How to Cultivate Self-Awareness
Most of us are not self-aware. Author and researcher Tasha Eurich conducted a multi-year study on self-awareness and came away with this startling conclusion — 95% of us think we are self-aware, yet only 10-15% of us are.
The way to start building self-awareness is through honest conversations with yourself. How do you conduct yourself in the office? How do you display your thoughts, feelings, and opinions? Are you an organized person? Are your presentation skills good, or do you just think they are?
You can practice mindfulness in the workplace to understand more about yourself. Pause your activity, and notice how you feel, think, and react in various situations. Are you the kind of colleague you would want to work with?
That’s the internal bit of self-awareness, but what about the external? To understand how others view us we have to solicit feedback and see if it matches with our internal perceptions. However, this kind of feedback loop is tricky and can cause conflict if we’re not careful.
Research shows feedback like this works best when people on a team support one another and want to contribute to each other’s success. Tell your colleagues to be honest about their opinions of you, your contributions, weaknesses, and talents. It is critical you maintain an open mind and don’t get defensive about what you hear. You should recognize this as a positive experience for making a productive change.
Once your teammates have provided feedback, take a moment to reflect on what was said. How do you feel about the outcome? How does this match with your internal perceptions? Does this make you feel differently about your impact on the organization?