In What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Goldsmith outlines 20 workplace habits that prevent successful individuals from becoming even more successful including things like claiming credit we don’t deserve and failing to express gratitude. I definitely noticed some habits that I tend to fall into myself like adding too much value and passing judgement. Reading through the habits was helpful, but some of the best advice in the book came in the sections on obtaining feedback. To coach these leaders, Goldsmith obtains feedback from coworkers. His process and tips were very valuable.
“People will do something—including changing their behavior—only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.”
When asking for feedback on a CEO/leader, Goldsmith prompts coworkers with The Four Commitments, which I found valuable:
- Let go of the past.
- Tell the truth.
- Be supportive and helpful—not cynical or negative.
- Pick something to improve yourself—so everyone is focused more on “improving” than “judging.”
When soliciting feedback from others, questions like “What do you think of me?” is worthless because power dynamics can influence the answer. Instead, Goldsmith argues that the only question that works (the only one) is “How can I do better?” He continues that “pure unadulterated issue-free feedback that makes change possible has to:
A) solicit advice rather than criticism
B) be directed towards the future rather than obsessed with the negative past
C) be couched in a way that suggests you will act on it; that in you are trying to do better”