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?
Self awareness starts with knowing you are with me in the 9 out of 10. Then the work (hopefully the progress) begins…. Thanks Dan !!
Hey Marshall. So glad to see you here today! Thanks
Dan-Love the concept of Self Awareness coming from listening to what others observe about me. This was a game changer for me 10 years ago and I try to do the heart work and hard work of listening to others still today.
Also—What do you think about self awareness which can lead to self correction which can lead to self control and ultimately to self forgetfulness?? Would love your feedback on that. Thanks for helping us think!!
For me, my self-awareness evolves; sometimes quickly sometimes slowly, yet it is always an upward spiral of evolution. So, yes, self-forgetfulness and self-control can happen as we put into practice new self-awareness aspects, but then we correct our own course as we continue to practice the activities (meditation, contemplation, self-review, feedback, prayer, vision-boarding, journaling, blogging, reading, etc.) that brought us to a new level of self-awareness.
A spiral does circle back toward itself so it seems to reason sometimes it feels like we are going backwards in our own self-awareness or evolution. Keep doing the work and the results manifest of their own accord.
I love this stuff and could talk about my personal experience and studies 24/7.
Dan, thank you for this article…EI is so important and so necessary to be self aware. I find with digital technolology/smart phones most are self absorbed in the content rather than ‘who they are, or how they come across’. Psychology and EI are my passions so this article really resonated with me and a good nudge for me to check myself at the door. Always a pleasure reading your blog…love it! Janet Brunger
Dan, am particularly fond of your #4, impact awareness. Because what I do as a coach is who I am (operating from my best gifts), I am not always aware of the power of my work and interaction. This includes writing. I think there are many people who may not be aware of their greatest positive affects on people; it is helpful to know and to leverage how we best affect people, and when we don’t. I am on a journey to uncover the ‘larger message’ that I may be delivering in order to be even better at my ability to interact, encourage, and draw forth from others their vest version of themselves.
Thanks for your work, Dan.
Self awareness helps one not only understand themselves but also makes one aware of how others feel without them having to say it. It creates insight. I once read the more you understand yourself the more you understand others.
Self awareness helps one not only understand themselves but also makes one aware of how others feel without them having to say it. It creates insight.