To escape the subjectivity trap and be able to assess ourselves objectively we need to get the feedback of those around us; those who know us well and know our strengths and weaknesses.
The challenge is to get objective and balanced feedback that can guide us forward in understanding our own assets and flaws. Some reasons why those around us may not be able to give us a structured and balanced feedback about our capabilities may be:
1) They’re not fully aware of the whole situation we’re in. They don’t know the background of the tasks we’re running, the un-announced requirements of these tasks, or the complexity of each task.
2) They’re too cautious to give us direct feedback. This can be because they don’t want to disappoint us, or they’re afraid of our reaction, if their feedback is negative. People tend to hold back on giving any feedback, even if it’s constructive, if they feel it can hurt those who need their insight. As a result, this creates short-term false hope as we believe we have no area where we need improvement, but hurts us in the long-term as we miss a great opportunity for improvement that this insight could’ve helped us with.
3) They’re not good at providing feedback. Some people are just not good at providing feedback to others. They will tell you that they ‘don’t like’ a specific thing that you did, but won’t explain why or advise you on how to fix it. They will tell you what they think is wrong but will never tell you what they see as right.
Throwing negative feedback in your face and then walking away, isn’t a good or constructive feedback. Others may be more caring in providing you with more detailed feedback but they are utterly not good at it, so their insight comes out ambiguous and unclear.
4) They simply don’t care! Some people will tell you the first thing that comes to their mind, without actually understanding what you’re trying to achieve or care about your situation.
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