Feedback and Social Progress

If you care about personal and professional growth, listening to and processing feedback is one of the most imporant things to focus on. Think of it as advice, but tailored to your situation. We've known about this for so long, but it can still be hard sometimes. Why?

Why it’s Hard

There's the surface stuff about listening to diffucult things, and that makes sense, but I've always wanted a deeper explanation.

It took me a few years to connect the dots here, but I just realized the answer to this question is from Games People Play by Eric Berne:

[...] every individual has had parents (or substitute parents) and that he carries within him a set of ego states that reproduce the ego states of those parents (as he perceived them), and that these parental ego states can be activated under certain circumstances (exteropsychic functioning). Colloquially: "Everyone carries his parents around inside of him."



That's for one individual. Let's focus in on 1:1 conversations, and we can frame a conversation like this:

The converse rule is that communication is broken off when a crossed transaction occurs. The most common crossed transaction, and the one which causes and always has caused most of the social difficulties in the world, whether in marriage, love, friendship, or work, is represented in Figure 3A as Crossed Transaction Type I. The stimulus is Adult-Adult: e.g., "Maybe we should find out why you’ve been drinking more lately," or, "Do you know where my cuff links are?"

Example: Adult <> Adult

A: We hit our ship date, but in the future you might want to allocate more time to performance testing before launch.

Example: Adult <> Adult, but ends up being Adult <> Child

A: We hit our ship date, but in the future you might want to allocate more time to performance testing before launch.

Note that someone can stil be speaking from the child state, even when they sound like this:

B: The product team has to give us the requirements sooner... how do they expect us to get things done on time?

Example: Adult <> Adult, but ends up Adult <> Parent

A:: In the future could you keep me in the loop on how we're tracking against our org-wide metrics?

Example: Adult <> Adult, but ends up Adult <> Child

A: Let's not talk about this at work.

It's up to you to decide what you want your work relationships to be like, but hopefully this framework can help people be happier and more productive at work.

This even applies to things you read on the internet.

You've gotten this far:

Example: Adult <> Child

Me: [publishes this blog post] You: I'm so outraged.

Example: Adult <> Parent

Me: [publishes this blog post] You: sends me long email telling me why I'm wrong.

Example: Adult <> Adult

Me: [publishes this blog post] You: Well, that's dumb. Some guy on the internet is using social theories from 1965 to try and make sense of things. I disagree (closes tab)
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