In today’s post I take a look at self-awareness.
Some time ago I heard comments about me that troubled me because they weren’t true. I also heard people say that I thought I was better than others, had a reputation for getting things done, was overly critical, and didn’t toe the line. Some of these things disturbed me deeply. Whether they were true or not did not matter; why people thought these things did. I had to understand why they perceived me in a particular way. And I needed to change their perception.
I believe you make your day. You make your life. So much of it is all perception, and this is the form that I built for myself. I have to accept it and work within those compounds, and it’s up to me. – Brad Pitt
The self-aware leader asks questions and seek . And sometimes this means getting our feelings hurt. However, if we do this with the intent of from others we can understand how we are perceived, change those perceptions and become more effective leaders.
How we change a negative impression into a positive one is a matter of personal choice. Therefore, it’s really important to understand your personality type or temperament.
For instance, earlier I mentioned that some people said I thought I was better than others. This troubled me greatly until I learned that I gave this impression because I sometimes appeared aloof or disinterested. In fact, this perception had more to do with the fact that I am introverted—I draw my energy from my internal world of ideas, emotions, and impressions—rather than being self-centred. Knowing this meant I could deal with this negative perceptions in a positive way.
I’ve also learned to counter perceptions by breaking them. Do the opposite thing; even if this means stepping outside your comfort zone. If someone thinks you’re lazy, ask for more responsibilities or go the extra mile when doing something for your critics.
If they think you’re unprofessional understand why they think this way. Maybe you put your foot in your mouth a little too often. If that’s the case, think before you speak.
Comprehension often depends on prior expectations of what we want to see. Most likely you see the letter ‘B’ in the image. That’s because your expectations were set at the top of the page.
When people are told you are lazy and see you chatting by a water cooler they will perceive you as lazy. You need to change the way people view you.
So do something to evoke a different response!
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. – Warren Buffet
Above all, self-awareness means we make sure there is harmony between what we say and do. Let your deeds match your words and be aware of the effect you have on others.
Have Your Say
How do you change people’s perception of you? How do you handle negative feedback? Please join the discussion.