Kim Scott comes with management experience from Google, Apple etc and her book is about how leadership can grow a speak-up-culture with feedback as a tool. This 400-page book is printed in very small text and impossible to read without two hands and a pair of sharp eyes, so I recommend the audio book alternative.
It comes with great stories from the author’s work life. One takeaway for me and from her storytelling, which I also can relate to, is how she got feedback saying “ehhh” too often when she spoke. For some, this behavior can be seen as incompetence, so now I really try to minimize my “ehhh”. The book is based upon her framework to challenge directly and care personally. Challenge directly is having the guts to deliver clear feedback right away to the person who can effectuate the actual improvement or enforcement. By caring personally, she means that you really need to care, not just deliver feedback for the sake of the process.
A great story is told about Kim’s new puppy, who didn’t listen to commands. A man passed by on the street and yelled “SIT” looking the puppy straight in the eyes. And he sat on command for the first time. The man then told Kim that she needed to be clearer in her commands, otherwise the dog could jump into the street and get run over by a car. He cared about the dog and knew how to be clear and not ambiguous, so the feedback generated a better dog trainer. The book also describes the Get Stuff Done Wheel, which is about how your team can enable all brains, not just the experts’. It starts with listening, which experts often do not do, and then via debate, studying etc creates an output we can learn from. Very much like PDCA on steroids.
This book by Kim Scott is for managers who struggle with feedback. It is not on my Top-10 list as the format of the book is poor, but the message is great. I bring these two models with me as a reminder to myself not to say “ehhh”.
This review is a part of the book Psychological UNsafety from the trenches you can order or read more about here.