If you’re performing well and your relationships seem harmonious – you might feel comfortable asking your peers and manager for their feedback. If you’re not meeting deadlines, producing poor quality output, and your relationships seem strained – you might hesitate to ask for feedback.

In fact, both of these situations warrant feedback from others. If you’re feeling on top of your game, you might be surprised that others don’t experience you in the same way. Could you be blind to your own shortcomings? And if you’re feeling like you can’t do anything right, you might be surprised that others don’t share the same negative opinion of you.

Feedback can produce an “AHA” moment, cause you to nod your head in agreement, or create initial feelings of anxiety. These are normal reactions, especially when there’s a disconnect between what you think of yourself and what others think of you.

Some of the most common responses to getting feedback that at first appears “not so positive” are similar to any event associated with loss or change. You may feel initially shocked. You may get defensive or angry. You may try to rationalize or dismiss the feedback (“She doesn’t really know me that well.”) In time, you will hopefully accept the feedback for what it is – the perception of others.

Welcome feedback. In most cases, it’s truth that deserves acceptance and understanding. Allow yourself to be surprised – it typically opens a door that’s been stuck for a while.

Have you had a surprising “Ah-Ha” feedback experience? Care to share?