You Can’t Become Self Aware By Yourself

by on Jul 2, 2024

Self-awareness is a paradox.  It’s like looking in the mirror when you think you are really seeing yourself, but you are only seeing a reflection.  By the way, that’s not who you are.  

I’ll say it again: we aren’t who we think we are.

I hope that doesn’t come as a shock to you.  I learned this years ago when I commented to our adult sons, “I’m sure glad I’m not losing much hair” to which they quickly replied, “Pop, you better come around back and check again!”

A few years ago, I was on stage speaking and I turned around while the camera was still on me, and there on the screen was the biggest bald spot I had ever seen and it was…mine!  I instantly saw what others saw, and we all had a great laugh about it but it was a great teaching moment as well.  

We need others’ help to see clearly.  

So, let me ask you what is more important–how you see yourself or how others see you?  That choice will say a lot about you.  Of course, the best choice is how others see you.  The next question is–what others?  The ones you don’t like, the ones who like you, the ones who you work with, the ones you love, the ones you want to like you?  Any of them could help, but for me, the most important ones are the ones I love, the ones I work with and the ones I serve.  

Let’s break those groups down some.  First, the ones I love would include family and close friends, as well as many colleagues.  Second for most of us would be people we work with.  Feedback from colleagues gives us a very good idea as to how others see us and relate to us at work.  

Your work group is a critical group because your work group will ultimately determine the support and service you provide to those you serve.  This group will also ultimately determine your success as a teammate and as a leader. If you don’t win them, you don’t win period. 

My staff are my first customers and the people I serve first. In turn, I have the opportunity to expect the same service that I give to them for them to give to their customers. So often, I see supervisors mistreat others and then turn around and complain about the team’s customer service. It’s pretty obvious as to why it isn’t working. The supervisor created the expectation by how they treated those reporting to them. 

So back to the original question: how do we become self-aware when it’s a paradox?  You have to get feedback. Many years ago when I was seeing patients in my practice as a psychotherapist running a large clinic, I struggled with how many times I had to see someone before I had a clear picture of what was happening. This was especially true with couples and families. It would take 4 to 5 sessions–a good bit of time and expense for me to feel like I had a grasp of what was happening. That didn’t work well, as they oftentimes didn’t have time due to the crisis that brought them to me, nor did they need the expense and pain it incurred. 

That is when I started building out our Teamalytics 360 assessment. I built it for behaviors rather than personalities.  Hence, today we have some of the strongest behavioral analytics in the world with data from hundreds of thousands of leaders worldwide. This is why what we do is so important. It’s also not just how others see you but the real strength is in how your entire team works together, processes issues and information and can achieve the goals they have set. 

It’s the team data that counts. It’s not just the individual members of the team but the team as a whole and how they perform together as every great coach will tell you. So, if you want the trophy you will learn how to work together in a powerful way and that’s what we help teams do.

And thus our name, Teamalytics!