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Self-awareness: How We Know about Ourselves?

Thursday, July 2, 2020
Author: Business Consultants, Inc.

Self-awareness: How We Know about Ourselves?

Self awareness is a complex finding that is based on two different, sometimes contradicting sources for this awareness. The first is the "self" itself. One knows about him/herself mainly through his own perspective about him/herself.

While this is considered as a kind of subjective source for self awareness, as it implies some of biases that may deviate a lot of our understanding. The second source is the other people around.

Self-awareness isn’t one truth. It’s a delicate balance of two distinct, even competing, viewpoints. This creates two types of self-awareness.

Types of self-awareness:

  1. Internal self-awareness, represents how clearly we see our own values, passions, aspirations, fit with our environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others
  2. External self-awareness: means understanding how other people view us, in terms of those same factors listed above

It’s easy to assume that being high on one type of awareness would mean being high on the other. But research has found virtually no relationship between them. As a result, we identify four leadership archetypes, each with a different set of opportunities to improve.

The Four Self Awareness Archetypes*

  Low External Self Awareness High External Self Awareness
High Internal Self-Awareness Introspectors:
They are clear on who they are but don’t challenge their own views or search for blind spots by getting feedback from others. This can harm their relationships and limit their success.
They know who they are, what they want to accomplish, and seek out and value others’ opinions. This is where employees begin to fully realize the true benefits of self-awareness.
Low Internal Self-Awareness Seekers:
They don’t yet know who they are, what they stand for, or how their teams see them. As a result, they might feel stuck or frustrated with their performance and relationships.
They can be so focused on appearing a certain way to others that they could be overlooking what matters to them. Over time, they tend to make choices that aren’t in service of their own success and fulfillment.

*Tasha Eurich: What Self-Awareness Really Is, Harvard Business Reviews


For more about this topic, download our latest book "Towards a Self-aware Organization" for FREE:

E-Book: Towards a Self-aware Organization

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