10 Statements that Eliminate Misconceptions

You sound weird on recordings and you don’t look right on video. The way you perceive yourself isn’t accurate.

Distorted self-reflection hinders growth.

If leadership was done in isolation, the perceptions of others wouldn’t matter.


My wife used to complain that I sounded harsh. My response, “I don’t have animosity in my heart.” Both of us were right.

You interpret your heart. Others interpret your behavior.

Success includes aligning heart and behavior.

Self-reflection is a beginning. But, the way others observe and interpret you is central to successful leadership.

Lousy leaders ignore the perceptions of others.

Disconnected and distorted:

You falsely believe the real you is obvious.

Those who argue when receiving feedback, often have disconnected or distorted perceptions of themselves. I argued with my wife when she told me I was harsh. Now, I see that arguing about being harsh supported her observation that I was harsh.

Collaborative self-reflection:

Clear-up misperceptions and break-down distortions by engaging in public self-reflection.

Invite a trusted colleague into your private reflections. Let them hear what you say about yourself, to yourself.

10 things to say out loud:

  1. I’m proud of myself when I ______.
  2. I’m disappointed in myself when I ______.
  3. I’m really good at ______.
  4. I wish I ______.
  5. Others believe that I ______.
  6. I’m most helpful to others when I ______.
  7. I’m learning that I ______.
  8. I aspire to ______.
  9. I want to be known as ______.
  10. Things go best when I ______. (Things go worst when I ______)

How do their observations compare to your reflections?

Bonus: Declare the behaviors that express and align with your intentions and observations. Do they see what you see?

Added punch:

Self-reflection is best done with situations in mind. Engage in collaborative self-reflection while thinking about a project, team, or meeting you lead.

When I lead the division meeting, I’m proud of myself when I ______.

How can leaders align heart with behavior?

How can leaders deal with distorted or disconnected self-reflection?