In my continuing series on emotional intelligence this blog addresses self perception.
When thinking of self perception many will err on the side of an inflated or deflated view of self. According to C.S. Lewis, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” Self perception is being honest about our skills, talents, strengths and weaknesses.
The Self Perception composite is made up of three elements:
- Self-regard: opinion of self
- Self actualization: sets goals, knows current state of these goals and what needs to be done to get better
- Emotional self-awareness: know how they feel and why
Another term that might be used to define self perception is self awareness. “This realm of emotional intelligence concerns what we generally refer to as ‘the inner-self.’ It determines how in touch you are with your feelings, how good you feel about yourself and about what you’re doing in life. Success in this area means that you are aware of your feelings, feel strong, and have confidence in pursuing your life goals.”*
How To Improve Self perception
We gain self awareness through objective feedback. If you have been fortunate in your employment; or, have a close friend, these people can sometimes provide the objectivity required for improvement. There are also a variety of tools that lead us to understand self but knowledge can be quite different than wisdom, which is the very thing that would seem to define self awareness.
All that said, personality testing and strengths testing are very productive tools in understanding or confirming self. However, this is only the beginning. Even if someone identifies as an introvert there are times when the introvert must be flexible if they are to experience success in many work environments. As a coach I would not expect a client to be something they are not. In this example, more of an extrovert. I would explore how the client might develop some part of their EQ that would help them in this environment. For example, assertiveness and flexibility may be areas that a person might address.
Those competent in self-perception understand and generally feel good about themselves. They understand how their feelings and actions impact those around them. As important as these two areas they know their goals and are busy working their plan.
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low and 10 being high) how would you define your self-awareness? Perhaps a better question might be, is it possible to rate our own self-awareness?
About the author: Creed is an accomplished leader and Professional Certified Coach motivated by a passionate drive to help individuals and organizations reclaim their clarity for personal achievement and organizational effectiveness.
*Source: The EQ Edge, Third Edition, Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book