Do Managers Know How Others See Them?

Do you know how others see you?
Do you know how others see you?
Image Credit: Gary Lund

Just exactly how self-aware are you? Do you think that you see yourself the way that other people see you? Sadly, it turns out that most of us don’t have the manager skills to be as self-aware as we think that we are. What this all means is that if we were able to find a way to become more self-aware, then we’d be in a better position to understand how and why people treat us the way that they do. How can we make this happen?

What Does It Mean To Be Self-Aware?

So what does it mean to be self aware? In short, if you have a high degree of self-awareness then it means that you see yourself as other see you and you see how you fit into the world. The benefits of having more self-awareness is that you will be able to make better decisions and will end up being more successful. As a bonus, people who are self-aware are less likely to lie, cheat or steal. Oh, and you will have healthier relationships.

When it comes to self-awareness, all of us fall into one of three different categories. The first of these categories are those of us who underestimate just how much self-awareness that we have (researchers call these people “underraters”), those of us who overestimate how much we have (“overraters”), and those who get it just right. People who are unerraters spend their time beating themselves up for no good reason. Those who are overraters think that they are doing everything perfectly. Clearly, a manager needs to have the manager training needed to obtain good self-awareness in order to be successful.

There are actually two different types of self-awareness. The first is called internal self-awareness. This type is introspective. It occurs when we know ourselves very well. The other type, external self-awareness, happens when we are able to correctly understand how others are seeing us. Where things tend to get interesting is when we realize that we can be very good at one type of self-awareness and not the other.

How Can We Become More Self-Aware?

The big challenge that managers are facing is that we don’t do a good enough job of understanding how other people view us. We need to find ways to improve our external self-awareness. We do have options. We can try therapy or we could even try keeping a journal to record how we think people are viewing us. However, in the end both of these methods just end up in allow us to take a peek at our world though our own eyes.

If we want to get a better view of how other people view us, then we need to be careful to pick the right person to get feedback from. You will probably want to stay away from a best friend, a spouse, or even a family member. They have a motive to try to please you. Additionally, if it turns out that you don’t like what they tell you, you could end up damaging the relationship. What you are probably going to want to do is to pick someone who is more removed from you. You’ll also want to pick someone who has had an opportunity to see you in the right context such as work.

If you want to become more self-aware, then you are going to have to get specific. The key question that you are trying to get an answer to is just exactly how do you want to be viewed by others? When you go to someone else to get feedback in order to become more self-aware, you need to understand that you may discover things that either you don’t want to hear right now or that you are not prepared to work on correcting. In order to answer this question, you are going to have to spend some time by yourself reflecting on what you’d like to learn.

What All Of This Means For You

In order to successfully manage a team, you are going to have to understand how other people see you. This means that you need to become self-aware. We are all self-aware to some extend; however, often we are not as self-aware as we need to be. If we want to understand why the people that we interact with treat us the way that they do during an average day and while we are engaged in team building, we need to become more self-aware.

Self-awareness means that we understand how the world sees us and how we fit into the world. Being more self-aware allows us to do more things and do them better. There are three levels of self-awareness: too little, just right, and too much. There are also two types of self-awareness: internal and external. If we try to work on improving our external self-awareness by ourselves, then we’ll just end up seeing ourselves through our own eyes. If instead, we seek help from someone else, then we need to be careful to choose someone who is not too close to us. We’ll also have to be very specific about what we want to learn in order to become more self-aware.

A manager who is self-aware has the potential to do a good job of managing his or her team. However, in order to truly become self-aware we need to work with others in order to find out how they view us. Taking the time to boost our external self-awareness can only help us to become more aware of the world that we live in.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you should ask someone for a lot or a little feedback when you are trying to become more self-aware?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As a manager, you are responsible for a team of professions. You’d like to think that each of the members of your team would always be doing everything that they can to move the team forward and to make the company be more successful. However, it turns out that at times you may use your manager skills to discover that you have a bad employee on your team. Before you can take action, you have to first detect that they are there. The question that you have to be able to answer that you won’t be learning in any manager training is how can a manager detect when they have a bad employee?