Professor of Psychology Dr. David Dunning from Cornell University is quoted saying,
“The road to self-insights runs through other people.”
How many times has someone told you something they noticed about you that you never knew? Maybe you have a hidden gift, maybe you didn’t show up well in a meeting, maybe you’re looking a little rough today, or maybe you have lettuce smack in the middle of your teeth.
Whatever the case, sometimes people see things in us that we don’t necessarily see in ourselves. While some of those things are great, occasionally they are also tough to digest. When someone reveals something awesome about me to me- now that’s a good day. But on the flip side, who likes to hear about a poor performance in a meeting or that they don’t look good? Oh, and while those insights aren’t always easy to swallow, have you ever been the person on the other end of that conversation? That’s not exactly a walk in the park either. How do you tell someone something and guarantee they will take it the way you intend for it to be received- good or bad?
What would life be like without that feedback though? Imagine if no one ever shared those insights with you. How would you fix or improve aspects of yourself you aren’t even aware of? Here’s some food for thought- how many times have you walked around, flashing smiles left and right, only to look in your car mirror at the end of the day and see a big honkin’ piece of lettuce in your teeth? I can’t tell you how many times things like that have happened to me. And then, embarrassed and somewhere in between wondering how long it had been there, or and how many people saw it I always think, “man, why didn’t anyone tell me?!”
So, if you truly want to learn about yourself, in the words of Dr. Dunning, ask other people. Allow them to reveal to you what they see and vice versa; and when you’re given feedback, whether it be about how you look today, how you showed up in a meeting, what makes you awesome, or how much lettuce is in your teeth, be grateful. It is the people who are willing to have those types of conversations with you that will help propel you on the journey to becoming everything you are capable of becoming.