Sheila Heen

Sheila_HeenFounder of Triad Consulting Group, author of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It’s Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood

The performance evaluation at work; the parenting advice from your mother-in-law; the lecture by the cop who just pulled you over; those suddenly too tight jeans. We get feedback every day of our lives, from friends and family, colleagues, customers, and bosses, teachers, doctors, and strangers. We know that feedback is essential for professional development and healthy relationships – but we dread it and often dismiss it. That is because receiving feedback sits at the junction of two conflicting human desires. We want to learn and crow, but we also want to be accepted and respected just as we are now. This session will address this tension head on. It will explain why getting feedback is so crucial yet challenging. It will offer a simple framework and powerful tools to help us take on life’s blizzard of offhand comments, annual evaluations and unsolicited advice with curiosity and grace. The business world spends billions of dollars and millions of hours each year teaching people how to GIVE feedback more effectively, but they do not train the receivers who interpret what they are hearing to sit back, listen and decide whether or how to change. This session will help us learn how to receive feedback better in our work and personal lives. About Sheila Heen Sheila is a Founder of Triad Consulting Group and a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Sheila’s corporate clients include MITRE, BAE Systems, HSBC, Tatweer of Dubai, Unilever, the Federal Reserve Bank, Standard Bank of South Africa, Merck, and numerous family businesses. She often works with executive teams, helping them to work through conflict, repair working relationships, and make sound decisions together. In the public sector she has also provided training for the New England Organ Bank, the Singapore Supreme Court, the Obama White House, and theologians struggling with disagreement over the nature of truth and God. Sheila has spent the last twenty years with the Harvard Negotiation Project, developing negotiation theory and practice. She specializes in particularly difficult negotiations – where emotions run high and relationships become strained. Sheila is co-author of the New York Times Business Bestseller, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin 2000). Her new book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It’s Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood) is due out from Viking/Penguin in March 2014. One of the side benefits of writing Difficult Conversations has been the chance to appear on shows as diverse as Oprah and the G. Gordon Liddy show, NPR’s Diane Rehms Show, Fox News, and CNBC’s Power Lunch. Sheila is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Harvard Law School. She is schooled in negotiation daily by her three children.