This post is part of the 📖 Nine Lies About Work series.


Today, I continue reading the LIE #5: People need feedback chapter of book Nine Lies About Work written by Authors Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall.

TL;DR! 💬

There are some big lies, distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking that we encounter every time we show up for work. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration, ultimately resulting in workplaces that are a pale shadow of what they could be.

By reading Nine Lies About Work, you can get past the lies and discover what’s real. These freethinking leaders recognize the power and beauty of our uniqueness. They know that emergent patterns are more valuable than received wisdom and that evidence is more powerful than dogma.


Yesterday, I started reading LIE #5: People need feedback chapter from Nine Lies About Work book.

Chapter #5

LIE #5: People need feedback

So far, so good. We understand we like positive attention, and it helps us do better work. But what about learning? If all we get is attention to our strengths, how will we ever develop?

But as we saw in the last chapter, the single most powerful predictor of both team performance and team engagement is the sense that “I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work.”

Now, we tend to think of “performance” and “development” as two separate things, as though development or growth is something that exists outside of the present-day work.

But development means nothing more than doing our work a little better each day, so increasing performance and creating growth are the same thing.

A focus on strengths increases performance. Therefore, a focus on strengths is what creates growth.

The best team leaders seem to know this. So they reject the idea that the most important focus of their time is people’s shortcomings.

In the real world, each person’s strengths are the greatest opportunity for learning and growth. Time and attention devoted to contributing to these strengths intelligently will yield exponential return now and in the future.

Negative feedback doesn’t enable learning. It systematically inhibits it and is, neurologically speaking, how to create impairment. — psychology and business professor Richard Boyatzis

In other words, positive, future-focused attention gives your brain access to more regions of itself and thus sets you up for greater learning.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow, we will continue to read the same chapter LIE #5: People need feedback.


Key Takeaways

  • Deliberately focus on strengths instead of weaknesses.

  • Negative feedback doesn’t enable learning. On the contrary, it systematically inhibits it and is, neurologically speaking, how to create impairment.


What lies we've learned so far?
  1. LIE #1: People care which company they work for

    We, as team members, want our team leader to make us feel part of something bigger, that he/she shows us how what we are doing together is important and meaningful. You as a team leader make us feel that you can see us, and connect to us, and care about us, and challenge us in a way that recognizes who we are as individuals.

  2. LIE #2: The Best Plan Wins

    It’s far better to coordinate your team’s efforts in real-time, relying heavily on each unique team member’s informed, detailed intelligence. You’ll have to sit down and survey your team members and make your plan.

    The more frequently and predictably you check in with your people or meet with your team—the more you offer your real-time attention to the reality of their work—the more performance and engagement you will get.

    It’s not true that the best plan wins. The best intelligence indeed wins.

  3. LIE #3: The best companies cascade goals

    We should unlock information through intelligence systems and cascade meaning through our expressed values, rituals, and stories.

    We should let our people know what’s going on in the world and which hill we’re trying to take, and then we should trust them to figure out how to contribute.

    They will invariably make better and more authentic decisions than those derived from any planning system that cascades goals from on high.

  4. LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded

    Best people are not well-rounded. They are distinctive. Well-roundedness is a misguided and futile objective for individual people, but it’s an absolute necessity for teams.

    The well-rounded high performer is a creature of the theory world. However, each high performer is unique and distinct in the real world and excels precisely because that person has understood their uniqueness and cultivated it intelligently.

    Competencies like Customer focus, innovation, growth orientation, agility are values to be shared, and they are not abilities to be measured.

    Shift your thinking to outcomes where you’re asking individual team members to deliver to better match their distinctive talents.

Nine Lies about Work

Author(s): Marcus Buckingham

Author(s): Ashley Goodall

Short Blurb: How do you get to what's real? Your organization's culture is the key to its success. Strategic … Read more
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Part 12 of 23 in the 📖 Nine Lies About Work book series.

Series Start | Nine Lies About Work - Day 11 | Nine Lies About Work - Day 13



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