Here is a question I got from a person from Amazon on my book Social Wealth.He is asking what other things he could do to have more business success (that includes building better business relationships) The key is self-awareness through pattern recognition. Let me explain why.
Your level of self-awareness is either equal to or greater than your social awareness.
That means if you have low self-awareness your ability to lead and manage others will be very poor. Well, studies find that only 10% of people are actually self-aware. I believe that number is actually high.
I’m sharing our (abridged) conversation below.
Here is the key takeaway (if you don’t time to read the conversation):
Rapid behavioral change comes down to pattern recognition – connecting the pattern with the payoff.
Once you see a pattern, you then can figure out the best course of action(s). And your more committed to taking action because you realize you are not “broken.” You are not a bad person. You’ve just done something for so long it’s apart of who you are.
It’s about connecting your past history with your current behavior. Often times what benefitted you in the past no longer serves you now.
For example, if you grew up in a household of six kids and had to talk over others to be heard, it’s no wonder you are a poor listener. Your payoff was talking over others got mommy and daddy to listen to me. You learned that not listening benefitted you. But now not listening is hurting your productivity and leadership of your team so you have to change.
Obviously, listening is a key component of building great relationships. But you’ve got to make that linkage to create the behavioral change.
Here in lies the big challenge: If your self-awareness is low, you will miss-read the external patterns consistently even though you will believe the opposite.
Experience doesn’t change our brain’s wiring near as fast or as much as understanding the patterns that sabotage our success.
Nikolay: Thanks for the link to the team building game. Are there other Social Wealth Tools, Processes or Mindsets I need to know about?
Me: This is a good article. The article is from Harvard Business Review’s Januar 2018 on self- a
nd social-social awareness.
“In 10 separate investigations with nearly 5,000 participants, we examined what self-awareness really is, why we need it, and how we can increase it.
Our research revealed many surprising roadblocks, myths, and truths about what self-awareness is and what it takes to improve it. We’ve found that even though most people believe they are self-aware, self-awareness is a truly rare quality: We estimate that only 10%–15% of the people we studied actually fit the criteria.”
The biggest challenge to building relationships, personally and professionally, is our own blind spots and patterns that sabotage our success. Cultivating your own self-awareness is the single best thing you can do.
Nikolay: Thanks for the great article Jason. So building social skills is not only understanding other people but also understanding yourself on a deeper level. That also means self-awareness is key.
Here is a brief and reliable assessment / test to measure how empathetic you are: Toronto Empathy Questionaire.
“Empathy is an important component of social cognition that contributes to our ability to understand and respond adaptively to others’ emotions, succeed in emotional communication, and promote prosocial behavior.”
It’s a key leadership and management skill set to master.
Here is a sample set of the questions. Click here to take the test.
When someone else is feeling excited, I tend to get excited too
Other people’s misfortunes do not disturb me a great deal
It upsets me to see someone being treated disrespectfully
I remain unaffected when someone close to me is happy
I enjoy making other people feel better
I have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me
When a friend starts to talk about his\her problems, I try to steer the conversation towards something else
I can tell when others are sad even when they do not say anything
I find that I am “in tune” with other people’s moods
I do not feel sympathy for people who cause their own serious illnesses
How did you score?
Your brain is wired for survival, not to make you happy. It’s designed to question everything and be negative.
So negative self-talk is natural and we all do it because its purpose is to keep us safe from harm. But negative self-talk, left unchecked, can leave you feeling as though you aren’t enough, and exacerbate comparison and perfectionism. This can be crippling for your business and career success (and your personal life as well).
It may be subtle, but a negative core belief will have a serious impact on your success and fulfillment in business and life.
Awareness is the first and vital step.
Become aware that this self-talk is going on. Be aware, too, that you are constantly telling yourself something.
You are constantly creating the life you are living right now. You are constantly telling yourself a story. You are constantly thinking about your story. You may even be telling others your story when you complain to them about your life.
If you struggle with negative thoughts and self-sabotage, I recommend checking out The Dialectical Skills Behavior Workbook. It has excellent exercises and techniques to help get around mental challenges and roadblocks.
Do You Want to Be Right or Happy?
My dad only saw the world as black and white. He had to be right at all costs. He’d argue it was raining outside even if it was sunny, and try to get you to agree with him. He was stubborn and bullheaded.
That was his way. He alienated his family, friends, co-workers and boss.
Ultimately, he ended up being alone and dying alone.
He ended up being right, but he wasn’t happy.
Do you know anyone like that in your life? What’s the cost for them?
I share this message with almost every one of my clients because at some point they refuse to take into consideration that they may be wrong. They shut down and refuse to listen to other points of view.
Many leaders rather fight, argue and steamroll over people to get their way no matter the cost. They are so certain of their stance on an issue, they refuse to see the other side. Or even if they listen, they’ve already have made their mind up.
They alienate people in the process, and that type of leadership kills teamwork. You also hurt performance, retention, creativity, problem-solving and so much more.
When you lead with fear and a whip, do you think that brings out the best in people? Do you think they are more engaged? Do you think they will come to you with problems and suggested solutions?
The answer is obviously NO!
The skills you should use here is listening and empathy. Seek to understand the other person and the overall situation.
Why is the other person taking the position they are? What information do they have? What are they feeling? What’s their payoff or what are they trying to gain? Is there common ground to meet in the middle? If you have to push your agenda, how can you make the other person feel better about the situation?
These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself.
Because you’ll win the battle, but lose the war.
You’ll have a lot more stress, problems, and distractions that go along with it.
It’s a sure-fire recipe to lower your key metrics, get people to leave the organization and decrease engagement.
Seek to understand and listen first. You’ll see everything in your organization improve almost instantly.
So…do you want to be right or happy?