I can imagine someone thinking: "To be honest, Tom, this is a dumb article."

Ok. I'll close out this post. Go back to denial. Go back to being frustrated with my coworkers. It's always their fault, anyways.

Stop it. Enough. You're not great at everything. If you are so great at everything, why aren't you valued more? Because either you're not that great or people just don't like you.

Kind of sucks to hear, right? It shouldn't.

We hear about problematic people in big companies who aren't given feedback. Instead, they are rubber stamped and kept, and eventually passed on to be someone else's problem.

People will say they want constructive criticism, but truly, who wants to be criticized? Everything bad can't always be sandwiched between how good you are. Do you want to hear it? Are you willing to work even harder to improve?

It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter unless you are willing to accept and believe you aren't that great and you can improve. Ask for succinct, direct issues you have, and then work with your manager on a plan to improve. Go to outside seminars and find internal mentors.

There are two reasons managers don't want to give honest, negative feedback:

  1. Your attitude will become bad.
  2. They are afraid.

It should be called negative feedback. It sure isn't positive: areas of improvement, improving weaknesses.

"You aren't good at this."

"Your attention to detail is lacking and you aren't utilizing your teammates."

Go back and write up a plan of how you could have delegated more and to whom and where you should have spent more time. That's good feedback.

"But Tom, it should be a two way conversation about what went wrong."

Correct, it should be. However, at some point, someone has to be the boss and clearly say what went wrong and someone has to own it. If you aren't prepared to acknowledge where you're not good and where you fail, you will always limit yourself.

When you aren't honest with yourself and your manager, everyone knows it but you. Co-workers, subordinates and leadership. They know it because you have built a wall up around yourself.

Whether it's sarcasm, avoidance, stoic, whatever, your wall is obvious. It's time to look in the mirror, let down your guard and accept help and direction.

One more thing. CEOs face the same issues. That's why peer groups, executive coaching and 360 degree reviews exist. Companies with great cultures usually have people who are accepting of themselves and thus take direction on how to improve.