Feedback and Difficult Organizations
- Founder of Triad Consulting Group and on the Harvard Law School faculty since 1995
- Author of two New York Times bestsellers
- Has spent more than 20 years with the Harvard Negotiation Project, developing negotiation theory and practice
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Sheila is a Founder of Triad Consulting Group and has been on the Harvard Law School faculty since 1995. Sheila’s corporate clients include MetLife, Pixar, Tatweer of Dubai, BAE Systems, Unilever, John Deere, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, Cisco, Novartis, 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 more than 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 two New York Times bestsellers, Diﬃcult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin 2000), and the recently released 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) (Penguin 2014). She has written for the Harvard Business Review and the New York Times as a guest expert and as an essayist for the popular Sunday feature Modern Love.
Sheila has had the chance to appear on shows as diverse as Oprah and the G. Gordon Liddy show, NPR, Fox News, and CNBC’s Power Lunch. She has spoken at Apple, Google, Microsoft, and the Global Leadership Summit.
Sheila is a graduate of Occidental College and Harvard Law School. She is schooled in negotiation daily by her three children.
Thanks for the Feedback (Even When It’s Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood). The fastest way to change the feedback culture in any organization is to teach leaders to become better feedback receivers. Honest feedback is a challenge in organizations around the world, and the usual response - teaching leaders how to give feedback more effectively - has failed to solve the problem. Heen turns conventional wisdom on its head and demonstrates why the smart money is on teaching leaders the dark art of learning about themselves. Receiving feedback - particularly for smart, experienced professionals - is a distinct leadership skill. Sheila’s warmth and authenticity helps even seasoned executives recognize our own (normal, human) triggered reactions to feedback -- "that's just wrong," "who asked you?" "I’m not the real problem here" -- and she offers practical advice for turning even unskilled, crazy-making feedback into genuine learning. And once you get leaders motivated and eager to learn -- willing to engage with others to see their blind spots and look at their own areas for growth -- you get a modeling effect that quickly catches fire.
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. Leaders, managers, colleagues and direct reports face difficult conversations every day, and as leaders become more senior, they spend more and more of their time tackling difficult conversations. These difficult conversations—conflicts between functions or geographies with key alliance partners or your biggest clients—are the complex messes that get kicked upstairs because no one below has clear answers. Handling these conversations efficiently is no longer just a good idea, it’s integral to the success of each leader, their division and ultimately, the entire organization. Failure comes at a high cost—conflicts that fester and consume energy, sap creativity and destroy teamwork.
Based on 20 years of work at the Harvard Negotiation Project, this session provides a framework for understanding why some of our most important conversations are so hard, examines the common mistakes we all make, and offers a step-by-step method for handling them with less anxiety and better results. Tailored to the day-to-day challenges leaders face, this session offers insight and strategies for looking beneath the surface to understand disagreement, increase accountability, and manage your own reactions when under stress.
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"I have nothing but WONDERFUL things to say about Sheila’s presentation. Everyone I talked to just loved her. She was funny, relatable, thought-provoking, smart and engaging. She was the perfect addition to the day, and personally, my biggest takeaways from the day were from her. She hit it out of the park."
"Sheila, Thank you! What a terrific set of encounters and engagements you put in place for us. Everyone continues to rave about how valuable the sessions were and how generous you were with your time. Hurry and write another book so we can bring you back again!"