Alan Eustace, Aileen Lee, Aileen discussed on Wisdom From The Top
Should never have chosen a monkey. That was a big mistake. So a stuff to daisy whoops a daisy. And what I would do is I would come in to the all hands, so a hundred plus people, and I would say, look, here's my biggest mistake of the week. I want to hear your biggest mistake. And the person who made the biggest mistake is going to get two things. They're going to get instant forgiveness, and they're going to get to keep this stuff daisy on their desk for the week. And it became just sort of a fun part of our all hands meeting. And it helps sort of reinforce this idea that no news is bad news and bad news is good news because we learn from what we do wrong. And that was helpful. When does feedback create an environment that actually stifles innovation and creativity, right? Because sometimes feedback isn't right. Feedback is wrong, like the things people give you feedback on and their perspectives are just not good feet sound smart. Helpful. Let's be honest. Some feedback's terrible. Yeah, yeah. Some feedback is really horrible. So the thing you can do is, first of all, you can identify the 5 or 10% of what the person said that you can agree with. Just to demonstrate that you're not shut down the feedback you're not automatically defensive. And then you have a respectful conversation with the person about why you disagree with the feedback. Again, this is counterintuitive. I think instinctively, a lot of us fear that a disagreement is going to hurt a relationship. But the fact of the matter is, what's really going to hurt your relationship is either ignoring feedback that someone had the courage to give you or saying thank you for the feedback. I don't know about you, but when someone says that to me, that is not what I hear, I hear FU. I want to call out some specific ways that feedback goes wrong. Sometimes feedback reflects unconscious bias. Gender bias, racial bias. Yes. Sometimes feedback actually reflects conscious prejudice. And sometimes it's not feedback. It's just bullying. And so the question is, what do you do when what you're getting is biased prejudice or bullying masquerading as feedback? That is hard. I mean, we're living in an environment now where it's becoming much clearer that certain types of managers and I don't want to stereotype, but let's just say white men may not have been as conscious of these things. Because how would they be? They haven't been the victims of them. Alan eustace, who's one of my favorite leaders, was one of my favorite leaders at Google, used to do this thing with his team, where he would stand up in front of a couple thousand engineers. And he would say, if you're underrepresented on this team, and by that, he meant if you're a woman, if you're black, if you're LatinX. If you're underrepresented on this team, and you have been harmed by workplace injustice in the last week, pretty much 100% of the underrepresented people on the team raise their hand. And then he would say, now, everybody put your hand down. Now, if you have been unjust to one of your colleagues in the last week, raise your hand. Nobody raced their hand. And so this is one of the things that I struggled with when I wrote just work. I hate to think of myself as a victim. But even more, I hate to think of myself as a perpetrator. And so sometimes where the person who is harmed, other times where the person who caused harm, other times we are the upstander and an upstander is a bystander who actually intervenes. And other times were the leader. And in each of these different roles, we kind of have different levels of responsibility. So aileen Lee told me a great story. She's the founder of cowboy VC. She told me a great story about walking into a meeting with two colleagues who are men. They sat down at a long conference table. And then the folks from the other side from the company whose business they were trying to win came in. The first guy sits across from the guy to aliens left. The next guy sits across from the guide to his left. And aileen had the expertise that was going to win her team the deal. And so she started talking. But when the other side had questions, they directed them at her two colleagues who were men, not at aileen. And once it happened twice. And eventually, one of aliens partners stood up and he said, I think a lean and I should switch seats. That was all he had to do to totally change the tenor in the room. Everybody realized what they were doing and they stopped doing it. So that was sort of a simple example of an eye statement. Working, no huge deal, but it worked out really well. But of course, sometimes it's not unconscious bias at play. And I think this is one of the reasons that unconscious bias gets met with some skepticism. Is that very often we assume everything's unconscious bias. But sometimes it's not unconscious bias. Sometimes it's quite conscious prejudice. But sometimes there's no conscious prejudiced belief going on. The person's just being mean. And that is what bullying is. And it's so hard in the moment to know how to respond to bullying. I think one of the many mistakes of feedback training is that it teaches us to respond to bullying as though it's biased. And this is a mistake I have made many, many times. In fact, when my daughter was in third grade, she was getting bullied on the playground. And I was kind of encouraging her to say, oh, I feel sad when you blah blah. And she banged her fist on the table, and she said, mom, he is trying to make me feel sad. Why would I tell him he succeeded? And I thought, gosh, you know, that is a really good point. That's fair. It's a very good point for a third grader. Yeah. Yeah, she's very, she was able to articulate her power, right? Yeah. Yeah. House a radical candor here. She was given me some feedback. But she was exactly right. And so I realized it used statement. If an I statement invites someone in to understand things from your perspective, that's a great response to bias. But if it's bullying, you want to use statement, which kinds of pushes kind of pushes them away. Like you can't talk to me like that. Or if that feels like it might escalate, say, what's going on for you here? Or even just like, where'd you get that shirt? The point of a youth statement is now you are in an active role because you're asking the other person, the question. You eventually left Google and went to Apple and you were hired to actually hire to teach a class about management at what was called Apple university that they're sort of internal school. And what I love about this is that you went in as sort of your own experiment. You said, I want to learn even more about management and I'm going to use my stories of success and failure to teach this class and then to learn. Yes, it was incredible, actually, Steve Jobs had decided that the management training that they had at Apple was not good. And so we wanted to throw it all away and start from a blank sheet of paper. And it was a big decision to leave Google actually. After I had kids, you kind of reassess what's important to you. And I realized I really didn't care at all about cost per click. I mean, that was doing really well at Google. But the thing that really got me out of bed in the morning was building the team, helping the culture of the team translate to 13 different countries. And helping the people on the team take a step in the direction of their dreams. And so how could I do that at scale, not just for one particular team, but I kind of wanted to shed the operating role.