Why Asking for Advice Is More Effective Than Asking for Feedback – Harvard Business Review


Written by Jaewon Yoon, Hayley Blunden, Ariella Kristal, and Ashley Whillans

You just gave a great first pitch to a major client and landed an invitation to pitch to their senior leaders. Now you want a second opinion on your presentation to see if there’s anything you can improve. What do you do?

Conventional wisdom says you should ask your colleagues for feedback. However, research suggests that feedback often has no (or even a negative) impact on our performance. This is because the feedback we receive is often too vague — it fails to highlight what we can improve on or how to improve.

Our latest research suggests a better approach. Across four experiments — including a field experiment conducted in an executive education classroom — we found that people received more effective input when they asked for advice rather than feedback.

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By Alessandra Leone
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