Recently, I invited a group of colleagues* to discuss the book, Insight, by Tasha Eurich. Here is what I gleaned from the dialogue.
Insight #1: The definition of self-awareness
While this might seem fairly basic, I share it because I had a limited understanding of self-awareness until I read Dr. Eurich’s definition. I understood self-awareness to be how cognizant I was of my own preferences and tendencies. And that part is certainly true, but Dr. Eurich’s definition provided a broader perspective. It’s not just how well I know myself; it also includes knowledge about how others see me and how I fit into the world.
Her full definition: the ability to see ourselves clearly – to understand how we are, how others see us, and how we fit into the world.
Related to this insight is the fact that people with the least self-awareness are also apt to possess the highest levels of confidence, reflecting a big gap in perception and reality for most people. Research continues to show that, in general, we are horrible at self-evaluation. We think we are better drivers, better workers, better friends, and better partners than we really are. This is downright scary.
Insight #2: There are 3 categories of delusional people
Dr. Eurich outlines three categories of people in terms of self-awareness:
- Lost Causes
- Aware, Don’t Care
We’ve all experienced each of the different categories of people, and it was helpful to have common descriptors of each. Lost causes are just not willing or able to understand any perspective other than their own. Until they are motivated to be open to a different perspective, there is little value in attempting to increase awareness. Aware, don’t care individuals are fully aware of their impact on others, but they view the means as a justification to the end. They know they come across as arrogant and condescending; they just aren’t concerned with what others think of their methods, particularly if they produce financial results. Saying something along the lines of, “that’s just the way I am” exemplifies this category of person. And finally, nudgeables are the people who want to improve, they just don’t know how. This category of people offers the greatest opportunity for increasing self-awareness.
Insight #3: The CEO disease
It’s called the CEO disease, but it applies to anyone with a management role. Basically, it says that the higher you are in the organization in terms of title/level/influence, the less likely you are to be self-aware. And not only that, it’s less and less likely that your colleagues are willing to provide challenging feedback. Dr. Eurich provides a framework to combat this natural tendency, and also offers a resounding reason why this is important: usually the people around us can see what we cannot.
Perhaps my favorite part of the book is the volume of appendices included to help the reader put knowledge garnered in the book into action.
Are you motivated to be more self-aware?
*Thank you to this amazing group of people who helped make this nerd’s dream come true! That fact that you voluntarily participated in a book discussion warms my heart!
Interested in participating in the next book discussion? Contact me below.