Cultivating Self-Awareness to Drive Client Service: A Resolution Worth Pursuing
For many of us, the New Year marks an opportunity to perform some self-reflection that often leads to well-intentioned goals and resolutions. But what exactly does it mean to be “self-aware”? And how does greater self-awareness drive better client service?
In “What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It)” (available here from Harvard Business Review), Tasha Eurich, Ph.D., argues that there are actually two types of self-awareness. The first – internal self-awareness – represents how well “we see our own values, passions, aspirations, fit with our environment, reactions . . . and impact on others.” The second – external self-awareness – involves “understanding how other people view us, in terms of those same factors listed above.”
As Dr. Eurich notes, most people assume that “being high on one type of awareness would mean being high on the other.” But her research “has found virtually no relationship between them.” As such, she and her team developed the following matrix representing four self-awareness archetypes, each “with a different set of opportunities to improve.”
People seeking to lead client service teams well want to fall in the upper right quadrant, where high internal self-awareness meets high external self-awareness. However, Dr. Eurich’s research suggests that it’s not enough to gain access to the upper right quadrant simply by being more “traditionally” introspective, that is by asking “why” we might feel, act, or be inclined a certain way. Instead, “to increase productive self-insight and decrease unproductive rumination, we should ask what, not why. ‘What’ questions help us stay objective, future-focused, and empowered to act on our new insights.”
At Level 2 Legal, we’re intentional about asking “what” questions. What can we do at the top of engagements to help ease the discovery burdens our clients face? What is the best way to reduce the overwhelming volume of data staged for processing and review? What did we learn in the midst of the latest privilege review that makes our clients feel more confident that their sensitive communications have been protected? And what constructive feedback from our colleagues or clients can we use to become even better trusted advisors?
Increase internal and external self-awareness by focusing on the “what” instead of the “why” – it’s a resolution worth pursuing.