Only 1 in 10 are Self-Aware*

Self-awareness enables you to bring your best self to others. But studies show that only 10% to 15% of leaders are self-aware. (*HBR)

Low self-awareness makes you irritating to others, dissatisfied with yourself, and ineffective at work.

Three ways you learn who you are:

#1. Anger reveals values.

What’s happening in and around you when you’re angry? You see what you want but aren’t getting when you understand anger.

#2. Stress reveals weaknesses.

  • What situations bring out your worst?
  • When are you stressed? What does that say about you?

It’s important to know who you aren’t, but don’t use authenticity as an excuse for mediocrity.

Don’t say, “I’m not good with people. That’s just who I am.”, as justification for walking on team-members. Improve Emotional Intelligence or find roles that minimize interactions with people.

#3. Positive energy reveals passion and strengths.

Notice when energy is high and work is easy. What does the experience of flow say about who you are?

Four practices that expand self-awareness:

#1. Quiet introspection.

The above list of three ways to learn who you are require quiet introspection. For example, reflect on your frustrations in order to learn your values.

#2. Feedback seeking.

Others help us know who we are. Notice and explore surprising or disconfirming feedback.

Blindspots prevent you from bringing your best self to others.

Sometimes others see you better than you see yourself.

#3. Story telling.

Tell a story about yourself to a new friend. Ask them, “Who do you think I am based on this story?”

#4. Impact awareness.

Self-awareness includes respecting your impact on others.

People have told me since I was in my twenties that I make them think. I don’t try to make others think. It’s just who I am. I need to be in roles where helping people think is valued and useful.

What role does self-awareness play in success?

What practices expand self-awareness?