Occasionally, you may realize that some colleagues at work criticize your work, despite appearing to be satisfied with what you deliver. However, they have never complained directly to you. Eventually, you receive news that some of those teammates are dissatisfied with certain aspects of your work, but they are not telling you the truth directly. What went wrong? You consider yourself an easygoing, approachable person, but they are not being sincere with you.

In this situation, most people tend to blame others. However, human relationships are not always straightforward. In my experience, this is usually a two-sided problem. Perhaps your colleagues need to learn how to provide feedback constructively, but it is also quite possible that you need to work on your attitude when receiving feedback.

Be honest with yourself; do you embrace criticism or make a plethora of excuses when receiving feedback? If you are simply listening to respond instead of fully grasping the message, your defensiveness will be noticed by the person providing feedback. Giving negative feedback is already uncomfortable enough, and defensiveness makes it even more difficult.

It is easy to say that you have a Growth mindset, but the truth is that most of us struggle to shift our thoughts and realize that we can improve in any aspect of our work. The challenge is to understand that if you are open to recognizing your mistakes and eager to improve, with a growth mindset, you are on your way to overcoming them.

So next time you find yourself in a situation where the feedback you receive differs from previous feedback, ask yourself if you are actively listening or if you are not in the mood to receive the message. But also be aware that, in a hypothetical situation where your colleagues were masters of direct feedback and you had the most open mind in the world, we are still human beings, and we may not always share our complete thoughts with each other face-to-face.