Feedback as Competitive Advantage
Cameron Conaway equips organizations with an evidence-based approach to the art and science of how their employees give, receive, and process feedback.
Engaging feedback presentations covering:
- Giving Feedback (60 minutes)
- Receiving Feedback (60 minutes)
- Processing Feedback (60 minutes)
- All Combined (90 minutes)
Tailored to your needs, 20 participants recommended. Typical audience groups:
- New employees (onboarding)
- New people managers
- Senior people managers
- Team / department
Please send a comprehensive needs inquiry. Typical areas include:
- Performance feedback program review and developmental work
- Feedback training (train the trainers and 1-1 people manager coaching)
- “On-call” feedback presentations and workshops (faster turnaround times and greater frequency than quarterly)
Let’s go beyond the “as seen in” publications and other credentials for a moment.
Cameron’s thinking on feedback, including his work on Harvard ManageMentor’s latest Feedback Essentials course and his article at Harvard Business Review, The Right Way to Process Feedback, struck a chord with thousands of leaders from seemingly every sector — from fighter pilots and yoga instructors to senior business executives and academics. There are several reasons for this.
A third element
First, the article introduced a third and critical layer to our understanding of feedback: processing. Advice on receiving feedback has typically focused on the skills needed in the moment of receiving it, such as active listening and maintaining eye contact. But those are only small parts of what it means to be a feedback receiver. Now, although processing can be seen as a dramatic expansion of receiving, many leaders speak to the three elements of feedback: giving, receiving, and processing.
“Or” to “and”
The traditional feedback narrative was (and in many cases still is) such that if you were an individual contributor, you should work on receiving feedback. If you were a people manager, you should focus mostly on giving feedback. Underpinning this narrative was the idea that you either give or receive — you choose your camp and for the most part stay there. Cameron’s work shifts this idea from “or” to “and” as he highlights the fluid interplay between the three feedback elements: those who are primarily givers can improve by knowing how to receive and process well; those who primarily receive can improve by knowing what it takes to give and process well.
Power to the people
A vast majority of the research literature and most popular business magazine articles center the feedback giver as a kind of all-knowing power. This framing can either directly or indirectly subjugate the receiver of feedback (and indeed many articles speak of receivers in a condescending tone). By expanding what it means to receive and highlighting the interdependencies of the three feedback elements, those who traditionally receive feedback are given equal (and in some cases more) power in the feedback relationship.
A process for processing
Insights come in many forms, and while those that are vague or abstract can offer much value, Cameron is passionate about creating (and helping others create) practical processes so ideas can stand and leaders can systematize their wisdom. His creation of The Feedback Decision Tree and The 6 Ps for Processing Feedback are but two examples. Cameron cares deeply about process because, as a student of change management at the individual, team, and organizational level, he knows lasting change rarely happens without it.
From mind to bodymind
Understanding how to give and receive feedback has long been framed as a purely intellectual enterprise, one in which givers and receivers only need to read a few tips to improve. While this can be true, Cameron’s work takes a modern psychological approach by shifting the focus from mind to “bodymind” — the idea that body and mind are a single integrated unit. As he wrote in Harvard Business Review:
“I believe it’s critical to let feedback run through both your body and your mind. That means feeling your feelings and investigating why you may be feeling them.”
Cameron’s work asks us to move from essentially rote learning to a somatic experience involving the pairing of mindfulness of the body with a curious, gentle investigation of what the body may be trying to teach. This innovative shift taps into the groundbreaking research of Dr. Peter Levine and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, among others, to bring modern psychological advances into the arena of feedback improvement.
Some miscellaneous credentialing, if you need it
- is a marketing leader with an Executive MBA who has worked with brands ranging from Cisco and Cadillac to the United Nations and Rotary International;
- is a former award-winning investigative journalist who has received the acclaimed Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Fellowship, an honor given to one journalist each year;
- holds an MFA in Creative Writing and wrote a book named to NPR‘s “Best of the Year” list;
- is an educator with over a decade of teaching experience ranging from creating and teaching 3-credit master’s degree courses in Professional Communication to building the psychological safety needed to facilitate courageous conversations in juvenile detention centers; and,
- is a former mixed martial artist who has lived in Thailand for three years.
The result? Cameron approaches feedback training from a multidisciplinary perspective that allows him to pull insights from different fields and meet his audiences where they are.
Where Cameron works
Cameron lives near where he studies and teaches.
He is booked for 2023. For 2024, virtual is preferred for all feedback services.
When you can expect services
Cameron needs at least 30 days starting from the time you agree to work with him (all paperwork signed) before delivering services. Beyond that request, he works with organizations whenever is best for them — such as before quarterly and annual performance reviews. Cameron provides significant discounts for clients that book recurring feedback services.
How can we get started?
Please get in touch via the form below, providing as many details as possible so we understand the request and can determine Cameron’s interest and availability. We will follow-up via email or phone to discuss details. Once you and Cameron agree to work together, contracts and invoices will be sent to the email we have on file for you.