How are you to work with?

Are you self-aware?  Do you have a clear understanding of your own thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and emotions in any given situation?

We all like to think that we are great communicators, excellent at our jobs and provide outstanding service to our clients…but what is everybody’s else’s perception of us?

For a successful working environment, it is important to ensure that we are working on the same page as our colleagues and not unintentionally behaving in a way that others feel is troublesome or an obstacle to success.

Collecting information and feedback from all our associates will ensure that our own perception is as close to reality as possible.  However, it is important to get that feedback process right so that it can be used beneficially…

  1. Choose the right time and place for feedback: Make sure when asking for feedback that the person you are asking isn’t preoccupied or busy with other worries. Carry out the conversation in a private place where there will be the least distractions.
  2. Explain why you’re interested in learning how you’re perceived: Be honest and straightforward about why you want to know.
  3. Make it clear, you want their honest opinion: People may hold back or tell you what they think you want to hear if they are concerned about hurting your feelings or they might not wat you to become defensive. Sometimes it helps to admit a personal weakness to encourage people to open up.
  4. Do not get defensive: Even though you don’t intend it, you may come across as defensive by the language you use. When someone shares less than positive feedback, avoid confrontational, questions like, “What do you mean?” or “Does everybody feel that way about me?”
  5. Ask for specific examples: If the feedback is critical or sensitive, take the feelings out of the situation and focus on the behavior in question, perhaps they can give you a specific example.
  6. Thank them for their feedback: Express that you appreciate their feedback and let them know you might need their help again in the future.  This will impress that you are serious about self-improvement.
  7. Repeat the process with others: Ask for feedback from others to confirm or clarify areas that indicate improvement or attention and look for patterns or common matters.

Take action:  If you can handle these feedback meetings skillfully, you will have valuable information that will go a long way at making you a more effective employee, manager and colleague.

Develop an action plan to address the negative perceptions you could be creating, and look for opportunities to highlight the positives you want to convey.

Keep in mind that perceptions play a crucial role in career advancement and success!

How do your colleagues perceive you?




Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC and author of The 3×5 Coach: A Practical Guide to Coaching Your Team for Greater Results and Happier People“, which is now available in Paperback or a Kindle version at



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