In a recent study by Harvard Business Review they found out that “In our nearly five-year research program on the subject, we’ve discovered that although 95% of people think they’re self-aware, only 10 to 15% actually are”. If this is true then, all of us will be working and socialising with people like this. But does this really matter? Well, we think it does matter, and so do several well-known scholars and authors like Daniel Goleman who is well known for his work in Emotional Intelligence.
The truth is without self-awareness it is difficult for anything to change, whether it is within our self or another person, because we don’t know what we don’t know right?
So how do we support someone who has low self-awareness?
Interestingly in the same research with Harvard Business Review – for those people that tried to help others in the low self-awareness category, they only had limited success (31% success rate to help people change). Why is this? Well, some people don’t feel like they need to or want to change. One of our team members worked with a formidable character once, who was also a bully. This person was very self-aware, but simply didn’t want to change. In this situation she realised the only thing she could do was change herself. This is one thing we all have personal power over, and we can change our responses, our behaviours.
Of course, if we are a manager and we have a team member that isn’t self-aware, we can try and support them. Simply by giving good quality and well-timed feedback, we can make a big difference.
We can also remember that it is easy to make judgements about others and we must really challenge ourselves to not keep judging others and falling into the same patterns of thinking and behaviour about the person in question. The bottom line is we will always come across others with differing levels of self-awareness, but let’s keep focusing on our own self-awareness as a priority, that is where our power lies and we may just inspire others on our journey of self-discovery.
At Pro-Development we love this kind of work. If you would like to hear more about the work we do, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01904 628838.