Tasha Eurich, the author of Insight, writes in her book that self-awareness is a meta-skill for success. Self-awareness, according to Eurich's research, has many beneficial effects:
As you can see, self-awareness is a critical skill for success in just about everything. However, most people don't put a lot of importance to this skill especially when they are developing relationships or looking for a job. I think it would save them a lot of grief later if they focused on self-awareness, so they don't end up wasting a lot of time, energy, and money. The reason to be attuned to this skill is simple. It is hard to become self-aware if you aren't.
Soft skills like self-awareness are not "soft," they are very hard. It is also very hard to detect someone's soft skills if you are not good at identifying what that even looks like. For example, have you ever seen a person who is not self-aware able to make a change? It is rare and has taken that person who was able to change a very long time.
In this post, I focus on looking at self-awareness when you are interviewing for a job. We spend so much time in this endeavor, so it is important to know how self-aware people are whom you may end up working with. And also determine whether the organization overall is self-aware. The only way to find out is to ask three simple questions during the interview.
I have modified three questions that Eurich uses when she is conducting a Team Candor Challenge at workshops with corporate clients. You can ask these three questions to get a good idea of the self-awareness quotient of an individual and the organization.
1) What does each of your team members do that contribute to the team's success?
2) What behavior could each person change that would make the team more successful?
3) What do I need to do to make the team successful?
Assuming that you determine that people and the organization are self-aware, you still have to keep working on it from the day you start work. If you do, you will not only enjoy your work but enjoy being around your team. You will find that a cohesive team is usually highly self-aware. It is a lot of work, but without developing and mastering this skill, you will find life hard and work even harder.
Jay Oza is an author, speaker, executive coach. He makes people thrive on high stakes stage whether it's for a job interview, a sales presentation or a high-stakes speech. He is the author of a practical book Winning Speech Moments: How to Achieve Your Objective with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. Please download the speech checklist that you can use to help you with your next high stakes speech.
Please contact him if you would like to have a two 75 minute coaching session on job interviewing or high-stakes speaking or interested in inviting him to give a talk on job Interviewing or high-stakes speaking. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.