Apochromatik Book Bundle 3: Feedback

Today we continue our discussion on feedback.

You know your life will be easier if you can train the people you supervise to do a better job, whether it's your assistant processing your reimbursements, the junior staff completing a project, or your kids to just clean their rooms already. And being able to give helpful feedback when your supervisor or peer asks can help your relationship and help you be seen as a leader. But giving feedback seems fraught with peril. You don't want to be seen as difficult or unpleasant to work for, but just saying "looks fine" and secretly redoing work yourself isn't helping you or anyone else.

Amy M. Gardner is presenting a webinar on this topic October 3, 2019. Join us Thursday at 12 eastern for this webinar hosted by the Northwestern Alumni Association. There is no cost, and no Northwestern affiliation is necessary to join. Register here.

We are also releasing Apochromatik’s third book bundle. This book bundle will focus on feedback.

First, the disclaimers: These are books we’ve read recently; this isn’t a “best of feedback” book list.

Second, if you really want to improve your ability to give and receive feedback, reading a book is not necessarily the ideal way to do it. (Recently I saw a book called You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar. The concept is the same: While you can learn about feedback and improve your skills by taking action on the concepts in a book, just flipping through a book under the sunshine is not really the pinnacle of leadership development.)

But, if you view reading a book as a way to learn and grow, and possibly as a springboard to a more in-depth experience, books can be a great way to learn some new concepts and techniques. (And, of course, when you’re ready to really get noticeable results quickly, you should contact us about one-on-one coaching, or ask your employer to hire us to do a workshop. . . .)

While you can scour the internet for great resources on feedback, muddle through recommendations, and slowly work through reading lists, we know your time, energy, and resources are limited. So this week we are announcing our third Apochromatik Book Bundle. These books are short (200-250 pages) and each is a relatively quick read while still providing a solid foundation so that you can build your skills and achieve your goals on the given topic.

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Here are three books we’ve read recently that you might want to check out. Amazon links to purchase hard copies of these books are included below, but you can get them on any reading app, library, or even the used book store.

So without further blog text…here it is, the Apochromatik Book Bundle 3: Feedback


HBR Guide to Delivering Effective Feedback

Paperback – May 10, 2016

by Harvard Business Review  (Author)

Take the stress out of giving feedback.

To help your employees meet their goals and fulfill their potential, you need to provide them with regular feedback. But the prospect of sharing potentially negative news can be overwhelming. How do you construct your message so that it’s not only well received but also expressed in a way that encourages change?

Whether you’re commending exemplary work or addressing problem behavior, the HBR Guide to Delivering Effective Feedback provides you with practical advice and tips to transform any performance discussion―from weekly check-ins to annual reviews―into an opportunity for growth and development. 

Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader 

Hardcover – February 10, 2015

by Herminia Ibarra  (Author)

You aspire to lead with greater impact. The problem is you’re busy executing on today’s demands. You know you have to carve out time from your day job to build your leadership skills, but it’s easy to let immediate problems and old mind-sets get in the way. Herminia Ibarra—an expert on professional leadership and development and a renowned professor at INSEAD, a leading international business school—shows how managers and executives at all levels can step up to leadership by making small but crucial changes in their jobs, their networks, and themselves.

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

Hardcover – March 14, 2017

by Kim Scott (Author)

"Kim Scott has a well-earned reputation as a kick-ass boss and a voice that CEOs take seriously. In this remarkable book, she draws on her extensive experience to provide clear and honest guidance on the fundamentals of leading others: how to give (and receive) feedback, how to make smart decisions, how to keep moving forward, and much more. If you manage people--whether it be 1 person or a 1,000--you need Radical Candor. Now." ―Daniel Pink author of New York Times bestseller Drive


If you do want to go deeper, one way is through intensive experiences with active learning (particularly through coaching). Another way is a one-off workshop with active learning (where real-world application is on your own). We have found that, while active learning with ongoing support is generally the gold standard, the vast majority of professionals aren’t ready/willing/able to adopt that approach. In those situations, it can be better to start with a book on a given topic, and then the professional either decides to go further (maybe stepping up to a workshop down the road).

Of course, if you can benefit from further assistance processing feedback you’ve received or honing your skills at giving feedback, don’t hesitate to contact us directly as we regularly work with clients on these issues.

For resources on Executive Presence, check out our Apochromatik Book Bundle 1: Executive Presence.

For resources on Leadership, check out our Apochromatik Book Bundle 2: Leadership.