Enhancing Self-Awareness

In our last post, we commented on the importance of making transitions The as part of successful leadership development.  This post is dedicated to the second of four patterns that successful leaders follow: Enhancing self-awareness.

A 2007 Business Week poll found that 90% of managers thought they were in the top 10% of performers.  I guess the other 10% had low self-esteem and only thought they were in the top 20% of performers.  How could 90% of managers think that they are among the top 10%?  Well for one, we know that most companies’ performance management systems don’t help.  Work performance, like anything else, falls along the bell-shaped curve.  But look at the results on almost any company’s performance review ratings and you will see the scores have an upward bias.  It is the Lake Woebegone effect where everyone is above average.  We saw from the last post that most managers are not skilled in confronting direct reports or developing direct reports, so it should come as no surprise that leaders have a very distorted view of their contribution. cheap mlb jerseys  Now, we can’t blame this entirely on poor performance management.

As we know from psychology studies, humans in general have a strong bias to rate themselves more positively in comparison with their peers.  In a fascinating article, “Flawed Self-Assessments,” by Dunning, Heath, and Suls (2004), the authors explore study after study where individuals rate themselves extremely favorably versus others in their peer group.  The authors state, “People overestimate themselves. They hold overinflated views of their expertise, skill, and character.  That is, when one compares what people kontaktu say wholesale NBA jerseys about themselves against objective markers, is or even against what might be possible, one finds that the claims people make about themselves are too good to be Making true.  This bias toward undue optimism, self-aggrandizement, and overconfidence is exhibited in many ways.”

Some statistics quoted by various studies include:

“In a survey of nearly one million high school seniors, 70% stated that they had above average leadership skills, but only 2 % felt their leadership skills were below average.” (College Board, 1976–1977)

“Motorcyclists believe they are less likely to cause an accident than is the typical biker” (Rutter, Quine, &Albery, 1998).

“Business leaders believe their company is more likely to succeed than is the average firm in their industry” (Cooper, Woo, & Dunkelberg, 1988; Larwood & Whittaker, 1977).

And my выпуск all-time favorite, “Ironically, people even state that they are more likely than their peers to provide accurate self-assessments that are uncontaminated by bias”
(Friedrich, 1996; Pronin, Lin, & Ross, 2002).

Research by Korn/Ferry-Lominger found that on 360-feedback, self is the least accurate assessor of self.  We agree more with others about our strengths than our weaknesses and are worst at is assessing interpersonal impact.

Lack of self-awareness can be very career limiting.  Without it, strengths tend to get overused, which can cause a host of problems and issues.  For example, have you seen someone who overuses intellectual horsepower and drive for results? wholesale NBA jerseys  They tend to bully people intellectually and leave a lot of dead bodies in their wake.  To them, they just see it as having the right answer and moving the company toward the desired result.  What they don’t see is the high turnover and low morale, so low self-awareness can lead to derailment from the overuse of certain competencies or the development of stallers and stoppers.

Those who are high in self-awareness know their strengths and weaknesses.  They play to wholesale jerseys their strengths without overusing them and either work on or work around their flat spots.  Self-awareness is also a key component of being learning agile, which we will explore in a future post.

About David Weller

As a Principal at Leadership Alliance, David has been helping organizations in a wide array of industries with the selection and development of high-caliber employees for over 20 years.
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