Jun
29
 

Is that really you in the mirror?

Is that really you in the mirror?

I’ve learned over the years that we don’t always see ourselves very accurately. We think we’re being fair, and yet we’re being biased. We think we’re being kind, and we have a tone to our voice. We think we’re being direct, and no one knows what we’re saying.

It’s so hard to see ourselves as others see us – the good and the bad. As an executive coach, one of the most essential parts of my practice is doing just that – providing a mirror to my clients.

More often than not, I’ll stop mid-conversation with a client and point it out. “How you just said that,” I explain, “I’m pretty sure you meant it this way, but I don’t think that’s how it came across. I’m pretty sure you meant it as a positive comment, but it could easily be taken negatively.”

We just don’t see ourselves as well as we need to.

So what can you do about it? There are a few steps you can take to have a clearer view.

  • Work with a coach – a coach is most likely one of the least biased, most objective support systems anyone can have.
  • Ask a friend or colleague for help – someone else can see what you’re doing and how you’re doing it more easily than you can. Ask them to point out what might be working…and what might not.
  • Pay close, close attention to yourself – many clients have told me that, after I’ve pointed out a behavior to them, they’re extremely uncomfortable because they notice it over and over again. That’s perfect. Try (hard) to step back and notice your behavior. Pay attention to when – and why – you do the things you don’t want to do anymore. It’s the only way to learn.

It can be difficult to see ourselves as others see us – the good and the bad. But with a bit of attention and some good support, we can begin to get a clearer view, and then decide what, if anything, we want to do about it.

How do you get a clear picture of yourself? Who is your mirror?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in seeing yourself clearly, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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