The Language of Receiving Feedback with Dr. Teresa Peterson

As leaders, we know the importance of giving feedback. Our teams need to know how they’re doing so everyone can work better…more efficiently and at a higher level of excellence.

But what about receiving feedback? It matters how our teams receive the feedback we give them, and how we, the leaders, receive feedback ourselves.

It could take a lot for a team member to come forward and give honest and open feedback to their manager, even if that leader asks for it so it’s essential that they feel safe to do so. Simply telling them it’s safe isn’t enough – leaders have an opportunity to grow a culture of psychological safety through open and proactive communication.

On this episode of Mental Health for Leaders, Dr. Teresa Peterson is sharing more about receiving feedback and building trust. She shares what trust-building really looks like, why language is so important, and why organizations are truly centers for relationships. She also gives listeners some of the language leaders can use to respond to the feedback they receive in a productive way.

Listen on your favourite podcast player


About Dr. Teresa Peterson

Dr. Teresa Peterson is the Director of Learning and Development for Sarah Noll Wilson, Inc. Teresa is passionate about applying best practices for learning to make development experiences meaningful, engaging, and accessible for all types of learners. In her role, Teresa co-creates powerful learning content and guides deep research. Teresa holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Northern Iowa and brings over twenty years of experience teaching, facilitating, and leading. People love Teresa’s grounded energy, depth of thought, and ability to listen deeply. Teresa is trained in Immunity to Change coaching and is completing her certification in Appreciative Inquiry. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Mentioned In This Episode:




feedback, work, leader, people, language, trust, receiving, teresa, words, heard, mental health, feel, important, conversation, person, brain, team, organization, give, thinking


Lindsay Recknell, Dr. Teresa Peterson

Lindsay Recknell  00:01

You are a people leader or an HR professional, working hard to create an amazing employee experience for your team and your organization. But between the operational tasks of your job managing emotions and politics both up and down the corporate ladder, and trying to find some semblance of work life integration in your own life, I suspect you are also overwhelmed and burnt out. If even the thought of navigating the complicated world of mental health at work probably seems like too much to handle.

Lindsay Recknell  00:30

Let this podcast be your not so secret weapon to help fix that. I’m your host Lindsay Recknell. And my mission is to help great leaders like you feel less awkward and more confident talking about mental health at work. So you can stress less, take more action and continue to make a valuable difference in your job as a leader positively impacting the lives of your I’ll be bringing you the experts insights and actions that will give you the skills you need to navigate mental health in the workplace and foster a workplace where everyone’s mental health can thrive.

Lindsay Recknell  01:04

Continuing with our SHRM conference speaker season, I’m excited to introduce you to today’s guest Teresa Peterson. Dr. Teresa Peterson is the director of learning and development for Sarah Knoll Wilson Inc, where she shares her passion for applying best practices for learning to make development experiences meaningful, engaging and accessible for all types of learners. In her role, Teresa co-creates powerful learning content and guides deep research supported by her doctorate in education from the University of Northern Iowa, and over 20 years of experience teaching, facilitating and leading people love Teresa’s grounded energy, depth of thought and ability to listen deeply and I love it to. Teresa is trained in Immunity to Change coaching and is completing her certification in Appreciative Inquiry, two super fascinating topics I cannot wait to hear more about so let’s get to Teresa’s episode.

Lindsay Recknell  01:53

Before we get started, I want your time to be valuable here. So in order to get the most from this podcast, head to my website at And download the Guide to Influence and Impact at Work, which has the step by step action plan, you’ll need to embed a focus on mental health into the employee experience of your workplace. It’s totally free. And it’ll give you the start to your action plan steps to follow to create engagement to build a budget and a method to measure the value influence and impact that you are going to be making as you lead this transformational change in your organization. We haven’t been taught the mental health skills we need to truly lead our organizations into the future. So let this guide and this podcast be the advantage you need to elevate your career, your leadership skills and the positive impact you’ll bring to your organization, head to and download the free Guide to Influence and Impact at Work now. The opportunity is yours and I cannot wait to see what you’ll do.

Lindsay Recknell  02:50

All right. Now let’s get to our guest. Hello, Teresa, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to the show.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  02:56

It’s my pleasure, Lindsay.

Lindsay Recknell  02:59

I am very excited to have you here we have had the opportunity to meet because of your involvement in the SHRM conference. So we’ll talk a little bit more about that as we go through the show. But maybe we’ll start with an introduction to who you are and what you do.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  03:12

Yeah, my name is Teresa. I have the pleasure of working alongside Sarah Wilson. We work with teams related to managing the human side of change, which involves a lot of conversations. We’re very passionate about making the workplace more human, make it work better for humans. Other things about me, I’m a teacher by trade. So I love anything to do with young people. So that’s a fun thing. I get to weave into my role sometimes. And we moved to a farm. Like this is a random fun thing about me, Lindsay. We moved to a farm less than a year ago. And so we have chickens and lambs now and I’m really trying to figure that out. Seems like a good challenge.

Lindsay Recknell  04:00

I’d love it as a prairie raised farm, farm loving Canadian. I mean, I can definitely get behind farm living. I don’t have any chickens or lambs, but I can I can definitely see the appeal. Yeah,

Dr. Teresa Peterson  04:15

yeah, it’s definitely, you know, it felt like we were at a crossroads right of just kind of keep on keepin on or try something completely different. And I’m glad we did. It’s been very fulfilling. And I didn’t think I would enjoy talking to chickens as much as I do. But I feel like they are really good listeners.

Lindsay Recknell  04:36

Well, and really cool. I imagine that the listeners could really resonate with the idea of feeling like they were in this place and changing priorities and what’s next and reevaluation and all that good stuff. So it’s cool to hear that you’ve acted on it. And then it’s turned out as well. That takes that I imagine takes a ton of courage especially because I know you have young kids,

Dr. Teresa Peterson  04:58

right? Yes, yeah. and no real experience doing this sort of thing. So it felt like but you know, we kind of said, We survived a pandemic, you know, what else might we be able to do?

Lindsay Recknell  05:11

Well, and I mean, YouTube University is a thing. So there’s that.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  05:15

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’ve learned a lot.

Lindsay Recknell  05:18

Amazing. Well, you obviously have a very engaging personality, which will shine through very nicely from the stage at SHRM. I imagine could you tell us a little bit about your talk there and what we can look forward to hearing from you at the show at the conference?

Dr. Teresa Peterson  05:34

Oh, yes, I’m so excited. So this is my very first SHRM, I have heard such magical things about it from 1000s of people. My partner, Sarah Wilson, and I will be presenting Tuesday morning, bright and early, get up and come see us. And we’re really going to spend some good time on receiving feedback, there’s so much emphasis on giving it and not very much on how to receive it. And when we think about people in positions where they’re leading others, or really leading from any chair you’re in, that’s such an essential skill. If you want to build that psychological safety on the team, and have a culture of positive change.

Lindsay Recknell  06:16

Can we talk about psychological safety? What does that mean to you?

Dr. Teresa Peterson  06:20

Yeah, oh, yeah. So we spend a lot of our time talking about psychological safety. And it makes me think of things like, I can show up how I am, I can ask the questions I want to ask, I can say I’m struggling with something and not fear retaliation, I can listen and participate in those same activities with others. And something I’m so passionate about is that knowing when I can challenge an idea, respectfully, and that and that we can do something together with that. So those are some of the things that come to mind. But we do you know, so much work with teams, where they, they’re very focused on that key word of trust, which we know is very important. But sometimes, you know, and this is, this is my bias coming out, but sometimes they go about, they think trust is built through a potluck trust is built through an outing to the baseball game. And we know that you can go and have a great time and still struggle with some of those foundational issues of being able to communicate with one another. So that’s always, we’ve heard a lot of trust building my favorite trust building that I heard of, this is a true story. Someone thought our team will build trust if we feed each other by hand. I know. And not only were people extremely uncomfortable, when you don’t feel trust with someone before them reaching through your bubble. Feeding you is a terrible idea. That’s a true and I heard I just wanted to share that with you.

Lindsay Recknell  08:04

Please tell me this was before the global pandemic.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  08:07

It was yes, it was. And I really I didn’t even ask, like, where the hands clean. I mean, just give me the basics, like, Please stop, you know. So we’ll pretend that hands are washed. And I mean, I, but pushing teams to consider how team is built, how trust is built. And all of those moments, because, you know, something that we’re working with teams on is there’s no neutral with trust, you’re either building, you’re actively sustaining, or you’re decreasing. And so the way you’re showing up in every moment is moving that, you know, we could say moving the needle toward one of those directions.

Lindsay Recknell  08:48

I love that there’s no neutral with trust. There’s always something happening being built, being lost being sustained. That perspective is brilliant. It makes me think, as you were speaking, I was thinking of a Brene Brown, Oprah Super Soul Sunday episode. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  09:09

No, but but there’s this been all my life.

Lindsay Recknell  09:12

This particular episode. I mean, we all love Brene Okay, maybe not all of us, but I love Brene Yeah, for a lot in my work. But there’s a there’s an episode and I’ll link to it in the show notes of this podcast, for sure. It’s an episode called the Anatomy of Trust. And she talks about how trust has, in her case, it’s seven dimensions. And it’s not just one thing that causes us to lose or build or sustain trust, it can be any of these dimensions and you know, she dimensions are something like the vault you know, the trust can be can be lost when you gossip or where you someone shares a confidence with you and you share it with somebody else. Don’t tell that person I told you this, but you know, that’s one of her dimensions or responsibility taking responsibility if you do mess up in some way, you know, being brave and authentic enough to say, you know, I wasn’t my best self in this situation. Yeah, I apologize, I may or may not do it again, I’m going to try really hard, but just, again, just that, you know, admittance and taking accountability. And I, anyways, I just think that there’s so much depth to such a seemingly simple five letter word. And I love I love your perspective on it.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  10:34

One thing that has resonated with teams we work with, is we ask them to think about a trust, like trust triangle. And so the pillars of are the three points on that would be authenticity, I am who I say I am, I show up consistently. I mean, I say lovingly, even if I’m not your cup of tea, you know what you’re going to get from me, right? Like, I’m true to my word, logic. So how I solve problems? Again, even if we don’t always agree on what the solution is, we can trace each other’s thinking and see the logic in that. And then the third is empathy. You know, can you try to see things through my perspective, and one time we were with a team, and one of the men on the team said, I hear empathy, that does not resonate with me. I don’t I don’t like that word at all. And so he said, well say more about it. And he said, Well, I’m just uncomfortable with that word. I said, But you know, what I love when someone really has my back, tries to see my side of things. And he went on to describe and all these, like 17 points related that you’re like, actually, a lot of those really sound like empathy, but the word didn’t resonate for him. But when we work with teams, that’s really something that will ask them to do a relationship audit. And we asked them, you know, if you can identify which of those points you’re struggling with, with someone, that might be a good entry into the conversation.

Lindsay Recknell  12:04

Yes, very important. And it’s funny what you say about language. You know, a lot of the work that we do in we have a digital subscription, it’s called the Language of Mental Health. And it helps people to understand what these words mean, because often, we just don’t have the language to express ourselves, right? And so we we either don’t talk at all or like this gentleman, we’re just unsure that what we’re feeling intuitively is the definition of empathy. We just yeah, oh, I know, personally, I struggled with the word gratitude for a long time, I would use the word thankful any day of the week, but gratitude felt too airy, fairy fluffy for me. I’ve clearly gotten over myself, but I just it just reinforces how important language is in these kinds of conversations. And if we bring it back to feedback for a minute and had the impact of language, and feedback, and how that’s gonna land in from a place of mental health, how important is the language people are using when they are receiving that feedback?

Dr. Teresa Peterson  13:10

Oh, yeah. You know, it’s hard to understate how important language is when you’re receiving feedback. Something that we talk a lot about in the teams we serve and that we’ll certainly be bringing to our audience at SHRM are the physical and physiological effects of receiving feedback, you know, that you’re often your your ego can be caught, you might feel fear related to where’s this going, sometimes shame. And so, we like to emphasize with the person giving the feedback that you’re going to be candid and kind, compassionate, right, you can be direct and still be compassionate. And then receiving, that it would be okay to ask for a break to process the information, right? When you feel overwhelmed or you feel your amygdala is flooded, that it would be okay to just sit with it for a little while. And that’s something we feel like is missing. Sometimes people spend so much time preparing for a confrontation instead of a conversation. And so when you’re going into feedback, and thinking about it in terms of a conversation, it automatically frames you a little bit differently. There are things that make receiving feedback really challenging, right? Like we your ego may be injured, you might feel shame. You might feel very surprised. You know, sometimes what we find is the person giving it has been thinking about this for a very long time. And so they’re calm and collected with it and the person receiving it, you know, feels like oh, that’s kind of took my breath away or I feel like I need to sit down. That’s that’s new information to me. So, something that we like to talk a lot about is giving yourself that space and I’m in terms of even asking for a break, hey, can we come back to this tomorrow, I really need to sit with what you’ve said to me. Some other traps we see related to language on the recipient. And this is especially true, the higher up, you know, if you’re in the organization in the traditional hierarchy sense, when you’re asking someone who may be reports to you, to give you that feedback. But the most important thing you can do is get curious about it. Sit with it, think how might this be true, even if you don’t just if you know if you don’t fully agree. And then what we like to encourage our leaders to do is then take it back to them, right? Like, I got some feedback that I need to work on x. And I sat with it, I thought, Here are three examples. I know where I didn’t show up in the way I wanted to relate it to what you told me, This is what I want to do about it. Really closing that loop, because we see this frequently.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  16:04

And I’m sure so many of the listeners and so many of our friends at SHRM, you complete a 360, nothing happens with there’s no loop, you don’t eat, you know, you just bite us, we’ll just throw it in the recycle, right? Like it’s the action part after that. Because if you’re not bringing it back to I heard you, which is another part of psychological safety, hey, I received your message. Now not gonna lie, kind of caught me off guard didn’t feel great at first. And I hear you and I’m here for it. And because I respect this team, this is what I’m committed to doing. And you know, the way we treat feedback is so interesting. And this makes me think my daughter, they had some activities, each classroom had a different activity, and they had to rate and give some feedback on the activities. And there was one she didn’t care for very much. And she gave it a lower rating and said, and I didn’t care for this part very much. And they brought the sheet back to her and said, like, oh, you can’t that’s not kind you can’t say that you didn’t like it. But it made me think about the ways we’re conditioned to give and receive feedback, you know, and so it challenges a lot of our norms, right about how do I, how do I give you something direct, in a way that will maintain trust, maybe even build trust, keep our relationship moving in the right direction. And sometimes people get a little prickly even hearing about relationships at work. But one of the things I just heard, that just made my brain light up with joy from David Cooper, writer of Appreciative Inquiry was that organizations really are nothing more than centers of relationships. So there’s nothing more important in that work than tending to those relationships.

Lindsay Recknell  17:53

I love what you say about relationships and the communication and also closing that loop, which continues to build those relationships continues to build that trust. You also had some brilliant mic drops there where you gave language that a leader could use to go back to their people, you know, I’m imagining this scenario where an employee and a team member has gotten up the gumption to say to their leader, you know, like, this is not okay, I appreciate what you’re trying to do here. But this is not it didn’t sit well. And the leader being taken off guard, maybe that doesn’t happen very often. And maybe they didn’t realize that they you know, they come across that way. But then you just gave all these fine folks listening all these leaders that are trying to be great leaders, the actual language they can use to go back to that employee and, and demonstrate their authenticity, demonstrate their value to the demonstrate the value that that person is bringing to their team. I mean, we can just end right here, you’ve like you’ve solved all the problems of the world.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  19:02

I wish at least maybe a few on a on a afternoon.

Lindsay Recknell  19:11

But honestly, I think that that’s something that we get stuck in, you know, like, you also said the person going to deliver the feedback has probably been thinking about it because that stuff is hard. We don’t want to give negative feedback. We want to give rainbows and puppy dogs and only, you know.

Lindsay Recknell  19:34

I was just gonna say, you know, giving people the language to be to open the door to these conversations is so tactical and feels so hopeful.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  19:45

Well, thank you. We had this aha we meeting my partner Sarah Wilson and I had this aha about two weeks ago. Sometimes groups want us to show up and give them all the right words and we like to think of the right words is the tip of the iceberg like we can, we can help you frame up some good words to go in with, but everything below the water that you can’t see our and then how will you manage your emotions? How will you be prepared to sit with the other person’s emotions, you’ve got expectations of yourself expectations of you and the role whether the role is sister or mother or head of HR, any any number of those roles? And then, you know, my personal favorite is, and then after all that, you might bump into them at Target or Tim Hortons. I mean, you’ve got to, you know, how do I show up in a way that when I see you again, whether it’s at work or without, we can feel good about where we left things? You know, that makes me think about something we talk with leaders about, often they fall into the trap of thinking they need an immediate answer. And it’s okay to take a pause.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  20:55

One of my mentors always taught me, I also raised me, because that’s kind of how it felt. But he always taught me no one records a pause, if you’re not quite sure, take a breath, it’s better to take a moment than to, you know, shoot off, say something you regret. So that sticks with us. And we give that to our leaders too, in terms of you don’t have to have a quick, smooth answer for everything off the top of your head. And it will probably be more authentic. If you don’t, you know, if you need time, say you need some time. Another leader, we work with his office, they all enjoy golfing. But he said, we talked about how you could ask for a do over, you know, and not a do over to say I don’t think you heard me right. So let me tell you all over again, but you know, a do over in terms of oh, gosh, didn’t that did not go how I wanted it to go. So can I try again? And he said, Well, I don’t think I can call it that. But to your point about language, he wanted to say to his team member, can I take a mulligan, can we go back to that. And so since then, we’ve had all sorts of new language created for a duo for which can be really powerful. When we think about trust to going back to say, I respect you so much. I said this to my son a couple of weeks ago, he I didn’t show up well for him, and I wanted to do over because I could tell it mattered. And I said You deserve better than what I gave you the first time. Like, I’m owning that. I do want to go back to that. Are you open to that? Now? Do you want to and inviting that to you? When can we go back there now? Do you need some time the other person might not be ready. I think we’ve, you know, Hollywood tells us it’s all going to happen and the music’s gonna play and we’ll move forward, but real people need time.

Lindsay Recknell  22:47

Well, and you said that earlier as well, which I I wanted to come back to because when you are the one receiving the feedback, it’s also okay to take a pause and, and come back to it and ask for that processing time, especially if we think like if we think about extroverts versus introverts, which I’m sure most people listening are familiar with introverts really need that processing time. And extroverts do too Ps, it’s okay to be able to sit back and say, You know what, I appreciate this feedback. I’d really like to internalize it and give some thought to it. Could we pick this up again, that seems totally fair and reasonable to me.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  23:28

I agree. And I don’t know, you know, where as humans, we get the message that it has to be fast, it has to be knee jerk. If it’s not immediate, it must not be going to happen. There’s a lot of power and sitting with things we work with the leader, one of the things I get really excited about, are conducting gap audits. So a leader has a goal, some, you know, a way they want to show up something that I want to get better at. And I get to collect lots of feedback on their behalf, from their teammates. And you know, one way we talk about it is it’s the feedback you need to hear but won’t, and putting together an executive summary. But one of the things that came out was that this, this person was showing some bias toward positive bias toward men on the team, and a negative bias toward women on the team. And as you could imagine, that was tough for him to hear. And he probably sat on it a good week or two digesting it thinking, when might this be true?

Dr. Teresa Peterson  24:31

 So that is one thing I would say. If you’re engaging in a process like that, or if you’re receiving feedback, who who do you know, in your circle, right, that might call it the loving critic? That would be one one way we could look at it, but who can listen with you and say, Yeah, Lindsay, but when might that have been true? Or you know what might have made someone say that? Because it’s easy for us initially to do That’s impossible. I could never have done that. Although sometimes people say, oh, yeah, I’ve totally done that. You know, but they still want to sit with the fact that man, I did that I was so okay with it. And this leader was exceptional in that. He went back to the team and said, this is this is, this is what I heard. And like, I heard you, that is not okay with me, I didn’t realize I was doing it really ready to push back on myself against it. These are things I’m committed to doing. And if you hear or see me doing any of the things that you said, I did that I don’t want to do, I’m going to invite you to tell me right now, this is a fun one related to the power of language in receiving feedback.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  25:47

And about time, so my partner Sarah and I, we facilitated together. And usually we’re right on the mark. And the other day, we just weren’t just kind of missteps. It just we didn’t have our business didn’t have our groove. And so after we took a pause, and a day or two later, we said, how will we let each other know in the moment when we feel like we’re not not hitting our mark not flowing? Like we want to flow? Like how, how can I and one of the issues was, she’s she’s her brain is amazing. And it’s like a rocket ship. And so she was like, we need to figure out how to bring ourselves together when her brain is in rocket ship mode, which is magical to witness. And I don’t know that I cared to stop, but it was something we wanted to work on. And so even that proactively talking about, we agreed this is something we want to get better at. And while we’re both here and calm, the next time the rocket ship is launching, what are some words you would be open to me using that would feel kind but direct, right? Or is there a gesture? Like, what would you be open to in that moment to receive? And she wanted to think about that too. Right away? She said, Well, I can tell you what it’s not. And then she listed about five things like Note to self, I won’t be saying any of those. But when we think about that idea of sustaining and building trust, talking proactively How do you want to receive feedback? You know, do you want to in writing and you want, you know, 24 hours, 36 hours to think about it? Or do you want me to send a voice memo with some great things I noticed in the meeting and a handful of things I’d like you to think more about, you know, what will resonate with you?

Lindsay Recknell  27:39

Brilliant. And it also think like in that rocket ship moment, when her brain is firing a million miles a minute, she’s not necessarily connected to her to her, her emotions and her energy internally, like she’s in her. She’s in her third brain. And you know, brains, maybe not quite there. And so interrupting her with these, you know, Proactiv, pre describe words or language would probably just help her come back to that thinking rational brain. It makes me think about every fight I’ve ever had with any member of my family.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  28:15

Sure, sure. Well, and you know, I should say in fairness to her, her rocket ship is like, a magical tour of planets where she connects all these ideas simultaneously. But yes, I totally hear what you’re saying, though, about knowing that this is going to it’s going to be tricky. What are the words were comfortable? Using? What words can I use that you’ll know ahead of time? She’s coming from that place of love, or like respect, you know, fill in, fill in the word, fill in the feeling?

Lindsay Recknell  28:47

Yeah, absolutely. And to then get into that habit. Now your unconscious brain is hearing that language, recognizing that there’s something you need to come back from some, you know, some extremism, perhaps that you need to, you know, dial it back just to get back in the moment or whatever that looks like. But then your brain that’s a signal to your brain that Hey, okay, let’s evaluate, and then maybe we can take off again, but maybe for a second. I love that.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  29:17

And I think it’s so beautiful, because, you know, most of the small rubs that we have are perpetual, right? 70 to 80% of those ongoing conflicts are perpetual. And so we use this example a lot in our work with teams because she does her brain is very fast. It’s amazing. It draws connections instantly. And I’m like, Uh huh, kick back in the seat. Take a sip of my tea. Gotta think about it. You know, like, just give me a minute getting like I have my brain has an on ramp, you know. So having that kind of proactive language helps our teamwork become even better. Because there would be things that she could say to me that might clue me in of, okay, this feels really, really urgent for her really hot, like, how do I pick up the pace? Versus when it’s like, Oh, can you slow down and give me a minute I still catching up?

Lindsay Recknell  30:15

Well, and I think it’s important to recognize that we don’t all think alike, we don’t all show in situations in the same way and recognition of the person, the other person in this interaction, whatever that interaction is, is key to feedback, those feedback loops as well, because how we how we would respond in their shoes, is not likely to be the reality.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  30:41

Right, and then you mix in, you know, a healthy dose of power dynamics. Like, if you’re responsible for continuing to determine whether I’m employed or not, I might react very differently to the feedback than you will if you’re very comfortable in your position, and you know, you have access to so much more information than I do. So sometimes, you know, a trap that leaders or HR friends can fall into is, they know, all 10 pieces of this puzzle, the other person knows one. And then so there’s a rub there with communication too

Lindsay Recknell  31:18

Really excellent point, I thought I remembered a question I was going to ask you earlier, and that was about the power struggle. So if Yeah, you know, if, if there’s people listening that know that they want to deliver feedback to someone in a position of authority over them, what words of advice do you have for them, to give them the courage to do that?

Dr. Teresa Peterson  31:41

Something that has worked for me, and that we’ve shared with groups, as much as you can link what you want to say to what, you know, the leader values. So for example, Lindsey, I know you really value transparency. And so I want to step into that with you. Would you be open to some feedback on the meeting last Tuesday, so not only acknowledging, I know this is important to you. And so I want to join you in that. But even the phrase, would you be open to is a good way to invite. Most people will say, Sure, if they say no, there are probably other things going on. But besides whatever happened in the meeting last Tuesday, I’m I suspect there are probably lots of other things going on. Or even inviting the leader. I know, we said we were all working on x. I have some notes from the meeting last Tuesday, would you be open to me sharing those, I think there are a couple of things, we right leaning into the weed, I think there are a few things we could do differently. And just start the conversation. You know, people want to do well, I firmly believe like people want to show up, they want to do a really good job. And so how do we give them feedback? How do we participate in those conversations in ways that honor the belief that the other person wants to do well, and that they’re a human with their own feelings and fears and regrets and, you know, to do list running like an app in the back of their mind.

Lindsay Recknell  33:18

I really liked what you what you say about inviting inviting the other person into the conversation, you know, asking for their permission to engage. I think that goes a long way. Just in, in having compassion and curiosity for those situations as opposed to demanding they listen to you because what you have to say is very important. Yes.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  33:40

Yes, exactly. You know, and that some of it to getting curious. That’s a pillar of our work at sarin all Wilson Inc is curious, leading with curiosity. And so, you know, when I heard you say, x that made me think blah, but I want to get curious with you, what came up for you when you heard that, right. So building some common understanding, because as we started out, you know, this time together, words don’t mean the same things to everyone. Or they don’t mean the same thing in this context. So really extending curiosity to situations as a tool for trust for feedback. For teamwork.

Lindsay Recknell  34:23

Yes, Curiosity is one of the pillars within our organization as well. It’s definitely something that I it works in so many situations to get oh, yeah, definitely curious about something. It works as a diffuser in so many situations. I couldn’t agree more.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  34:43

Yeah, yes. 100%.

Lindsay Recknell  34:46

Well, Teresa, this has been amazing. This conversation has just been awesome. Is there any final parting words of advice you’d like to leave the listeners with today?

Dr. Teresa Peterson  34:58

I think I would just say I would love to meet you at SHRM. So if you’re there, you can find me. I’m looking forward to beignet, you know if you want to. If you would like to eat a beignet together, you can let me know. I’m just so excited to meet and connect.

Lindsay Recknell  35:15

Pick Me Pick Me. I want to eat that with you. I can’t even say that, because I want one.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  35:22

Who doesn’t want fried dough? I mean, come on. So good.

Lindsay Recknell  35:27

You know, I have never been to New Orleans and I heard that it’s a place I’m going to do a lot of walking, which sounds awesome for the also amount of delicious food and beverage that I eat while I’m there. So I look forward to meeting you in real life. And yes, fried dough, and anything else we can get our hands on. is so good. So good. Tell everyone where they can get a hold of you when they want to learn more about the language of feedback.

Dr. Teresa Peterson 35:58

Yeah, absolutely. You can email me that’s a great way to get a hold of me, You can find me on LinkedIn. Theresa Peterson EDD. I love to hear from people about feedback about conversations about curiosity learning. I also watch the crown on repeat. So if you want to talk about that, I’m totally down for that at any time. Hamilton sing alongs always.

Lindsay Recknell  36:30

Also lambs and farming.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  36:32

Absolutely. Yeah. That is all those things.

Lindsay Recknell  36:35

Oh, amazing. Well, this has been such an awesome conversation. Thank you so much for joining me today and for sharing your wisdom. I cannot wait for your talk in a few. What is it? Six weeks away? Yeah. flying it’s coming up very, very quickly.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  36:51

I have to wear real pants. You know, like I’m used to virtual. I’ve got to find real pants.

Lindsay Recknell  36:57

Yeah, you and me both. And it’s going to be very hot for our for our western kind of temperature body type.

Dr. Teresa Peterson  37:06

I agree. Yes.

Lindsay Recknell  37:10

Thank you very, very much. It’s been a real pleasure. I look forward to connecting with you again soon. My pleasure. Take care.

Lindsay Recknell  37:16

Thanks for joining me for another awesome episode of the mental health for leaders podcast. To make sure you don’t miss any future episodes, please go to and subscribe to have these episodes delivered right to your inbox each week. You’ll also find all the show notes, links and resources that my guest mentioned on the show and the link to the Guide to Influence and Impact at Work freebie I mentioned at the beginning of this episode.  You’re listening to this podcast because you know our people need us more than ever. But being a people leader and an HR professional is especially hard right now. If the thought of figuring out how to best support your people and yourself feels overwhelming and impossibly hard. Let’s talk. I don’t promise I can make it easy, but I can make it simple. So let’s do that together. Go to and download the Guide to Influence and Impact at Work now. Until next time, take good care. And as always, call me if you need me.

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