One day, she and I hosted a tricky client meeting.
She navigated the discussion effectively, and after the clients left, I praised her effort.
She paused and said, "Thanks, but you must have ideas for me on what more I could have done."
"How can I do better?"
"What am I doing that I don't know?"
"What am I not doing that I don't see?"
These questions can lead to many benefits.
And believe me, the truth hurts.
Even when I have solicited feedback, any judgment can feel harsh.
But the upside of painful knowledge is so much greater than the downside of blissful ignorance.
Requesting advice can also help build relationships.
At Facebook, I knew that the most important determinant of my success would be my relationship with Mark.
When I joined, I asked Mark for a commitment that he would give me feedback every week so that anything that bothered him would be aired and discussed quickly.
Mark not only said yes but immediately added that he wanted it to be reciprocal.
For the first few years, we stuck to this routine and voiced concerns big and small every Friday afternoon.
As the years went by, sharing honest reactions became part of our ongoing relationship.
Now we do so in real time rather than waiting for the end of the week.
I wouldn't suggest that all relationships need this much feedback—there is such a thing as asking for too much—but for us, it has been critically important.