I have something to say about Harvard Business Review’s recent article, “Research: We’re Not Very Self-Aware, Especially at Work.” What echoed with me the most is about self-awareness.
“Self-awareness is understanding who we are and how we are similar to or different from others. One key facet is self-knowledge – how we see our various personality traits, values, attitudes, and behaviors. But another aspect is being aware of how consistent (or inconsistent) our self-view is compared to an external appraisal.”
It was not long ago that I was introduced to a few adaptive behavior tools and techniques as part of my leadership training program at work. This reminded me of one such adaptive tool called DiSC.
DISC is a leading personal assessment tool used by over 1 million people every year to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication.
The DiSC profile is a non-judgmental tool used for discussion of people’s behavioral differences. If you participate in a DiSC program, you’ll be asked to complete a series of questions that produce a detailed report about your personality and behavior.
* Increase your self-knowledge: how you respond to conflict, what motivates you, what causes you stress and how you solve problems
* Improve working relationships by recognizing the communication needs of team members
* Facilitate better teamwork and minimize team conflict
* Develop stronger sales skills by identifying and responding to customer styles
* Manage more effectively by understanding the dispositions and priorities of employees and team members
* Become more self-knowledgeable, well-rounded and effective leaders.
While I was fortunate to go through a training that taught us about self-awareness, not all companies pay attention to the importance of self-awareness and it’s impact on the productivity of an individual or a team. The authors of the HBR article second this concern – “in talent development practice, companies spend millions of dollars and countless hours every year on self-reported assessments that only target self-knowledge. The core problem is that we’re notoriously poor judges of our own capabilities. A 2014 study of 22 meta-analyses (containing over 357,000 people) found an average correlation of .29 between self-evaluations and objective assessments (a correlation of 1.0 would indicate total accuracy). And the correlation was even lower for work-related skills.”It’s clear that talent development interventions need to go beyond self-knowledge to be effective. Erich C. Dierdorff and Robert S. Rubin provided three tactics that can help people build accurate self-awareness.
Use self-awareness tools that are linked to performance. Create a line-of-sight between self-awareness and personal job success. Teach self-development skills in addition to self-awareness. Acquiring accurate self-awareness is only the beginning – true personal development builds the capacity to take action.
Will Rogers rightly once quipped, “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” It’s time for talent development professionals to focus their development resources on the forms of self-awareness that matter most.
So friends, learn more about yourself. Learn to work better with others. It helps gain insight into what types of organizational culture we will find most comfortable or even come up with questions to ask our potential employer.