Recently I sat down with Jay Niblick, author of the best-selling book What’s Your Genius – How the Best Think for Success in the New Economy and the Owner of Innermetrix, Inc., to talk about the two significant concepts within
What Does Low Self-Awareness Really Mean – Can You Measure It?
In order to become more authentic you need to become more self-aware. It is sequential. You need increased self-awareness first. There are a variety of psychometric tools on the market that do a great job of measurement. We use the Attributes Index, DISC Index, and Values Index.
Understanding your self-awareness – what you’re great at and what you stink at – that’s the harder of the two skills to acquire. Once you know – are you brave enough to acknowledge that you will NOT be GREAT at X? Most people don’t think that way – so can you turn away from it?
Once You Understand Your Weaknesses, What Do You Then Do?
As a coach Warren, you know that you can help a client to understand that there are certain traits that can’t be turned around. So what can they do? I developed a concept and diagram – turning left and turning right. The lower performers who are less aware of their true natural talents – those who continually try to fix themselves – turn left. They try to change themselves to conform to the role.
The top performers on the other hand become more self-aware and don’t try to fix themselves – they get rid of their weaknesses by not relying on them. They turn right and fix the role to rely on their talents. They know what they suck at. The best performers are those that know their strengths and weaknesses. They seek to maximize their natural talents and minimize reliance on their non-talents.
There’s a great quote from Marshall Goldsmith, a highly accomplished and respected executive coach and author:
“I have lots of weaknesses. I just don’t do them and have no interest in correcting them.”
Accept the things you suck at – it’s unrealistic to try and fix it. Reduce your reliance on your weaknesses as much as possible. Once you are aware of your weaknesses, accept them, and go around them – don’t try to fix them – you can’t.
Why Do You Stress These Points So Much?
There’s a misconception amongst people that, with practice, you can reduce or eliminate your weaknesses. Remember the phrase: “Practice makes perfect?” Well, it does if you are focusing on improving your natural talents. It can’t work if you are focused on improving your non-talents – you simply can’t.
If you are aware of your weaknesses – understand that your success does not depend on your weakness. Instead of fixing them, accept them and go around them. Another misconception is that your job (or other primary role) is sacrosanct and you are sacrificial. That is, the role does not move, so you need to change.
Fix is favorite word – it requires a pre-supposition that you are broken to begin with. This is most often a societal, cultural, and organizational assumption (remember our discussion in the first article about “the one best way?”). There always will be things you suck at.
The key takeaway here is this: Those that perform better know what they suck at. 197,000 people affirmed this.
Warren, let me ask you, how many of your clients in the 5th Level Coaching Program thank you for giving them permission to say what they suck at? All the comments on my What’s Your Genius website say thank you! Why – because I gave them permission to acknowledge that they stink at something. Think about it. We get thanked for giving them permission to acknowledge this. How big a load is this off their shoulders to get it?
What Do You Recommend For Readers Who Want To Discover Their Genius?
It’s really simple – focus on maximizing your strengths. How do you do that? Look, it’s pretty clear that 50% of the general population is not aggressive or competitive. So, if you read a book will you become competitive? Is life a series of reading books to become aggressive? Did that work for you? Top performers know they are not – so they don’t try.
There are two paths to authenticity. We could suggest the Drucker way, management by objectives – you have to deliver so many sales, how you go about that is up to you, we’ll give you lots of latitude to change the way you sell – with or without permission. You get to figure it out – you turn right and change the job.
The second way is get a new job. If you know you can’t get the talents, you can’t change, and then you find a new role either in the company or another company.
First step; however, is to understand what you’re great at – and what you suck at. Consider taking a psychometric assessment. As I mentioned before, there are a lot of great assessments out there – Kolbe, MBTI, DISC, Values, Attributes Index, etc. I’ve tried a lot of them. The key is to become more aware first.
Is there one more suggestion you would like to make?
Sure. Warren, you’ve been my Director of Coaching Programs at Innermetrix for several years and have certified a number of coaches as 5th Level Coaches as well as coached clients using the 5th Level methodology. If I can, I’d just like to emphasize that we developed and offer this coaching program to anyone who wants to become more self-aware and authentic.
You see, no pun intended, but everyone can be a genius at something. And they should try to find that genius within.
As people move through the evolutions in the program they become more self-aware. And then they get to make a choice – they can choose to turn right – and take a path to modify their role and become more authentic – they discover their genius. Very few want to stay the same.
Jay thanks for taking the time to talk to our readers at TweakYourBiz about self-awareness and authenticity. I’ll follow up on your suggestion by offering an opportunity to any reader to take a free DISC assessment. We’ve included some handy tips to better interpret their results and help you improve their self-awareness.