Build Self-Awareness to Develop Influence

Build Self-Awareness to Develop Influence


Do we know who we are? That is one of the most important questions
we can ask, and our research shows that 95% of people think that we know ourselves, we
think we’re self-aware, but the real number is closer to 10 to 15%. So what I talk about in my work is that’s
not necessarily a bad thing. It’s something we should be really cognizant
of and really try to improve as much as we can because most of us have a lot of work
to do. The reason I call self-awareness the meta-skill
of the 21st century is that everything we need to know how to do in today’s world is
entirely dependent on our level of self-awareness. So you think about communication or influence
or collaboration, all types of skills that we need in the workplace. We can only be as good at each of those as
we are self-aware, and so if we work on self-awareness it has a ripple effect to almost everything
in our lives. So I would give three tips to increase self-awareness. Number one, we have found in our research
that people who are self-aware tend to have a really open and curious mindset about themselves. They’re less likely to beat themselves up
and more likely to say, “Well, what went wrong? What can I learn? So I think that’s one piece. The second thing is to do what I call a daily
check-in, and those are really easy but it can really lead to a lot of insight. So at the end of every day ask yourself three
questions. Number one, what went well today? Two, what didn’t go well? And three, what can I learn to be smarter
tomorrow? So that’s number two. Number three is something I call the dinner
of truth, and since we’re talking about leaders in organizations, maybe I’ll call it the power
lunch of truth. What you do is you find someone that will
tell you the truth, that you trust will be honest with you, that you know has your best
interests at heart. You take them to a meal and you ask them,
“What do I do that’s most annoying to you?” Then you sit back and bask in the insight,
try to not be defensive or to be as non-defensive as possible, and use that as a way to catalyze
even more feedback.