks for the feedback!

Stone and Heen let you in on the upsides of feedback:
– Feedback is a means to learn who we are.
– Feedback can create solutions, make companies profitable, make teams cohesive.
– Employees often hate the performance review process. [Students often worry about grades.] But it helps us see where we stand.
– Employees often think managers give lousy feedback. [Students often don’t get adequate feedback from profs.] Again, it helps us see how we rate.
– You don’t have to accept the feedback you get. But the benefits of seeking to understand feedback include higher self-esteem, better relationships, and greater learning opportunities.
– When we seek out even negative feedback [say from a prof], our performance typically improves.
– Feedback fosters healthy relationships [with your prof].
– don’t argue when given feedback [from your prof]. don’t get defensive either. Welcome the dialogue.
– Even your children learn from the ways you accept or reject feedback. Do so wisely.
– If you choose to seek out feedback, your subordinates will model your behavior.
– Learn from mistakes and try out new ways of behaving, and others will, too. If you learn, we all learn.

Defensiveness with Feedback
Getting feedback from your prof or colleague can boost your output. So, why get defensive?

This is why: At a former job, I got unwanted feedback from the administrative assistant. And she happened to sell Avon; I wore a bare face.

She hounded me to slap on the lipstick. After tireless rants, I gave in. (Not bad for a Dude!) But, after she purchased some makeup samples, I backed down.

I offered to pay for the samples, but she wanted more than lipstick; she wanted blood.

She made daily rounds with the office staff, whispering to everyone?excluding me. Whenever I entered the lunchroom, her loud complaining voice would stop short.

On the rare occasion, when someone said she looked nice, she’d shout, ?I’m glowing from all the makeup.?

She even complained to a manager who, in turn, requested I wear makeup. Do I really need makeup that much?

I dreaded going to work. But, I had a choice: wear it or trash it.

My face today remains free of toxicity. But what if I asked for more clarity? Listened closely? Grown?

So, celebrate the useful, even if it hurts, and scrap the useless.

And avoid getting your emotions fired; first, recognize your triggers.

Stone and Heen reveal the three emotional triggers associated with feedback:
– We often feel attacked when given feedback?even though the feedback givers think they’re doing us a favor.
– Identify what causes your emotional trigger when given feedback.
– You have three emotional triggers: truth triggers, relationship triggers, and identity triggers.
– A truth trigger happens when the feedback just seems wrong, false, or unhelpful.
– Relationship triggers crop up when we coil back from feedback giver’s reputation, perceived intentions, or lack of credibility.
– Identify triggers strike when feedback calls into question our self-identity.
– Feeling attacked with feedback is not unusual: It’s normal. And you don’t have to accept the feedback. But, we want to learn how to handle feedback so that we can enter the dialogue? and grow. To start, recognize your emotional triggers.
– From there, try to listen. Probe. Get the data. Maybe even change.

So, there’s nothing to fear. The Study Dude is determined to make right for you all the wrongs I made in grad school?one A+ at a time.

Stone, Douglas, & Heen, Sheila. (2014). Thanks for the Feedback. NY: Penguin Books.