Understanding Surprise Feedback

Any type of criticism can be unsettling and difficult to accept, especially when it is unexpected.

According to Peter Bregman from the Harvard Business Review, “surprise feedback” is criticism that seems to come from nowhere, about an issue we haven’t perceived ourselves.



In the office, you may receive surprise feedback from bosses or coworkers in regards to a job assignment or task. While your first reaction may be defensive, you should aim for patience and perception.
Here are a few tips:

1. Don’t let your feelings affect your reaction. The criticism can be painful, destabilizing and personal, but put your feelings aside so they don’t negatively influence your reaction.

2. Listen. Analyze the criticism and try to understand its roots.

3. Don’t agree or disagree. This way, you won’t sound defensive and you will be able to fully listen.

4. Decide what to do. Take some time and space to determine if, what and how you want to change.


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