Do we see and hear ourselves? Do we know how we come off? Other
people do. But how do we gather, curate, and ultimately utilize these insights
and observations to improve?
Heidi Grant Halvorson, author HBR blogger recently wrote:
want to be more successful — at anything — than you are right now, you need to
know yourself and your skills. And when you fall short of your goals, you need
to know why. This should be no problem; after all, who knows you better than
If we are
going to ever improve, we need solid evidence about where we went wrong.
Unfortunately, that's the kind of evidence that usually doesn't make it to our
consciousness, making self-diagnosis practically impossible. And your own
ratings of your personality traits are NOT well correlated with the impressions
of other people (who know you well).”
We need help getting the right answers. This is not a DIY
That's why I have 360 degree evaluations everywhere I have led
teams. That's why I am such a big advocate of mentoring. You need to actively
seek, receive and digest, honest and
constructive feedback on a regular basis.
To get an accurate picture of you and the you, you want to be. You have
to learn how to see and hear yourself.
It is almost
impossible to see yourself, hear yourself, and understand yourself-by yourself.
The challenge is we get into a mode of talking and behaving where we are say and do comfortable things or
phrases that don’t connect us to the real world at that moment. We are not
present and self-aware. Our concentration and focus drifts so easily.
- I just saw a new and very young magician at the Magic Castle. Her
sleight of hand was fantastic, but her verbal routine was stilted, memorized
and robotic. She was not feeling the audience she was going through her lines.
For example, there was an audience member who was verbally reacting to almost
everything the magician said. But the magician ignored him, instead of using
him as a foil or engaging him. Technically her magic was terrific. But how does
she get feedback? Who tells her how she did? With a little more experience,
maybe a few video tapings, and some feedback will free her to see herself and
- I interviewed this guy and he was well spoken. Told his story
well. Answered my questions confidently but without any emotion or personality.
What do I mean? Without revealing himself. There were a number of micro clues
about his family, his volunteer work, and his passions, that I was collecting
during the conversation. So near the end of the interview, I asked, “What don’t
I know about you?” He stared me down for a mini eternity in silence and said,
“I think we are good.” Whoa! Now here is someone not able to adlib, veer from
the script, improvise, and get real. Here is someone who is not comfortable in
his own skin and not very self-aware. His script was excellent but his engagement
was horrible. I knew things about him he was not going to share with me! I always look for self-awareness and self-reflection in people I
- I have an employee who complained how unfair it is to provide the
360 degree reviews for staff outside his dept. "I really don't know what
she does. I mean I work with her from time to time but I am in no position to
evaluate her." I said to him, "Do you ever review restaurants, and their
service on Yelp? Do you recognize good service at a store? I know you are
observant and you can make quick accurate judgments and you are telling me you
can't review and evaluate one of your colleagues that you worked with for a
Each of us comes to very fast conclusions from the things we
observe, experience and encounter. We assign values, preferences, and judgments
to OTHERS. We rarely turn this amazing power on ourselves.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.
When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance,
without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by,
mindfulness means living in the moment and experiencing that moment. You hear yourself
talk. You see yourself act. You think
about the way you think.
Intelligence EQ is simply put: “.. the ability
to monitor one's and others feelings/emotions and understand them to guide your
behavior and actions.” Daniel Goleman
to Goleman there are 5 emotional competencies:
- Self-awareness (Knowledge
of one’s preferences and intuitions)
(Management of one’s states and impulses)
(Awareness of your emotional tendencies that guide goal attainment)
- Empathy (Awareness
of others feelings and needs)
- Social Skills (Skill
in inducing desirable behavior in others)
I am really focusing on #1, #4 and #5. How does the way you come
off genuinely represent you, the needs of others and results in something desirable?
Many sources out there to develop your EQ, your mindfulness. Meditation helps many. I like this post on Overcoming the Obstacles to Mindfulness.
Once self-aware you develop empathy for others and your ability to
lead your life and persuade others increases.
I See You. Do
You See You? If we are more mindful and share these thoughts we
can start to see ourselves. When we see ourselves we engage others in authentic
ways that reflect the time, the moment, the feelings of the others. Your EQ is high. That’s when
you make a connection. Not just a transaction for goods and services, but you connect. That’s when networking and mentoring pay off. When you
reveal yourself and reveal the needs of others. Then we help each other see our
truths, our true selves.