By the time we’ve been in the workforce a couple years, most of us begin to get solicited and unsolicited feedback on our personal behavior. Sometimes it’s painful, but sometimes it’s wonderful. Recently, I chuckled over the fact that when one Gen-Yer left a firm to go to another, he heard some marvelous words: he was being referred to as the “golden boy.” That was great for his ego, especially since he was unaware of how many of his colleagues from his last firm saw him.
That experience, however, illustrates a very important point. Very few of us have a rich understanding of self-awareness. Instead, it’s a chimera: a fantasy, built on delusion or just plain ignorance. Yet, self-awareness colors all the messages we send, profoundly affecting the conversations and the way we communicate with others.
The obvious implication of this is that the more self-awareness, the better we’re able to send effective messages and engage in successful conversations. In short, our needs, which are the bricks and mortar of self-awareness, are inevitably front and center in our awareness. So it’s safe to say