Blind spots or lack of self -awareness can have critical consequences on self or others. Most times, we tend to evaluate our performance by the result, but, we miss to identify the gaps in the way of such performance. For example, a team leader, who is highly result-oriented may lack emotional intelligence that could result in team’s best performers quitting, and turning the ones left Ito non-performers.
The relation between self- awareness or cognitive behavioural awareness and interpersonal skills is deep rooted.
Dr. Aaron Beck pointed out that the cognitive distortions in an individual, how self and others are misinterpreted by thoughts blooming out of ideas.
So, in order to transform such distortions, our ideas need to be malleable or flexible. Transformation happens from the inside. Everything is a concept to begin with, slowly developing into thoughts and ideas, manifesting as our actions, reactions and / or responses.
Before trying to master any skill superficially, that is bound to be short termed, we should work on the points given below, as observed by Dr. Aaron Beck –
- Deletions, distortions & mental filtering
- Polarized Thinking
- Over-generalization Or categorization
- Jumping to conclusions and making assumptions
- Catastrophizing or worst-case scenarioising
- The Fallacy of Fairness (Not getting what I want)
- Blaming and irresponsibility for self
- Heaven’s reward fallacy
- Confusing feelings with facts
- Mistaking beliefs for what’s true
- Labelling (Self and others)
- Mind reading
- Mystical guesswork.
After understanding these cognitive disruptions, it becomes our responsibility to ask ourselves few questions.
Do we really want to change our concept of self and others? What are the options we have? –
Resolve the issue and move on (redefine values)?
Want to feel better and emotionally self- regulate?
Tolerate the developmental issue and carry on – do nothing, change nothing and in turn expect no change.
Blame others and cling on to self- victimization- remain where you are?
If we focus back on the skills like team building, interpersonal relationships and communication, where both speaking and listening is entailed, listening skills, even when we know is an art, is difficult to master. We always operate out of the mode to be heard, force our opinions and expect that to be followed by the team members, hence the fall-out is inevitable.
Albert Ellis also listed some irrational beliefs, which we need to work upon , as that may come in the way of our self-awareness.
- Need for approval
- Avoid being disliked from any source
- To be valuable, and hence to be successful in everything one does.
- It is not OK to make mistakes – that tells, one is bad
- Others should ensure that one is happy
- Things must always work out my way
- I can’t control my emotions
- I don’t have to contribute back in some way, and yet I’m entitled for happiness.
- Everyone needs to rely on someone stronger than themselves
- I am the result of my yesterday
- My future results will be no different from my past results
- I should not feel sadness, discomfort or pain
- There should be someone to take my responsibility.
Until we become effective in training our minds in cognitive distortions and be the masters of our thoughts, we will remain ineffective in managing our emotions and thus the relationships, since everything spawns from the concepts or ideas born in our mind.