Do you know yourself? If you’re like most people, your answer is yes. According to industrial psychologist, Tasha Eurich, 95 percent of people think they are self-aware. However, her research shows that less than 15 percent truly are. This information is both interesting and challenging to me. Throughout the years, I have used several competency development tools to improve myself and develop staff, and they all consider self-awareness a critical competency. In addition, numerous articles site self-awareness or self-objectivity as keys for successful employees, leaders and companies. If it is accurate that such a small number are truly self-aware, I wonder if self-awareness may be the key differentiator for business and leadership success.
Why are people not more self-aware? We all have filters that guide how we perceive things. Some people see themselves better than others see them, while some are more critical of themselves than others. Therefore, there is a common conflict between what we see and what others see. Being honest with ourselves can be a tremendous challenge, but it is not insurmountable.
How do we become more self-aware? Here is the formula I will use to become more self-aware. First, I will recall a few things from my past. Specifically, I will review my past failures and successes to determine how I contributed to the outcomes. This step will enable me to objectively assess my performance and identify trends. Secondly, I will look at my current activities. In this step, I will seek to better understand my strengths and weaknesses. After this self-evaluation, I will engage in two additional steps. Initially, I will ask for specific feedback on my strengths and weaknesses from a small number of peers who I trust will be honest with me. Following the first set of discussions, I will meet with my mentors and ask them to help me identify ways to capitalize on my strengths and explore resources to cover my weaknesses.
I am committed to getting to know myself, so I can be better tomorrow than I am today. I challenge you as ethical leaders to know yourself.
As always, Lead with Integrity!