A recent Harvard Business Review article tells us the best way to cultivate self-awareness. We know that self-awareness is critical to leadership and self-development, yet new studies demonstrate the power and limitations of being self-aware.
The author explains, "introspection doesn't always improve self-awareness." When people focus on "why" ("Why did I do this?"), they might dwell too much on their fears and just reinforce the way they are. Instead, asking "what" questions ("What should I do next time to prevent this from happening again?"), encourages learning because it's more objective and focused on the future.
The author also identifies four self-awareness archetypes around our internal and our external self-awareness. Internal self-awareness is understanding our own values, passions, and aspirations, while external self-awareness is understanding how others view these aspects of ourselves.
- Which archetype best describes you? What are the advantages and drawbacks of this orientation?
- How does understanding your archetype help with team communications and teamwork?
- Do you find yourself asking more "why" or "what" questions when you spend time reflecting? How would you describe the potential danger of focusing on "why"?