Build Self-Awareness with Help from Your Team

By Harvard Business Review
September 12, 2018

Think of how much faster you could address the unintended consequences of your actions if you were surrounded by people motivated to give you useful feedback. Here are five tips to get you started.

On the best teams, teammates are not only willing to provide feedback to each other, but they are required to do so.

To build greater self-awareness, work to build a personal network filled with people who trust you, support you and challenge you to be your best. Surround yourself with people who will speak their truth, even when it’s hard. And then listen. When you do, you will see an amazingly positive impact.

To get there, try these five tips:

Assume positive intent: Give your teammates the benefit of the doubt. Assume they are providing feedback not to judge you but to make you better.

Talk to your teammates — not about them: You can’t solve problems with gossip. It takes courage, but talking directly and respectfully with your teammates when something goes wrong can solve many misunderstandings.

Take an interest in your teammates’ success: Ask questions about their concerns, know their goals, and be a good listener and collaborator.

Push your teammates to do their best work and vice versa: Help your teammates reach their goals and make sure your colleagues continue to challenge you.

Ask for personal feedback: Before offering feedback yourself, ask your teammates what you could do to better support their success. Ask peers for suggestions on one behavior you could work on to become a better teammate. Give permission for teammates to share their feedback by asking for it regularly and listening openly.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

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