Dr. Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. With a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Tasha is the principal of The Eurich Group, a boutique executive development firm that helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams. Her primary areas of expertise are executive coaching, executive team development, and leadership and high potential development programs.
She contributes to Harvard Business Review and has been featured in outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, Forbes, and Fast Company, as well as peer-reviewed journals. Tasha’s first book, Bankable Leadership, debuted on The New York Times bestseller list in 2013. Her latest book, Insight, delves into the connection between self-awareness and success, where she shares the surprising findings from her multi-year research program on the topic.
In this conversation, we dive into the granular nuances around building self-awareness based on her research for the book, Insight.
Published in October 2019.
Nuggets from the
Self-awareness: Meta-skill of 21st century
Tasha provides some context to why self-awareness is arguably the meta-skill of the 21st century. She discusses why it is possibly the foundational skill that helps us across various domains of life. She makes the distinction between internal and external self-awareness and goes onto say that they are not as closely correlated as one would assume.
Tasha speaks about the notion of Self-awareness Unicorns, the 50 people they shortlisted from 1000s of people to study them. She speaks about how she arrived at this shortlist and who is in it. She goes on to speak about some of their practices around how they cultivated internal and external self-awareness.
Self-delusion Vs Self-awareness
Tasha speaks about the distinction between being self-aware and being self-deluded. She mentions that her research suggests that 95% of the people believe they are self-aware only about 10-15% of people actually are. She speaks about some of the factors that might be contributing to this phenomenon.
Limitations of introspection
Tasha speaks about introspecting our way to self-awareness could be a red herring. She speaks about her research where she found that people that introspected often were more anxious, stressed and less satisfied. She makes the distinction between rumination and introspection and speaks about how one could conduct the enquiry when one goes on a journey of introspection.
Mindfulness beyond meditation
Tasha speaks about the fact that meditation is possibly not the only path to being mindful. There could be several other approaches that could make you more mindful even if you don’t meditate. She speaks about comparing and contrasting as one approach that could help you become more mindful.
Feedback as a prism vs a mirror
Tasha speaks about the limited correlation between internal and external self-awareness and speaks about the criticality of us seeing ourselves through a prism (with all the color) than through a mirror (which often can be limited in granularity). She also speaks about the need for people to be comfortable with varying views and urges us to embrace the diversity of views and grow through it.
Role of a coach in enhancing self-awareness
Tasha speaks about the value of having an external coach speak to several of the key stakeholders to form a nuanced picture. She also points out the limitations of numeric 360 surveys and details out some of the questions she likes to ask when does her coaching work.
Self-awareness during career transitions
Tasha speaks about how the nature of feedback that one seeks during a transition is often much deeper than the kind of feedback in an organizational context. Transitions give us an opportunity to examine ourselves more fundamentally (values that matter to us, what we are shooting for, the kind of life we are trying to design etc). She speaks about self-awareness unicorns referring to “alarm clock events” in their life that got them to examine several of the assumptions they made in life.
Catch 22 of Self-awareness
Tasha speaks about the Catch-22 (paradox) of Self-Awareness. The really self-aware people often actually think that (rightly so) that they know only a little about themselves. The un-self-aware ones often think that they know themselves really well. Tasha goes on to speak about one of the unicorns that she had studied who uses the metaphor of space to describe the quest for self-awareness.