Episode 44: Giving and Receiving Better Feedback with Leadership Coach Natalie Dumond

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Meet Natalie Dumond, Leadership Coach, Facilitator, and Speaker

Jenn DeWall:

Hey everyone. It’s Jenn DeWall. And on this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit Podcast, I talked to Natalie Dumond, whether she is helping you go after the life and dreams you were always meant to be living or showing organizations and leaders that there’s a different way to lead, work and connect with each other. Natalie brings enthusiasm, boldness, and kindness with her every single time. As a professional certified leadership coach, facilitator, and contributor to Brené Brown’s latest bestselling book, Dare to Lead. Natalie focuses on leadership and female empowerment coaching, along with workplace culture development. Working in partnership with leaders and teams helping build their capacity for courage, candor, connection, accountability, vulnerability, and trust in the workplace. In today’s episode, Natalie and I are going to be talking about what are the best ways to give feedback? I know some of you might be thinking about maybe upcoming performance reviews. This is a can’t-miss episode.

Full Transcript Below:

Jenn DeWall:

Hey everyone, I’m so excited to be sitting down with Natalie Dumond today, Natalie, for those that you have a tremendous introduction, by the way, I’m sure they just caught your bumper. But for those that maybe are still new, a little bit new to you, I want to hear from you, tell us what you do. Tell us why you’re here. What do you do? I know why you’re here, but what do you do?

Natalie Dumond:

Thank you so much. Okay. So what do I do? Simply put, I’m a leadership coach, and I work with a lot of female leaders in particular, and I just try to help guide them into the lives and careers that they always wanted. So I speak on that. I coach on that, and I facilitate around those areas. So that’s basically what I do.

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh. Which, what’s your favorite part about your job?

Natalie Dumond:

Watching people realize how powerful and magnificent they really are. Like when you see somebody get that, you’re just like, there it is! That is the best feeling in the entire world. I’m addicted to it. And I just feel like, I don’t know, I just have the best job. I feel like I’m getting away with something because it feels so good.

Jenn DeWall:

That’s I mean; I do feel like that’s the joy of coaching, right? Like it’s able to— you get to see those transformative moments where people are like, Holy cow, I can do that.

Natalie Dumond:

I love that. And I have to like facilitating a large group of people and teaching, and the energy that you get from that is also incredibly powerful. So I would say it’s a toss-up between those two,

Working with Brené Brown

Jenn DeWall:

Hey girl. And that’s why you’re here, everyone. I actually was on a panel with Natalie, and I got to hear all of her great advice on all-around leadership. And so we’re so excited to be able to share with you some of the nuggets that come from Natalie, but before we get into it because I love Brené Brown. And I’m sure some of the people that listen to the podcast may have also heard of Brené Brown, that’s Brené with a B, but you actually to her book Dare to Lead, which is, look, here’s the plug for Brené’s leadership book. You contributed to that! How did you get to do that? Because I love her and I read that book. I love that book. That’s great. Tell me more.

Natalie Dumond:

Yes. So I still pinch myself over this one. How it came to be was that I was coming off of maternity leave back in 2017. And for anyone that’s been on parental leave, you know, there’s kind of this uneasiness with going back into the workforce, like, and you know, what’s it going to be like, what am I going to do? So I want to just, you know, change up the mommy mode and get back into work mode. So I started researching, you know, and just looking online. And then, one of the things came into my thought process. What is Brené up to? Cause I’m also a big fan of Brené. I have been for years and read a lot of her books. I started with Daring Greatly. And then I went on her website, and at the very top corner, there was this thing called Brave Leaders, Inc.

And I was like, what is that? So I clicked on that, and it was an online course to help bring bravery into leadership. And because I’ve always been fascinated by good leadership, great leadership, ugly leadership. I was like, what is this? So I clicked on it and went through the course, and I couldn’t like to get through the material fast enough. It was like. It was all of her research plus everything. That’s fantastic about Brené, and her ability to story tell all woven into this course. And I fell in love with it. So I did the course, got my little certificate to put on LinkedIn, and then went on my way and went back into work. Well, about a month after I started, the team from Brené’s organization contacted me to do just some customer service. What did I think of the course?

I was like, these guys are amazing. They’re so friendly. And so I got on a call with this lovely individual named Lauren, and we start talking about what I found with this course, what I liked, what I would have wanted to see more of. But what I didn’t know at the time is they were doing research to find out how they could bring brave leaders or dare, dare to lead to the main audience. I was one of their testers. I just didn’t know I was being tested. So I did that, met with them, talk to them over the phone, just like this, and told them what I liked. And that was it. And then the next year, I think it was around June of 2018. I get a call from her team again. And they said, Hey, Brené is writing a new book on leadership.

She is curious if people that took brave leaders put it into action in their job. So my background was in human resources, and I was like, absolutely, I’ve done this. And I said, here’s a bunch of the areas that I did. And one of the areas was on feedback and how to build a feedback culture. And I took what I learned in that course, and I applied it and built a program around performance management and feedback. And she ended up liking it and decided to take my work and put it in her book. And then it launched in October of 2018. And that’s it?

Jenn DeWall:

Yes, yes, yes. Congratulations, Natalie. That is a huge accomplishment. And I mean, of course, just to like to be in the, I maybe it’s because I’m so far removed from Brené that I absolutely am like to be in her presence to be in her book is such a fantastic, I mean, achievement. That is wonderful. Congratulations.

Natalie Dumond:

Yeah. She’s just as magical. Well, she’s just amazing. She is, she is really down to earth, and she’s, she’s a lovely human, so she deserves all the goodness that comes her way for sure.

Daring to Lead

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. And so you have that experience. You’ve been in HR. You said it was over 15 years. You’ve over 15 years of HR experience. And one of the things I just want to ask you, I know this wasn’t our plan thing, but what does it truly mean to be a brave leader? Like I know that we didn’t necessarily like because when we think about brave leaders, I know before this, we were talking about maybe some not great leaders. So I guess maybe, maybe we could talk about what if you could have coached one person that maybe is not a great leader. Like what advice would you have or what, what would you do with that? I know that’s on the spot. Like where, how could you be brave? Maybe that’s the better question. How could I be more brave in leadership?

Natalie Dumond:

One of the things that are, you know, well that we see happen over and over, you probably see this in your work is the ability to lean into vulnerability. The ability to show up authentically the ability to be more curious about the other person’s perspective, right? So it’s this ability, you know, to also be aware of and do empathy well, and those are all vulnerable things, right? So vulnerability is this big trait that we need more leaders to start to lean into, and it can feel really uncomfortable. And a lot of people try to shy away from it, or they try to like, pretend that they’re not vulnerable. They just don’t know how to do it well, but here’s the thing about vulnerability. We either do it consciously, or we do it unconsciously. And when you do it unconsciously, you get a lot of the bad things that come out like passive-aggressive, you know, armoring up hiding, numbing out all those things.

But what you want to do is be conscious and be like, okay, I know this is gonna be a vulnerable moment. I know this is going to be tough, but I can do it. I can do hard things. I can lean in and be myself throughout all of it. So for me, it’s vulnerability. And like when I’m working with leaders, now there are two things its self-awareness and self-compassion are the two biggest things that we need our leaders to be having. Because there’s no more room for leaders to be going. I didn’t know. Or I was unaware. That’s not an okay excuse anymore. Your job is to become aware of that self-awareness piece. And then the self-compassion. So when leaders have self-compassion for themselves, that means like give themselves the grace to try something, make a mistake, own it, and move forward. If they can do that with themselves, then they can extend that, which is the empathy piece to everybody else. So anyway, long-winded vulnerability, which ties heavily to self-awareness and self-compassion.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. Well, and it’s, I wonder what if I go back to my twenties when I heard first entering the workforce, working for a really big company that’s based here in the US and it was a dream job, right. Because it was such a recognized company, but I had always been a geek about leadership because I’m that nerd that was doing it since I was in high school and leadership camps. But I remember honestly, going in, going in and cause you to learn so much about leadership even at a young age, especially if you’re nerding out, reading all those self-help books. And then I remember getting into work and being like, wait, was leadership a myth? I’m sorry. Is that something that like, like it was someone that was going to come in and like Prince charming at a horse, like, was that a total lie? And I think that’s probably because people armor up, they go, they go into work with their armor on, and they don’t understand that they’re in the business of serving people.

Natalie Dumond:

Yeah. They’re there to connect to other human beings and show them what’s possible within themselves. Right. And if you come from that space, you come from something completely different. But like a lot of leaders are coming in. Sometimes they lack that self-awareness, and when you get that, you get the armored behavior, you get the ego-driven behavior, and you drive more disconnection than connection.

Feedback and Performance Management

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. What, what inspired you? So now, we can shift into feedback. What, what inspired you to kind of create your own feedback or performance kind of performance improvement, not performance improvement, but like a feedback plan or program.

Natalie Dumond:

Yeah. Performance management was when I- so the right before I went into the coaching world and started my own practice, I was working at a tech company for about eight years. And when I started there back in 2011, the first thing they ever said was we need a performance management program. Can you build one? And I was like, absolutely. So I did what a lot of good HR people do. I ran off, and I got myself a form and a star rating system and a bunch of competencies. And then I just jammed it into the organization, and they were all like, no, no, like, okay. We said we wanted that, but we don’t like it, and we’re not going to do it. And I’m like, but why? So I’m like, all right, fine. I will. I will go and get us a tool. Not just, it just won’t be in a doc now I’ll go get a tool to automate it because that’ll make it more efficient, and then that’ll work.

So I did that, trained everybody else, jammed it in the organization, and still, I was policing the crap out of it, begging everybody to do it. And, you know, making sure leaders were pushing it on their employees to do it and all that stuff. And I was like, and so we did this for a couple of years, right. Just kept tweaking every time it was performance management, time tweaks the form, tweak the competencies, tweak the system. And I was like, I hate this. Like everybody hates it. I hate it—performance management. And I was just like, Hey. So I remember sitting in a room with one of the co-founders of the company. And I was like, why do we even do performance management? Like, what is the point of it? Everybody just hates it and avoids it.

Jenn DeWall:

That would always be the last thing I can tell you that you got all the emails when I was at a big company because they were pretty sophisticated. Right. So you get the email reminders, just a reminder to put in your goals for the year and another reminder to do your mid-level ones. And then at the end of the day, you know, it’s like, you’re yes, you hate them because you’re just writing the stuff that someone wants to hear. It’s not. You’re just checking the box. I felt like going back to school.

People Want Feedback, But Not Like That

Natalie Dumond:

So I’m like, so I’m like, then you as an HR professional, you always hear. But like, I want to know what people think of my work. I want to know, am I doing okay? So I’m getting these like, you know, dueling, you know, ideologies of, we hate doing it and then no, but we want it. And I’m like, okay, so what’s going on? So I just remember sitting with the co-founder, and I was like, how can we make this? So it’s actually valuable to everybody involved because, as an employee, they want to grow, they want to develop, they want to grow, and they want to expand their skillsets. Okay. Got it. But they also want to have a connection, and they’re kind of scared to see what everyone thinks. Right. So there’s that, that we’ve got to deal with. And then, on the other hand, the company, as an organization, they need to know if they have the right players on the bus, on the bus.

Right? Do we have people performing at the levels that we need in order to produce the services and products that we need? So how do you bring this all together? So we just stripped it all down. And I said, look, the whole reason for performance management is to make sure that the employee grows and that if you have a growing employee and that’s doing, you know, then you get the right products and services, right—it just kind of feeds into it. So what we did is we got rid of absolutely everything, every system, every competency, and all the star rating, numerics, like all that. And we just asked like two questions, what makes me successful? And what is holding back? It was that bare bones. And I put it in a Google doc. And I said, here, employee, you are now in charge of your performance management. I’m not the HR person, and neither is your leader. You are. So now, you go out and get five pieces of feedback from your peers and all the people you work with. And then, when you come to sit at the performance management time, you’re going to drive the conversation, and your leader is going to now be the coach.

Jenn DeWall:

I love that. That is drastic by most accounts. I’m sure for a lot of co someone might be listening. They’re like what? You got rid of a form with two questions?!

Natalie Dumond:

Yeah, we just simplified it and drilled it down to what actually matters. Right? So it w it was through that and just launching it and getting it. And, you know, some people have modified it to start, stop, continue, whatever you want to do, but just get it down to simplifying. What do you think? And then having the bravery, and this is where the work from Brené’s research came in because then I had to turn around and train the organization on how to be vulnerable. One to ask for feedback and two, how to be vulnerable and brave enough to give it, and how to sit in. So then that was the next big push with the organization how you train people and get them to actually sit in feedback, both delivering it and receiving it. So that’s kind of how, how we changed it. And that took some time as well. Right.

Jenn DeWall:

So that would be a big part because there are still the people that are. I’m sure if they really want to tell you that you’re actually a passive-aggressive communicator, I’m just going to say, you’re fine. Do you know what I mean? Cause if they have, did you, what did you see? Like what was it like initially when people were doing that, was there a little timidness, like you got to do this, like, how did you overcome that?

Effective Feedback Takes Practice

Natalie Dumond:

Yeah. And like, I think it’s, you gotta think about like when you go to the gym, right. If I went to the gym today and I was like, I am fit after one time, and you’d laugh at me. It’s the same with feedback. Right? You need to practice it over and over and over again to actually get better at it. And, and it’s like most things, right. So the first time we went and launched it, there were tears. People cried because of real feelings, real thoughts, opinions came out. Now you actually know what the other person beside you really thinks. And so there was lots of training on how to give feedback. Absolutely. Right. Like there that’s a big piece, but the other piece that was eye-opening is how do you see that you know, you were in control of how you receive feedback, you know, just because it is said, doesn’t mean necessarily mean that you have to fully, you know, do what it says. You could take it, and you can take a look at it and see does something needs to shift. Okay. That’s their opinion. I understand that. Like you get to be in control of it. And, and I think that was one of the bigger shifts is just because you are given feedback, what do you do with that? It doesn’t mean you always have to take it right in. So receiving feedback was just as difficult to train as, or challenging to train as, as giving it.

Jenn DeWall:

Well, and in my experience, I really, if I even go back to earlier, you know, I would say that clearly, I didn’t do a great job in the beginning of my career at receiving feedback because I never had, what I was, you know, I was used to really just like making the mark and over-achieving. So when you get feedback that counters that, it can be just debilitating. But I’m curious, like why do you think that we, I feel like we can talk, we know, you know, different ways that we can give feedback. We could probably rattle off them, but yet why is it that most trainings or even what we know is so focused on just like, this is how you give feedback, and you have to give feedback, but it’s never focused on, okay, this is how you can look at feedback. This is how you can receive it. Why do you think that we don’t have that emphasis?

Learning How to Receive Feedback

Natalie Dumond:

I know. I think a lot of us just get really caught up in how it’s said. And we’re so worried about how it’s going to be delivered, that we spend a lot of time there and you do have to focus like on that part of it. But the other side of it, like if we have a world of organizations that had employees that knew how to receive feedback well. Do you think we’d have a world of people that were so anxious to give feedback? No. So it’s just as important. I think it’s just missed. Right? I think we need to do some heavy lifting or coaching around people to be okay with other people’s, you know, opinions. It’s okay. And you cannot control what other people think of you all the time. What you can control is how you take it in and how you process it.

And sometimes it’s hard. Like I still sometimes will get a feed piece of feedback, and I’m like, Ooh, but now I’m changing the process of like, okay, what can I learn from this? So I want to modify something in my workshops. Do I want to change the way that I showed up that way or my speaking game? Whatever it is, I get to now be in control of what I do with that. So it was a changing, you know, the way I thought about feedback anyway, I don’t know why we’re not giving it enough attention, but I definitely know that we need to talk more about receiving feedback and that we don’t have to be as scared about it as, as we think.

Jenn DeWall:

Well, I think part of it, of why people don’t put the emphasis on, you know if I’m going to go into a big class about feedback and why they don’t necessarily focus on how to receive it. I think part of it is because we still are in denial that emotions exist in the workplace. Like, of course, you know, especially if someone’s really passionate about their work, you know, they’re going to be emotional, and that’s totally okay, but you have to also teach them how to receive it in a way that’s productive. That’s not, you know, doesn’t leave everyone feeling terrible. That feedback was given because then people will be so scarred and not want to give it again. But I think even talking about it, and I’m sure there’s a lot of people listening. I know that like, whether they’re leadership facilitators or coaches themselves, like how you and I are. Yeah. When you’re kind of in a public space, like I know when I give webinars or when I teach classes, there are feedback forms that come out and sometimes, you know, like you get these great, like, Oh, Jenn was lovely. And then it’s like, and this is why I think Jenn sucks. And that those are hard. And I think it’s my own. It’s talking about starting the conversation; it’s okay. That not everyone loves you.

Feedback Helps You Make Progress Faster

Natalie Dumond:

It’s okay. You know, but just keep trying, you know, be a good person and, and do good work and see what happens. And like, I think a lot of the time, you know, I was doing a, I was hosting a live event on LinkedIn, and I was interviewing Vanessa McDonald, who is the creator of The Brave Journal, which is an awesome journal to help you be braver in your life. And we were talking about this like feedback loop and, and how we are so afraid to just get out there and try something out of fear of feedback. But I found in being in business for myself if I go out there and just put, you know, what’s good enough out there, the feedback loop makes me stronger. Right. And I go faster. Right. So when I launched my, my, my business and I want to put out a website, I had to, I was working away on it, you know, fiddling with like every little piece color, this text, copy, you know, all that kind of stuff.

And finally, I just remember after two months of working night after night on, I was like, that’s it? And I submitted it to the world, and I went out, and I said, Hey everyone. And if you want to see what I’m up to, you know, check out my new website, let me know what you think. Well, there was good feedback, but there was also, Hey Nat, there was a misspelling on this page, or actually, it was doubled. And I went a lot faster because people gave me feedback. I could spend another couple more months reading every line again by myself. So, you know, I was telling this to Vanessa, and anyway, she said, life is about living in the iteration. And I love that. It was just like, we’re constantly iterating, but we also have to be open to the feedback that comes through with that iteration. And a lot of us are trying to wait until we are perfect and not okay with just good enough and then moving from that. So anyway, feedback and actually really help you move faster if you’re open to it. However, so many of us are just like, I’m just going to hide until I think I’m perfect enough. And then they wait so long.

Jenn DeWall:

You wait, and the opportunity’s gone or you, you know, become more anxious. I know I just did a webinar on Agile leadership. And when we think about being agile, that’s one of the most important things of an agile mindset is your adaptability to change. And that you have to have feedback on that. And someone actually said this last week in a class, you know, good is better than perfect and that we have to get better at looking at, Hey, is it good? You know, we’re not ever going to be perfect. I don’t know why we ever I, myself too, as the recovering perfectionist, right. As I’m sure many of the people that are listening to a leadership class are probably a little bit more type A, but it’s getting people to recognize that good is better than perfect. So if I, so what advice would you give or how, what do you think is the best way to get feedback? Like what, what advice would you share with our listeners on how to actually give and have a good feedback conversation.

Want Better Feedback? Ask For It.

Natalie Dumond:

We just ask, what did you think? You know, what could I do to serve you better? If you’re a leader, what did you need more of? What do you need less of? What would help, you know, what would help you just be naturally curious and know that whatever they say is okay. For me, it’s just asking. So as a coach and a facilitator, every time I’m done a workshop, I put out a Google survey and I, and I asked my participants, what do you think? It’s a quick one, you know, what you learn? What were you hoping more for? So for me, it’s just asking,

Jenn DeWall:

Do you have an opinion on this- I know a lot of people listening might have been trained or given the advice to follow the sandwich method– I’m not really a huge fan of it because it does seem so disingenuous to me. And I know that’s not the intent, but it’s just, it seems so forced, right? Like I got to give you the positive for the bun, then I’ll give you the meat of what you actually need. And then I’m going to wrap it up on a positive note. Like, it just seems so strange to me. And then if you’re not maybe as fluid in your transitions, then it’s going to even seem more awkward.

Natalie Dumond:

Yeah, and everyone can kind of see through it. So yeah, if you’re using the sandwich method for feedback, I would highly recommend stopping that doesn’t feel sincere. Right. And so people are looking, here’s the main thing that people are looking for with feedback. And this comes from Kim Scott’s radical candor. And it’s brilliant is they’re looking to know that you were clear and kind, that you actually care about them. So show them that you care about their wellbeing, their growth, their development, right. Show them that you care. So that’s the main like that’s overarching, that’s what the energy you should be bringing into a feedback session. But if you’re looking for a kind of like some formula to put through, the one that I train on is you talk about the situation, behavior, impact. Situation, behavior, impact. So you explain the situation of what you noticed, the behavior that you witnessed, and then the impact that it had on you or potentially the team. I always recommend speaking in the I statements. It’s a lot harder when you’re like, we all think we all believe because people get really armored with that.

Jenn DeWall:

It feels like someone’s like stomping you down. Like Everyone thinks this?

Delivering Effective Feedback

Natalie Dumond:

And then that changes the conversation. Because the person automatically goes to, well, who’s saying all these things? And then they start thinking about, who’s been talking about me? So really try to keep it about the I statements. So you want to explain the situation and the behavior of the impact. So if, you know, say I was late for meetings every Monday morning meeting we had, we met at nine, and I kept coming into the meeting really late. And I was disruptive when I came in and all this other stuff, you could maybe say something like, Hey, Nat, do you have a couple of minutes? I’d like to talk to you. Hopefully, I say yes. And you would say, Hey, you know, this Monday morning meeting that starts at nine o’clock. That’s the Situation, right? The behavior is you’ve been a bit late recently. And at times kind of disruptive when you’re coming in, and the impact of the team is it’s disrupting everybody and also making us late for our next meeting.

And then this is what you do. You end it with a question. So the situation, the behavior, the impact. And then you end it with a question: the assumption that I’m making up is this meeting is no longer a priority for you. Is that true? Right. You just end it, you know, you can say it like that, or help me understand what’s going on. Right? Maybe I can’t get my kids to school on time. Maybe that time doesn’t work for me. Maybe I don’t get value from it. But whatever my answer is, because you end it with a question. Now we get to go down that path. So I might say, yeah, it’s this does this meeting doesn’t add value to me anymore. And then you can go, okay, tell me more about that. Or I could say, yeah, my kids, it’s just doesn’t work. My kids got to school now. And it’s just crazy. And getting here for nine o’clock, it’s really hard. Like I think I need another option. Okay. Let’s talk about that. So when you end it with curiosity, it opens up the space for the dialogue and lets people kind of come in with it.

Jenn DeWall:

So it’s like a fourth step. Behavior, outcome, curiosity, questioning, and curiosity, like that, comes to everyone there that might be making and living in the assumption. It is practicing curiosity. You got to set aside and say, maybe there’s something you’re not seeing. You got to leave judgment away from it and allow that other person a fair opportunity to address your concerns.

Assume Good Intent and Ask More Questions

Natalie Dumond:

Yeah. If you come in with a feedback session, with positive intent, rather than the intent to prove that they did something wrong or that they’re a bad person. What you do is you come in with positive intent, like Natalie’s doing the best she can. And I’m, I want to get more curious about this behavior that she’s doing, right? So when you come at it from that angle, people can feel that energy. Right? So curiosity and positive intent at the end of the situation, behavior, the impact is very powerful, and it really does open up space.

Jenn DeWall:

Where do you think people get it wrong? I mean, I’m sure you and I can probably go on this. Like where do people get feedback wrong? Because there is bad feedback happening. It’s probably happening every 10 seconds. I don’t know. But there’s bad feedback happening. Where do people, where do people get It wrong? The one thing I’ll always think of is my example of when I was told to, because again, none of these, I felt were related directly related to the outcome of what I was producing for a business, but they were what, the perception that was wanting that people wanted certain executives to see.

So I got feedback. Like you need to be more vanilla. You need to be more of a yes, man. You can’t laugh when you’re outside of the cube. You need to make sure that your back is up straight. I’m not even lying. Those are all legitimate feedback comments that I’ve received. And in my head I’m like, I’m sorry, like how was this? Like my business numbers are great, but I’m laughing too much. And you know, I feel like if they would have actually sat down and said, Jenn, why do you laugh so much?

Well, I would have said, you know, we operate really fast. People are really stressed out all the time. I want to try and keep people calm. So then we don’t make mistakes. Right. And one of the ways that we can do that is through laughter. Like, but I, I felt like I didn’t necessarily have a leader that even tried to understand why I tried to do that. And so my result of that feedback coming at me was to just shut down. And I just sat at my desk and I, you know, I put my headphones on and just like focused on what I needed to do. And then all of a sudden, fast forward two days later, and they’re like with Jenn, we really do need you to start talking to people again. I’m like, what do you want? I don’t know what you want. And they’re like, well, you’re too much of a presence to like, not, you know, not talk to anyone. And it was so frustrating to me because it felt like they were just telling me all these things to show up as, but they didn’t necessarily include like why. There’s no curiosity. Like I wonder why you do that sometimes.

Natalie Dumond:

Like when you come in thinking your perspective is the perspective, you miss the ability to connect with the other person. So yes, you might have been perceiving about, you know, your behavior in some way, but not getting curious about why you are behaving in that manner. You’re missing the mark to connect to you and then co-create. What’s possible. Right? And I think that’s what a lot because we get so worked up with, okay, I gotta say this, I gotta get it right. I gotta deliver it a certain way. I’m just gonna like lob it over there and then hope they get it. And it’s like, no, you can go over there with some positive intent and some curiosity and find out what’s going on and see if you can, co-create a solution together that works for both parties. That’s where people are, are I think, missing the mark. We get stuck in our own head of how to say it. Right. And I gotta make sure this lands. And no, just go over and ask some really good questions.

You Control What You Do With Feedback

Jenn DeWall:

You don’t even. I don’t know if people think about it. I love your approach of the, you know, first what’s the situation because telling me, if I go back to even my example of telling me that I laughed too much and I needed to stand up straight, if I’m like walking and making sure, you know, and fully in my blazer, my power suit, I need to understand how that connects to what, how that either takes away. You know that when you talk about the situation, behavior outcome, like I need to understand the outcome. Like what is the cause? And too much. I think people give feedback. They, they do, they do step one, and then they don’t do the rest of the things that you’re saying they do. Here’s the situation. I don’t want you to do that anymore. Well, why? Why don’t you want me to do that? Is that bad? Am I a bad person? I mean, if your career I was career motivated. So getting, you know, a big part of my competence key comes, it still does. I wish it didn’t mean as much, but a big piece of my confidence comes from how well I do in my career. So then when you get feedback, that is not, doesn’t feel great. It can feel pretty debilitating, especially when you don’t understand why you need to change. You just understand that you need to stop doing this.

Natalie Dumond:

Right. So, so, okay. So you know, where anyone that’s listening to has a similar experience, like think about this too. So we can’t control everybody. So you might be, you know, work around people that are just going to love that. And they’re not going to be curious. And, and hopefully, we get to train enough people to show them a new way to do feedback, but here’s the powerful thing you are in control of what you do with that. So just because somebody wants you to stop laughing and wear, you know, straighten up and do all this, you know, buttoned-up stuff, some of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself at that moment, you can get curious. You don’t have to wait for them to get curious. What is it saying about them that they’re asking this change of you?

What does it saying about the culture that they’re asking this about that? Do I want to change? Does it serve me to not laugh, and you know, be straight-laced? And if the answer is no, and this isn’t aligned to me, you get to ask the questions like does, do I, should I be working here? And maybe not. So I think curiosity also is with the person receiving the feedback. You get to ask the powerful questions of like, does this feedback come from a good sincere place? And does this feedback serve me to help me step into the highest version of myself? And if the answer is no, then you’re out of alignment and probably working at the wrong organization.

Jenn DeWall:

Yes. And I think that’s a really valuable point that you just made, Natalie, is that people, again, we, when we think about feedback, we can think about how to receive it, but we don’t necessarily think about the, okay. I can receive it. I, you know, I can have the mindset of looking at this as growth, but we don’t necessarily go to the next step, which is okay, like, what do I want to do with this? Like, do I want to take it on, do I want to, like, does this make me want to ask different questions? Should I even be here? I mean, I knew I shouldn’t have been there based at all that I was a little trapped in that circumstance because I was in their MBA program. So I couldn’t leave without paying for it. And they just didn’t have that money, but it was just so hard.

And at the end of the day, like I’m saying all this, but like, even if that boss was listening, I actually really liked working under that boss. And I did know the people that he was kind of like mouth-piecing through. Like, it wasn’t his words, but it, I still wish I could tell him to this day, like, Hey, I loved you as a boss, but like how you did this, probably not your best work. Maybe not the best word choice. Like that’s not going to make anyone feel great. You know, you need to be more vanilla, more of a yes, man. And then like to stop laughing. I’m like, what?

Natalie Dumond:

And I’m a firm believer that if anybody’s asking you to take up less space and you know, like to not be yourself, that is the wrong role. That is the wrong leader. That is just, or it’s, it’s a conversation that needs to be had because I don’t think anyone should have to be less than themselves in order to work in an organization.

Remember It’s a Choice

Jenn DeWall:

So, yeah. I love that, though. So yeah. Going back to that, you know, reminding people that you can change. That if you are sitting here listening, and maybe you’re starting to question based on what Natalie had just shared, even the questions, like, is it the right organization or company? You know, what could you, where could you go next? Like, I think, you know, the thing that I like to say is like, your parents didn’t birth you for X. Like, it’s not like all of a sudden they had you. And they’re like. I hope they work for this random organization one day and that they do this role. Like you get to choose. And that’s all yours every single day.

Natalie Dumond:

Wow, absolutely. You get to ask the questions just like anybody else does. So ask the questions. Does this serve me? What do I want to do with this information that was just gifted to me? Because it is a gift. You can look at it that way. And, and how do I want to move forward? You are in choice. And I think that’s the thing that coaching has really helped with myself and other people that I work with is reminding them. We are all in choice. We get to choose how we react. We get to choose how we show up or not show up. We’re always in choice, right? So I think the less victim or victimhood mentality we play when it comes to feedback that is delivered, the more powerful we’ll be. And it doesn’t mean that you just get to go, well, screw it. I don’t believe it. Whatever. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Look at it and then see what you want to do from it. There, it doesn’t serve you, can you grow from it? And if not, then put it down and keep going.

Jenn DeWall:

You know, that’s great. I had a friend that went to the University of Santa Monica in California, had a school on, has a spiritual psychology program. And one of the things that they said is if you’re getting feedback and you touched on it if you’re getting feedback from someone that you can see doesn’t necessarily care about you, doesn’t, isn’t doing this, then you should actually question whether or not you even take that on. Like, if you don’t respect that person, if they’ve been really rude to you, if they exhibit all of that, like, just because they have words that they’re giving to you does mean that you need to take this on. It also doesn’t mean that you need to work there anymore, but you touched on something that I wish we could have actually spent more time on, which is victimhood.

Because if we’re talking to the person that’s receiving feedback, it is so important. We are always in choice. Like you can’t live in a place that the world is happening to you, that you are in, you know, we’re all in some way, we’re either active or passively involved in their lives. But that is the hardest piece. I think when people are giving feedback— it is knowing that you might have to give feedback to someone that lives in a victim mentality. Like any like words of wisdom that you would give, maybe for a leader. If they had to address that with someone,

The Victim Mentality – How Leaders Can Help

Natalie Dumond:

If the leader felt like the person, they were going to talk to plays or sits in the victim mentality a lot? So there, you just have to do a little bit more digging there, there a lot of people are unconscious to the victimhood mentality, and you can hear it, right? It’s like, I can’t, I don’t, I don’t believe in myself. I’m not enough. Like, you can hear some of that self-deprecating talk. And so victims need to be reminded of their resiliency, and they need it to be, you know, just reminded of their power. So if I was a leader and I had someone doing that, I’d be really curious about where the victim mentality is coming from. Like, keep asking questions. Like where was it a previous organization that taught that to them? Was it teenage years of childhood, most likely, and just keep digging and then remind them of the resiliency of their power that they can get through this?

Probably a little bit of empathy too. So they just need a little bit of a different approach. I’m not saying you have to coddle them, but I’m just saying a lot of curiosity and then reminding them of their resiliency, reminding them, like when was the last time that you fell down, and you got back up? And let them tell the story. Well, it was this time, this time, and I did that. Okay. So you know how to get back up? Well, yeah, but no, but you know how to get back up. So how would you get back up after this, this time? Well, I don’t. You’ll start to. They just need a little bit more rebuild. I think a lot of society is really good at making us believe we are the victims. And so this, this victimhood mentality is a bit epidemic. And I think, you know, as a leader, we need to start reminding people that they are not victims in their lives, that they have a choice and they can get back up.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. We all need to hear that message. I think every day and resiliency is a huge piece of feedback. Maybe even starting a feedback conversation. If you know what’s going to be there just with, Hey, I’m going to share some feedback with you. And this is why I’m giving you the feedback because I believe in your success. I want you to thrive. I want you to achieve greater heights. I want you to X, Y, Z, or aligning it with something that’s important to them. And then describing why that situation can be- I just love it because it’s so simple. Your approach is very simplified, right? And it doesn’t include the, let’s just throw in some positives. Let’s just do this to check a box. Like people are waiting for it anyway. So why not get to the point and just have an honest conversation.

And then, I mean, I would be surprised how, and you said it in the beginning that it’s something where you have to practice it. Right. You have to be consistent at just knowing that you’re going to maybe bomb at your first feedback round after this new approach. And that’s okay.

Natalie Dumond:

It’s okay to fail and try again. And I think a lot of the times we’re like, okay, I need to get it right the first time. And then that’s it. And it’s not.

What is Your Leadership Habit for Success?

Jenn DeWall:

Natalie. I have one final question to close out our podcasts, what we ask every single guest, which is what is your leadership habit for success, or what do you do to help aid to your success as not only a speaker, a facilitator, a trainer, a leadership coach. I mean, you wear a lot of hats. What do you do to maintain your own success?

Natalie Dumond:

Just continuous learning. I like to put myself more and more on the edge of being uncomfortable. Not all the time. Like I don’t love being uncomfortable, but I know that’s where growth happens for me. So just continuing to learn about who I am, what stretches me, what makes me uncomfortable, and then just following what makes me also feel good. What makes me feel alive because that’s what I’ve been kind of put here to do. So it’s a lot of just continuous learning I would recommend. Learning about things that interest me and things that also challenge me and stretch me. Gosh, I love it. So thinking everyone, if you want to take a page from Natalie’s book, what can you learn today? Or how can you, you know, change the way that you’re thinking or just see something in a different way. I love that.

Natalie Dumond:

And then I, Oh, sorry. I just want one quick thing about SBI. So this Situation, Behavior, Impact. You can find more information on that. This is coming from The Center of Creative Leadership that helped kind of create that as well. And you know, if you’re looking for more curiosity, reach out. They have a lot of information.

Jenn DeWall:

And you’re going to hear, and they’re going to hear how to connect with you too, in the bumper. So stay tuned if you want to hear how to get in touch with Natalie.

Natalie Dumond:

Thank you, everyone!

Jenn DeWall:

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of The Leadership Habit Podcast. If you want to connect with Natalie, get to know, maybe hire for a workshop or hire as a coach, go to NatalieDumond.com. If you liked today’s episode, don’t forget to share it with your friends. Maybe share it with a colleague and of course, leave us a review on your favorite podcast streaming service.

The post Episode 44: Giving and Receiving Better Feedback with Leadership Coach Natalie Dumond appeared first on Crestcom International.

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