Wellbeing / Business values

Increasing self awareness by sharing faults

Increasing self awareness is one of my key themes and this week I explore it further by asking you to share the dark side of your personality.

28 September 2009 by

After all, I’m going to show you mine!

I’m reminded of how taboo this topic can be by a favourite family story. My parents went on holiday with two other couples and at dinner on the first night, someone had the inspired idea to ask each person to list three things they hated about their partner.

Needless to say the rest of the week was spent with the partners not talking to each another.

So it’s probably best not to get loved ones involved in the exercise of increasing self awareness. It is useful, though, for us to look closely at ourselves and consider where we may be a little less than perfect.

Here are three reasons why I believe it’s useful:

"My name’s Sam and I am appalling at scrambling eggs."

1. Admitting your faults commands respect – we all have ‘em, but how many people look them squarely in the eye?

2. Explaining a bad reaction to others helps foster understanding and sympathy – “I’m in a bad mood because I don’t take criticism well.”

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3. It’s disarming. A response of “I know!” to “You’re such a bad loser!” cuts lengthy post-Monopoly arguments right in the bud.

I suspect many of my faults are really just an amplification of bad traits latent in everyone. Still, I’m ready to own up to them so deep breath, here we go.

My name’s Sam and I: 

  • hate being wrong and having mistakes pointed out. 
  • can be very judgemental and dismissive. 
  • have a mile wide lazy streak. 
  • am appalling at scrambling eggs.

Come on everyone, don’t leave me naked here, share the less than perfect parts of your personality, or failing that a decent scrambled egg recipe. Although I promise when I make it, it’ll turn out grey and lumpy.

Sam Leader

is a director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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