Email the Author
You can use this page to email Gerald M. Weinberg about What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback.
About the Book
What Did You Say? is the second revised edition of a classic book on human behavior, written by three of the most famous organizational consultants: Charlie Seashore, Edie Seashore, and Jerry Weinberg.
Offering opinions is the second most necessary ingredient for human life. Studies show that we can go only three minutes without air, perhaps three days without water, maybe three weeks without food. . . and but three hours without offering somebody our suggestions, responses, or critiques. A perennial "hot" topic in management circles is the process of giving, getting and analyzing advice.
This brief and engaging book can be of use to anyone who has to interact with other people. You'll enjoy the "read" so much that you may not realize how much you have gained - all in words of one syllable!
How to offer feedback when asked (or hired) to do so. Why feedback tells more about the giver than the receiver. How feedback is distorted or resisted by the receiver's point of view and defense mechanisms. And in dozens of enjoyable vignettes, how humans have struggled to understand each others' responses.
If I had the power to transport one book back in time and send it to myself, this would be the one. This is the book I needed when I became a people manager. It's also the book I needed when I began to raise my kids. In fact, I can't think of a time in my life when I did not wish I had more of the skills this book teaches. A simple but very deep book that causes a new level of understanding about how to talk to people with each reading. The authors draw on the best ideas from the great psychologists and show how to use them practically in everyday interactions. The short volume is easy to read and full of examples that can be immediately applied. In my humble opinion, this book is indespensible when managing people at work and managing close relationships at home. The conversational and entertaining style is a plus.—R. Fink
Here is my bias - this is a must have book for anyone in the coaching, management consulting, facilitation or training business. In fact it is a must read for everyone. The authors follow a sensible and clear route that would be a benefit to any reader. It is small, easy to read and powerful. The vignettes display excellent examples and the exercises at the end of each short chapter are practical. The italics of fantasy and fact regarding "feedback" makes for an even faster read. You can browse through it quickly to find the passages where you wish to focus.
The book is short and sweet enough but you can find it completely summarized in three pages in the Epilogue. If it sounds as if there isn't much meat to this book, think again. It is deceptively challenging but not daunting. It makes a great reference book that I like to come back to time and time again.—Roberta Hill
I had several 'ahas' reading this clear and entertaining excursion into everyday interactions. Feedback should be given sparingly and taken thoughtfully - with a grain of salt. That's one (of many) useful messages demonstrated here. --Marvin Weisbord, author Productive Workplaces
This is a how-to book about relationships with depth, humor and insight far beyond the ordinary. (The authors) deal masterfully with the contradictory impulses we all feel to 'say it like it is' or flee in terror. --Barbara Benedict Bunker, Organizational Consultant, Professor, SUNY at Buffalo
The authors of this wonderful book have untangled and demythologized feedback! --Elsie Y. Cross, CEO, Elsie Y. Cross Associates
About the Author
I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.
I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/4eudqk5.
Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.
But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.