How Well Do You Know Yourself?
How Well Do You Know Yourself?
Here’s One Leadership Quality You Can’t Afford to Miss!
Recently I discovered an article dealing with a leadership quality that’s seldom talked about, yet is one of the best indicators of a leader’s success potential.
That quality is self-awareness.
The author of the article, Victor Lipman, was making the case that soft values, like self-awareness, actually drive concrete results and are accurate predictors of a leader’s future progress.
Self-awareness is simply a conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires. If grasped and embraced, it has the potential to propel to new heights, safeguard from unnecessary blunders and strengthen relationships.
If ignored or rejected, it can derail even the best, most skilled and prepared leaders.
In his article Lipman cited a study conducted by The Green Peak Group in which they offered the following suggestion to companies and their investors:
“Companies and their investors need to put more effort into evaluating the interpersonal strengths of potential leaders. They should focus more on how a leadership candidate does the work, and not focus exclusively on what he or she has done...There are limits to the degree to which an individual can improve his or her basic ability to interact well with others. This means that focusing on interpersonal skills when selecting the right candidate becomes critical.”
Why Is Accurate Self-Awareness so Critical?
Business Harvard Review published a study, conducted on 58 teams and more than 300 leaders, that measured the extent to which accurate self-awareness was related to a team’s effectiveness. What the researchers found was really telling:
“First, when individuals were less self-aware (i.e., there was a large gap between the assessments of their own behavioral contributions and the assessments of their team members), the teams substantially suffered. In fact, teams with less self-aware individuals made worse decisions, engaged in less coordination, and showed less conflict management. These findings held even when we controlled for teams’ overall levels of teamwork.
“Second, the most damaging situation occurred when teams were comprised of significant over-raters (i.e., individuals who thought they were contributing more than their team members thought they were). Just being surrounded by teammates of low self-awareness (or a bunch of over-raters) cut the chances of team success in half.”
It appears that just as accurate self-awareness can have a positive impact on our teams, families and relationships, inaccurate or poor self-awareness can have a very disruptive impact in these same areas.
How to Become Self-Aware
Self-awareness doesn’t just happen. It’s likely most of us have some inaccurate ideas about the way we were naturally designed by our Father. Those inaccurate perceptions may stem from:
- Wanting to be someone we are not (envy).
- Perceiving some personality types and styles as “better than” or “worse than” others.
- Assuming that if we hold a certain position or title we must, by default, possess certain personality traits.
Here is a short list of what you and I can do to overcome those key obstacles and develop accurate self-awareness:
1.You Are Not An Accident
God’s Word tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. It tells us that our Father designed us on purpose and for a purpose. This knowledge alone should give us comfort especially in times when we are tempted to envy someone else’s personality traits.
Multiple assessment tools are available to help us understand our unique personality type. If you have never taken such an assessment, or if it has been a while, you definitely should do it. At Lead Like Jesus we offer an incredible assessment tool called Biblical DISC. Biblical DISC is based on the most widely used behavioral model of human behavior plus over 30 years of biblical research by Ken Vogues, who traced numerous biblical characters to show us their unique DISC personality traits. Biblical DISC also helps us understand how Jesus, knowing the unique design of everyone He came in contact with, used that knowledge to lead and influence every person based on his or her unique design and needs.
3.Self-Assessment + Track Record
Any time we use self-assessment tools, like Biblical DISC, it’s always a good idea to look at our past performance to see if our actions, behaviors and results tell the same story.
Because we have a tendency to overemphasize the positives and downplay or even ignore the negatives, we must be completely honest and open when we conduct a self-assessment. A truly objective review of our past track record and relationships is essential for accurate and useful results.
4.A 360-degree Review
One way to gage the accuracy of our self-perception is to ask others for feedback. A 360-degree assessment allows those you work with, your family members or close friends to answer a series of questions that will reveal how they perceive you.
Jesus Knew Himself
I know I’m probably stating the obvious, but Jesus, the greatest leader role model, often spoke about His identity in very concrete terms. From the Scriptures we see that Jesus never wavered or second-guessed who He was. And by human standards His position was not all that glamorous.
In Isaiah 53:2, we are told that Jesus was not physically attractive:
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Matthew 8:20 tells us that Jesus was content with living on the lower end of the economic spectrum: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
In Matthew 11:29, Jesus tells us He is “gentle and humble in heart.”
In John 3:18, He tells us He is “the light of the world,” and in John 10:10 He calls Himself “the good shepherd.”
In John 6:35, He says that “whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
And finally, in Luke 24:36, Jesus is clear that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him.
Jesus knew whose He was, who He was and the purpose for which His Father sent Him.
It’s All about Relationships
The reason why accurate self-awareness is so important is because it affects all of our relationships. Our distinct personalities impact the way we experience conflict, solve problems, communicate and so much more! A clear understanding of ourselves and those around us ultimately helps us to love others better.
Understanding our behavioral patterns allows us to leverage our God-given strengths and improve our natural weaknesses. It also provides extra insight into how other people were created, which gives us opportunity to better lead and minister to them.
If you are looking for help getting started, consider Lead Like Jesus’ Biblical DISC Assessment. It’s a great tool for individuals, couples, parents and children, and it’s a valuable resource for teams and peer-to-peer collaboration.
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