Self-awareness is essential to your continued growth and success. The best way to understand how you’re coming across to others is simply to ask and listen—and that can be an advanced skill in itself.

When it comes to how we’re performing, there’s no substitute for feedback. This can call for some robustness on your part, because that feedback isn’t always delivered with perfect tact or sensitivity. Other people, after all, have their own emotions, biases, fears, assumptions, and expectations, and, what’s more, their actions are then filtered through our own perceptions. A 2010 Canadian study found that we listen less to feedback that clashes ...

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