The term “self-awareness” is often thrown around in regard to personal and professional development. However, do we really understand what self-awareness is, and more importantly, how it relates to individual development?
In a Harvard Business Review article, Dr. Erich Dierdorff and Dr. Robert Rubin, Associate Professors of Management in the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University, define self-awareness as “the understanding of who we are and how we are similar to or different from others.”
Many training and development programs utilize assessments, such as the MBTI, DiSC, and The Birkman Method, to discover participants’ personality profile and preferences. While such methods can be effective in increasing self-knowledge, they do little to make you a more effective team member or leader. In order to become a more effective team member or leader, you need accurate self-awareness.
Let’s delve deeper into accurate self-awareness and its importance in determining team and individual success. We’ll also discuss how CapsimInbox, a simulation-based assessment, improves accurate self-awareness in less than 60 minutes.
If you’re not familiar with CapsimInbox, learn more here.
Accurate self-awareness has two components:
Organizations spend valuable resources on assessments that only focus on the first component. However, to possess accurate self-awareness that can be used for meaningful development, we must consider any differences between our self-view and external evaluations. These external evaluations can include how other people see us or data-driven assessments.
Differences between our self-knowledge and external evaluations arise because we are poor judges of our own abilities. As Dr. Dierdorff and Dr. Rubin point out, “My self-reported profile may suggest that I see myself as a persuasive speaker – but tell that to the audience who just fell asleep.”
Self-knowledge lacking comparison to external evaluations often reinforces inaccurate perceptions of ourselves, which can be harmful to personal and professional development.
A study conducted at a Fortune 10 company with 58 teams and more than 300 leaders found that team performance declined when individuals were less self-aware. Less-aware individuals negatively impacted their teams by consistently making worse decisions, engaging in less coordination, and showing less conflict management abilities.
The same study also revealed the most damaging situations occurred when teams were comprised of over-raters, or individuals who over-valued their contribution to the team. According to the study, “being surrounded by teammates of low self-awareness (or a bunch of over-raters) cut the chances of team success in half.” Please refer to the following graph to analyze specific results from the study.
Like mentioned before, companies tend to focus on the first component of self-awareness and ignore the second component. To avoid this mistake, and to guide individuals toward the accurate self-awareness needed to become a more effective team member or leader, consider using the following three tactics:
CapsimInbox utilizes all three of these tactics and incorporates both components of accurate self-awareness to effectively assess and develop self-awareness by:
These objective scores allow participants to recognize gaps and inconsistencies in their self-view to facilitate feedback interpretation and subsequent development. CapsimInbox also encourages participants to consider external input, like friends and colleagues, as part of measuring progress in their Individual Development Plan (IDP) and S.M.A.R.T goals. This provides the external feedback needed for accurate self-awareness.
It’s time for organizations to focus on effective self-awareness development methods. It can make all the difference between individual or organizational success and failure. If you would like to learn more about CapsimInbox and its ability to nurture soft skills development, click here. You can also fill out the form below to request a demo.