What is "Feedback" Anyways?


It’s a word that comes up a lot with my clients, students, and friends. Things like, “How do I give this feedback to my boss?” or “If only I heard feedback like this more often,” or “I had a really hard time giving that feedback to my co-founder” frequently find their way into my day-to-day conversations. And though most situations where it arises contain their own unique challenges, realizations, and pieces of advice, there’s a top level context that ties them all together and that is: what do we really mean when we say the word feedback?

The Ups and Downs of Founding with Friends

A lot of the work I do with Millennial startup leaders focuses on team—helping teams communicate more effectively, build productive norms, overcome conflict, and grow their leadership and followership capabilities. I love the work because no two teams are identical. Helping each one is a process of listening, fact-finding, and learning for me as well as for them. And though I love the work for this variety, I also love it because there are patterns. There are certain dynamics that play out again and again that enable me to help people swiftly and powerfully.

One such pattern has been on my mind a lot recently and it is: the propensity for first- and second-time founders to found with close friends or family. It’s something that has been staring me in the face with a number of clients. It was also a significant component of a Noam Wasserman “Founders’ Dilemmas” talk I recently attended. And beyond all that, it has been a huge part of my own business for the past year (my brother and best friend Andrew came on board as a partner a year ago).

While I find the decision to found with your inner circle intriguing, the things most dominating my mindshare are the long term challenges facing those people who have already made this choice—people like many of clients and myself.

Build Your Emotional Intelligence: A New Opportunity for Startup Leaders

Anyone who leads a startup knows just how taxing and emotionally challenging it can be to manage and motivate a diverse, fast-growing team. It requires patience, awareness, and—as I often write about—a bevy of emotional intelligence.

While there is no quick or easy way to "hack" the emotional intelligence required to lead a startup, I am incredibly excited to announce a new opportunity for you to significantly raise your self-awareness and develop more effective interpersonal skills over the course of a single weekend: T-Groups for Startups.

Everything you need to know is on that site, but here are several of the most important details:

Our T-Group For Startups Weekend is:
– open to any startup leader (founder, CEO, or anyone else who leads a team within a startup) from any size/stage of venture
– facilitated by two startup coaches (myself and the wonderfully talented Anamaria Nino-Murcia) who also facilitate T-Groups at the the Stanford Business School
– the only T-Group weekend designed exclusively for startup leaders

Curious to hear what other founders learned in their T-Groups? Check out this video.

Applications for this powerful experience are now open.

Please reach out with any questions by emailing me at michael@terrellleadership.com