Dr. Tasha Eurich (2019) in her research, differentiates between internal and external self-awareness.
Internal self-awareness can be cultivated through:
- Daily reflection
- Compassionate inquiry into past events
External self-awareness can be cultivated through:
- Asking for (and being open to) feedback from others in different areas of your life.
While gathering external data we have to bear in mind that the other person is seeing you through their own lens, so it is not objective. Of course, this is also true when you do your internal self-reflection, but let’s stick with external for now.
- Be mindful of who you ask for feedback from – choose someone who will be honest and kind if you can.
- Choose a specific topic to be curious about rather than everything at once. For example, I want to learn if my communication style with my peers is effective and motivating.
- Write down your thoughts about the topic e.g. ‘My communication style is effective, and my peers feel motivated.’ ‘I am warm and friendly in my communication style’ ‘I listen to others’.
- Think about comments people have made about you in the past. Do they align with your thoughts above?
- Are you getting the responses you would expect if your thoughts were accurate?
- Ask someone you can trust for feedback around your strengths and weaknesses in the area you would like to improve in.
What helps you feel brave enough to ask for feedback? What is one thing you learned about yourself when you received feedback that was REALLY helpful? Share your experiences in the comments if it feels safe to do so.
Reference: Eurich, T. (2019). What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It). [online] Harvard Business Review. Available here