E59: 3 Reasons Why Giving and Receiving Feedback is Important

E59: 3 Reasons Why Giving and Receiving Feedback is Important

My sister has always been intrigued about my constant craving and desire to have feedback and not being sensitive to it. She’s always feels like when she gets feedback, that she’s getting criticized. She wanted to know my secret.

There secret is, I look at feedback like data. It’s just another input. Data is really important, just look at Big Data/ Machine Learning and AI, they are always looking for ways to gather predictive data in order to be able to plan and mitigate risks.


This episode will talk about feedback from 3 perspective:

  1. How to receive the feedback
  2. How to provide feedback
  3. How to use feedback

Having data from multiple sources, just allows me to see my blind spots.


I don’t know, what i don’t know and that’s where feedback fits in.


Feedback allows you to see how others are receiving the communication and the perception that others may have. Sometimes, those perceptions are not what we want. But, that feedback really allows you to see what we may need to change.

When we start to uncover what we don’t know then we are able to understand what we don’t know and make appropriate plans to change that perception. It really helps us identify our blind spots and the expectations.

Maybe the role that we are in, isn’t the right fit for our personality. Maybe the role requires constant relationship building and you’re not a people person. You prefer to come in, log into the system and deliver reports.



How to receive the feedback


As the year end comes, we are probably going to be getting our year end feedback from our bosses. We all hope for great feedback, so that we can get our bonuses. However, it’s make or break it.

If we don’t get great feedback, then our bosses don’t appreciate us and it starts a downward cycle. If we get great feedback, then we get comfortable in our skin and always feel like the smartest person in the room. It’s hard to not take feedback as personal. Think about all those internet trolls, that just need a hug and some love. (Anyways, I digress)

Getting feedback is a tricky process. People don’t like to get feedback. It’s a little scary. Think about athletes. They work on their skill and get feedback in order to improve their skills. So, think about our jobs – we are like athletes in a particular field, division, department.

We need the feedback for us to see how we can improve our skills in our sport. However, let’s be honest. Not a lot of managers are great at giving feedback.

  • First, you need to see how you personally deal with feedback.
  • How do you deal with feedback that you receive, don’t forget about your non-verbal queues.  

Maybe you roll your eyes, huff and puff or just get ready to argue. How can we change that?  Maybe you just need to change the narrative. Change the question ‘what can we do better?”.

Specific feedback is great because it allows us to focus on ‘What can we do better?’, which is much more positive and looks at the opportunities around us.  

Our ego is built to protect us from negative emotions, so we need to change the narrative. So, that we don’t do self projection and it is there that it is time to change our mindset. We are looking for opportunities to strengthen our talent (our sport), our relationships and perceptions and to find new Opportunities.


Opportunities is what keeps us motivated- it’s the carrot dangling at the end of the stick!



How to provide feedback


When we are getting feedback – we are looking for the opportunities for what we can do better and what does fine tuning our skills take us. Use this as an opportunity to talk about career paths, progressions and other marketable skills. What a great time to justify taking a course to further become marketable.


Let’s talk about some typical feedback mistakes:

  1. Not giving or receiving feedback in a timely manner. I always provide feedback as something happens. Why wait till the year end to remind someone of something that happened 10 months ago.
    • Let’s be clear –  I can barely remember what I had for breakfast three (3) days ago. Details get distorted and memories fade. Just think about all those crime shows, where the police isolate potential witnesses to get their statements right away. Not, 2 days later, 10 months later… it’s immediately.
    • Second issue I have with this approach, is that you didn’t give me the opportunity to correct something for 10 months.

2. Providing vague feedback – this is really frustrating. It’s my pet peeve when someone provides a theoretical answer to things versus a tactical example. We need to make sure that the feedback is specific and that also shows the downstream impact.

Also, using specific examples allows us to see whether there is a trend.  Is this happening from a process perspective, project perspective, stakeholder perspective.  Where is it coming from? How is it happening?

That really enables us to figure out, how we can make improvements by getting really great details. And talking about it, from a partnership perspective.  

3. Here is my favorite mistake – not proactively asking your key stakeholders for feedback to send to your boss/career counselor. Why are we waiting for our bosses. We need to take control of our destiny.

In another future episode, I’ll teach you some tricks of what management consultants use in order to get promoted. It’s a time tested tool that I’ve been using forever and with my coaching clients. Speaking of proactive feedback, It is an amazing temperature check tool.


Be the driver of your own destiny!



How to use feedback


I’ve used this for organizational change management for many many years. For example, I had launched a lot of training courses, with the associated training plans in order for the marketing organization to be able to use the new system and tools.

One day, one of my key stakeholders (my main client, the one that pays the bills) – had told me that he was in one of the big executive meetings where the Chief Marketing Officer had surprised him with some feedback.

That the CMO didn’t receive any training for her marketing organization. This CMO, had a lot of power and influence in the organization and across the C’Suite. She was a key and major stakeholder, that I couldn’t ignore.

It was odd to me, that she didn’t feel that her marketing department had received the training. I had done all the right things, I developed a curriculum, socialized it and gathered feedback from many of her senior managers and delivered the training and got rave reviews.

So, why did she have that perception? I didn’t understand that disconnect. So, I booked a meeting to uncover what was really going on under the hood.  

The meeting was amazing – it was such an eye opener.  She knew that her team had received the training, but she didn’t feel that her team was equipped to be the marketers of the 21st century.  

AHA! That was a completely different problem that needed to be solved. I was solving the problem of getting the organization to use a new system that had been purchased. Her problem was different. She wanted to solve the question “does her team have the right skill set to be exceptional marketers?”. Completely, two different issues.

One was around a system to add to their existing skills.  The second one, was around their existing skill sets. Now, for consultants – this is an opportunity. A cross-selling opportunity that enabled future sales.

The end result was, that we did a skill set mapping exercise, re-designed her marketing department and sold additional training to get her team equipped. We had designed it with her and this strengthen our relationship.

So, that is a client example of how to utilize feedback.

We can easily change perception, once we uncover what that perception is and that is from feedback. Feedback is a gift.. In fact, there was a great book called the The Present: The Gift for Changing Times Hardcover by Spencer Johnson M.D.

Now, I’d be silly to NOT to ask for feedback. I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this episode. You can leave feedback in a review on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast player, iHeart Radio, Spotify and the list goes on.  You can also just email me at Sapna@CanInnovate.io

Don’t we want to be better tomorrow, than today.  

Isn’t that the idea of new year's resolutions?  We are all on a path to continuous improvement, or we’d be bored and become walking zombies.  

I can’t wait to hear about your feedback and better yet, I can wait to hear about the new mysteries that you’re about to uncover!

E45: Innovation Mindset: Undo the Knots in your Head with Ariel Garten

E45: Innovation Mindset: Undo the Knots in your Head with Ariel Garten

Innovation Mindset, Masterclass with Ariel Garten

Ariel Garten is a neuroscientist, innovator, mother, entrepreneur, and founder of InteraXon. Her company makes Muse: the brain sensing headband that helps you meditate. She speaks about happiness, meditation, understanding the brain, mental health and giving her audiences the tools they need to help them become their better selves.

Click to download How to Get Unstuck Worksheet

Learning Outcomes

Understanding innovation blocks for individuals:

Normally there are two kinds of mental blocks — thinking and feeling. When someone thinks about ways to overcome a block, they tend to think about moving past a thinking block – but feeling blocks can be overcome as well.

One of the best ways to overcome either a thinking block or a feeling block is motivation. We can do so by being engaged, being passionate, or by doing something we want to do.


  • MAKE THE IDEA BIGGER! If you have an idea and you want that idea to come true, make your idea really really big. Make it so big that it forces you to overcome any fear you have about it. It won't matter if it is a little uncomfortable to pursue because it is something that you really want to do in your life.
  • You need to feel the ‘WHY’ behind your idea.
  • Make the idea real for you – make the idea soooo big that you’re compelled to do it.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about your idea – no one is going to steal your idea. Most people don’t take action.
  • By talking about the idea, you will create a temperature check that will help you validate your idea. This may also help you connect with others who may feel inspired to help you with your idea.
  • Don’t get caught in info intake paralysis.
  • Reach out to people beyond your pay grade.
  • People genuinely want to help and support others, don't be afraid to ask.
  • If you have an idea that is going to make the world a better place then you are much more likely to succeed.
  • Focus on ideas that add value to the world and add value for particular customer groups.
  • A lot can happen if you put yourself out there – Ariel shares her trip to Silicon Valley in the episode as an example.
  • You just need 5 seconds of courage to take the first step to open up so many other doors. You will get this 5 seconds of courage through meditation.
  • Your ability to tolerate discomfort will help you succeed in life.
  • Your feelings give you fake information.

Ariel talks about Meditation:

During our podcast episode, Ariel talks about the importance of meditation and how it can help balance out our thoughts to focus and achieve a bigger purpose. Here, you will learn:

  • Meditation – how to focus on your breathing.
  • Meditation helps you manage your wandering mind, which is often negative.
  • Meditation allows you to have a clear mind, which is like a clean room.
  • When you meditate, you strengthen your attention and learn how to manage distraction.
  • Meditation TIPS (on how to get yourself back from wandering mode or a set-back):
    • Setbacks are completely normal and we have those all the time.
    • Being an entrepreneur and being able to deal with a no or a setback is critical and the best way to deal with it is just to let it blow right past you and not engage with it.

Manage being scared during presentations:

In this section of the episode, Ariel shared a story explaining why she loves presenting her product or content on stage. In this section we will learn:

  • Why Ariel is passionate about her content and loves to deliver it
  • How to focus on the content and the values of what you are presenting
  • Don't pump up the fear because it actually doesn't mean anything
  • Know your content and practice it. The more you practice your content beforehand, the easier it is for you to share during your presentation.
  • If you are feeling nervous, transform that nervousness into excitement because the sensation of being nervous and excited are actually really similar to one another.

6 Steps on How to Kill your Inner Critic Exercise:

Your inner critic is the voice that little voice inside of you that constantly tells you bad things about yourself. Ariel help us go through a little exercise to help us learn how to overcome our little critic.

“Kill the jerk in your head”

Step 1: Think about something that your inner critic told you recently.
Step 2: Follow Ariel’s guide (audio) and imagine what your inner critic says.
Step 3: Imagine what your inner critic looks like.
Step 4: Tell that inner critic the same thing that you would have told that stranger dissing your best friend.
Step 5: Talk to your inner critic.
Step 6: Use your fingers and imagine that you are shrinking your inner critic and flick it away.

Our inner critic empowers us if we use it for motivation.

The Power of Meditation that Counters Procrastination



The thing about procrastination is that most people don’t realize that they are doing it. Meditation will teach you how to identify and distinctively avoid procrastination. We procrastinate because we have a feeling block, because we think we need to do something that is really hard and it feels uncomfortable.

  • Recognize that you are procrastinating and then make the choice to return back to reality.
  • Stay focused and stay engaged.

Here are my takeaways:

  • If you have an idea, make it BIGGER!
  • Do one small thing everyday to help you validate your idea and help push the idea forward.
  • Practice meditation
  • Setbacks are good. It is just data that tells us whether to pivot or not or to try something new.
  • Know your content
  • Kill the jerk in your head and flick it away
  • Just do it!

Feel free to use the worksheet that I created for you. It will help you identify which skills you need to accomplish your dreams by setting a mindset that focuses on your skills, strengths, the threats in your life and business and much more. Click here to download the worksheet.

If you want to learn more about Ariel Garten and the Muse headband, listen to our podcast interview here


Connect with Ariel:

Website: Muse | The Brain Sensing Headband

Social Media:

LinkedIn: Ariel Garten on LinkedIn
Twitter: @ariel_garten and @ChooseMuse
Facebook: Muse on Facebook
Instagram: @Choosemuse @arielsmusings

How to Get Unstuck Worksheet

How to Get Unstuck Worksheet

I was Stuck in a Rut!

Oh boy! This topic is a doozy. I’ve been getting a few emails and inquiries about how they are feeling a little lost.

They’ve lost their direction

They don’t know their purpose

What their goals are

If they are relevant anymore

Feels like an imposter

Ugh… Sound a little too familiar? Well, I have some good news… you’re not alone! In fact, I’ve put together some tips and tools that you can leverage

I was reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book – Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear – what a great read! It really resonated when she mentions that “passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times.”

I soooo agree! I hate that question “What is my passion?” or when someone says ‘Follow what you’re passionate about”. I always found this question to be very frustrating. I always wanted to answer “If I knew what I was passionate about, I’d be doing it!”

Ultimately, familiarity brings boredom. There has been too many been there done that, which makes us forget and creates boredom.

So, what can we do to spice it all up for us? Instead, what If I could provide you clues to get you closer to it?  

How do we untap our curiousity (curiosity for my fellow Americans)…   

In fact, this is how I came to start a podcast. I was curious about it.  I wanted to know who does one, why they do one and so on. My curiosity actually led me to my one of my passion projects.  

The secret to passion is curiosity

Are you Ready?…..

Get a pen & paper….

Write down everything that you’re interested in..

What are you curious about?  

What were you curious about when you were a child?

When you were studying in high school/College/University

What you daydream about

What do you admire

What are you fascinated about?

What makes you come alive?

Let it all out. Write it down.

Take the word ‘BUT’ out of the equation and go with ‘WHY NOT’…

Treat your Curiosity like a little treasure hunt with lots of fun clues….

Okay.. your next question is probably what do I do next with this list?  Don’t worry.. I’ve got you covered.

I’ve created a little cheat sheet that you can download

Are you one of those people that want to dive more into books to learn more about curiosity? I have a few books that you might be interested in.

  1. Stealing Fire – How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work
  2. Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

P.s.  Have you checked out our new tools page? Lots of discounts and fun stuff! We also have the book sessions where you can find all the books that was recommended by our podcast guests.

Would love to hear your thoughts/comments and feedback. Leave us a little ‘clue’ of what you find useful! If you untapped something great…

Happy Hunting!

Best Always,

E43: How to Automate your Audio and Video Content with RePurpose.io Founder, Hani Mourra

E43: How to Automate your Audio and Video Content with RePurpose.io Founder, Hani Mourra

Hani Mourra is a dad, Softwareprenuer, and the creator of Repurpose.io a software designed to help content creators automate the distribution of podcasts and live videos across multiple platforms and grow their audience faster. Hani truly believe that the less time you spend on the technical side of things, the more time you will have to create amazing content for your audience!


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