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LEAD WITH INTEGRITY: Do You Truly Know Yourself? (November)

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Ethics Matters

November 2018

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!