I am a part of the real number that is self-aware.
If this is the first thought that comes to your mind on reading the headline, you are highly likely to not be self-aware!
What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness is the will and the skill to understand who we are and how others see us.
Why is self-awareness so important?
Alan Mullaly, former Ford CEO put it best.
“Self-awareness sets an upper limit to our effectiveness in all that we do”
Vision, communication, teamwork, execution, design, negotiation, selling, persuasion, strategy, art, literally anything you do; how much you will succeed and how far will you go is decided by how self-aware you are.
Imagine that your life-work is a car. Self-awareness is the driver. How much mileage you will get out of driving your car is decided by your self-awareness.
What can I do to develop my self-awareness?
There are two tools that Tasha Eurich offers in a podcast.
At the end of the day, ask 3 questions
1) What went well today?
2) What did not go well today?
3) How can I be smarter tomorrow?
This is a short exercise. You can take notes if that works for you. You can do it in your mind if that is your way. What’s important is sustaining it and making it a habit.
Daily check-in helps us understand who we are – that is internal self-awareness.
Dinner of truth
Take out a significant person in your life for a meal. This is a person you want to improve your relationship with.
And ask – What do I do that is most annoying to you?
How to choose this significant person?
Two factors – First, you know this person will critique you. They won’t hold back.
And second, they care about you and your personal growth. They are loving critics who reveal our blind spots.
Dinner of truth helps us understand how others see us – that is external self-awareness.
The real-number of people who are self-aware – Just 10-15%
Power & self-awareness
The more power you have in an organization, the less self-aware you probably are.
There are very few people above you who can give you unfiltered feedback that reveals your blind-spots. Leaders keen on success must work on self-awareness and soliciting authentic feedback.
We are always less self-aware than whatever we estimate ourselves to be. A journey into self-awareness is like exploring space. The more you explore, the farther the horizon stretches out in all directions. You become excited, humbled and awestruck about this being a never-ending journey!