Monday, August 12, 2013

Suss Out Performance Issues with the Help of Those Who Know You Well

One of the best ways around a Bad Boss is to perform at such a high level, that others--other Bosses in your company, others higher-up in the organizational chain of command--recognize your worth, which makes it easier for you to get yourself promoted out of your current position (and Bad Boss).

But sometimes, you may be at a loss to know what’s in the way of your performing at that higher level. 

When that happens, turn to a friend! According to Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School, other people (those who know us well) are far better at predicting our behavior than we are:

“If you want to be more successful — at anything — than you are right now, you need to know yourself and your skills. And when you fall short of your goals, you need to know why. This should be no problem; after all, who knows you better than you do?

“And yet your own ratings of your personality traits — for instance, how open-minded, conscientious, or impulsive you are — correlate with the impressions of other people (who know you well) at around .40. In other words, how you see yourself and how other people see you are only very modestly correlated.

“Who's right? Who knows you best? Well, the research suggests that they do — other people's assessment of your personality predicts your behavior, on average, better than your assessment does. The truth is, we don't know ourselves nearly as well as we think we do. When it comes to performance, our surprising self-ignorance makes understanding where we went right and where we went wrong difficult, to say the least.”

Next time you can’t figure out what went wrong, or how to get an aspect of your performance to go right, ask someone who knows you well to help you out--constructively, of course!

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