If you’ve ever worked with someone with a bad self image, you know how true this is.  When we’re not ok with ourselves, we’re can’t build great relationships with others.

I once worked for a senior leader whose poor and wrong self- image drove him to think he had to be better than everyone else. He could not compliment anyone else without feeling like he was diminished somehow by doing it.  He never acknowledged that he was wrong about ANYthing.  His communications were bizarre, crafted so politically that they were meaningless, confusing and received as nothing but ‘CYA’ or some attempt  impress?  We never did know.   Though he had many great and admirable traits, he wasn’t really respected because no one ever  got to know who he really was. That included him!  He was blind to himself and to the impact of his interpersonal  behavior and personality on others and on situations. And he didn’t understand others different than himself. He inadvertently  created staff tension, mistrust  and an overall unhealthy work climate. We had trouble attracting people to our division and good people often moved on.

People in leadership roles – business leaders,teachers, parents, bosses – possessing a  healthy self image effectively  influence, persuade, motivate, challenge, encourage  and develop others.  Those without a healthy self- image create situations like I just described.

Becoming self aware is the first step to developing a healthy self image.

That requires gaining an understanding of yourself.  I am an Evangelista  for people, especially leaders and influencers, to make gaining  self -awareness a bucket list priority.  We can’t help others or make our best decisions when we are blind to unconscious factors that influence and limit our decisions.

If my old boss had undergone assessment and embraced what he learned (“what are my values and beliefs and preferences and how do they influence how I see things, manage others, hear and communicate with others ?”) he would have had greater interpersonal success, overcome ‘stinkin thinkin’ thoughts that haunted him and drove arbitrary behavior.  We needed that from him.

Like many he felt interpersonal and behavioral assessment would “put him in a box” so he avoided it.  The truth is, he was  in a self imposed box of ignorance about himself and it was not working for him at work or at home.

Don’t let lack of self and other awareness result in unsatisfactory relationships.

You owe it to yourself and those who rely on you to make your best decisions, provide your best counsel, select and build compatible and high performing teams.

Leave a Reply