Book: “Let’s Talk” by Therese Huston
Genre: Non-Fiction, Human Resources/Communication
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Blogger’s Note: Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
In a world filled with the constant blur of rushed communication, the ping of electronic correspondence and the static of conversations that lack real connection, people often miss out on valuable conversations. Dr. Therese Huston has realized this problem and authored a book entitled, “Let’s Talk” which addresses the need to improve this communication within the workplace. In the non fiction book, Huston focuses on valuable feedback and the different delivery models that can be used to present it to subordinates within the workplace. She expertly outlines the common missteps that managers can fall prey to and then provides tangible research based strategies on how to avoid these common feedback pitfalls.
This book does a great job of catering content towards managers or those working in a human resources department. People working in those capacities will find this book to be relevant, helpful and insightful. The book will fill in any knowledge gaps on the topic of feedback through the research based theory presentation. As a reader, I appreciated that the theories were supported by scientific studies which the author referenced. I enjoyed the specific statistics that reinforced her stance on the feedback theories. The material left me with a high level of confidence both in the author as well as in the information that she shared.
Some of the key points that stuck with me included the following:
- Managers should always consider the worker’s experience relating to the particular task before evaluating performance. If the person is a content novice, they should be given feedback in a different manner when compared to someone who has performed that particular task several times before.
- Strong character judgements are not okay and will not be taken well, no matter how well intentioned they might be.
- It is critical to ask the right questions and allow the worker to do most of the talking during a feedback session.
- The concept of relative listening was one of the most important takeaways from the book. This idea highlights the importance of understanding how the other person is feeling, the meaning behind what they are saying, their motivation and their goals. This deeper understanding and form of listening is crucial in truly being able to provide accurate feedback.
These key points were illuminating and will stick with me for the rest of my career!
This book wasn’t the perfect read. I did find a couple sections to be confusing at times with multiple scenarios involving different named characters. I had to continuously flip back to remind myself what situations those named characters had been in previously to remind myself what was going on with them before moving forward. It was a little difficult to keep up with. Also, in the middle of the book there was a section that focused on the differences between men and women and the feedback they commonly receive in the workplace. I found this section to be particularly troubling. As a leader within my workplace, I have never found it difficult to provide accurate feedback to a woman because I was afraid she might cry or become overly emotional as was mentioned in the book. As a woman myself, I found that section to be a little insulting. Is this really a valid concern in 2021? However, I do understand why this was added into the book. I think awareness of the topic is important and I will definitely be cognizant of providing feedback in a similar manner to both genders in the future… even if I did so before too.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone pursing a career in management or human relations! I enjoyed the read and will be keeping this book on my shelf to reference in the future! It was an easy to read, smart, science driven book that will hopefully improve my ability to serve others in the future by providing specific and detailed feedback!
Recommendations: Highly recommend to anyone who is a leader within their workplace!