Leadership Development

Is your View of Yourself Distorted: Embracing your Self-Awareness

Lisa Danels
published on April 16, 2020

Do you ever wonder if you have an accurate view of yourself?

This is something that I give a lot of thought to. One year, for my partner’s birthday, I gave him a Mont Blanc pen.

The Dreaded Feedback Pen

He equated the pen as a way of giving honest feedback that he had been holding and not sharing with me. I’ll never forget he pulled out the pen grabbed a piece of paper and went to town creating a long list of all things I could do better. It was a very sobering moment.

We now joke about the feedback pen but that day was a real eye-opener. The feedback was honest and it did help me change my behavior and give me a more accurate view of my impact on him and others.

After reading Insights by Tara Eurich, she shared that 95% of people think they are self-aware but only 10-15% really are. So by this point, you are probably guessing which category do you fall into. But is there a big impact on being self-aware or not? Is it worth the investment and hearing the harsh truth?

Why is it so important to become more self-aware?

People with more self-awareness:

  • Tend to perform better
  • Get more promotions
  • Lead more effectively

AND organizations with more self-aware leaders have stronger financial performance.

If this is such an important trait then why are so many people unaware? There are a few key reasons. One is the most of us have blind spots. My mom has a great quote:

You can see a fly on someone else but you can’t see an elephant on yourself.

Sheila Danels

The second reason is we are wired to operate on autopilot. It keeps us from truly feeling and experiencing life fully but at the same time, it keeps us safe. Finally, we are happier when we see ourselves in a positive light.

Rapidly Growing Your Self Awareness

There is hope if you want to grow your self-awareness. Tara Eurich found in her research that people who she considers “Unicorns,” meaning they grew their self-awareness from little to a high degree engaged in three critical behaviors:

  • Shift their mindset from “I don’t want to know” to wanting to know the truth about themselves and their impact.
  • Ask for more feedback from others
  • Instead of asking why did I do that?, ask What can I do to improve

Here are a few questions that you can ask to gain more insight into yourself

  • What’s the thing you see me doing that is helping me best contribute to the team and the organization?
  • What’s the one thing I do that is distracting from our success?

We are Human Edge, after looking at numerous research studies, believe that Self-Awareness is a critical trait that can and must be cultivated. We have created a CORE™ Leadership Assessment and Self-Awareness is one of the traits we measure.

If you want to learn more please reach out and we would love to chat and share what we know.