Self-Perception and Valuing Others

How do you perceive yourself?

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Women 2019, Francesca Gino, a researcher and professor for Harvard Business School, explains why leaders must pause and consider their self-perception to ensure others are acknowledged and heard.

“We think of ourselves as better than others… in a way that makes us often overconfident,” says Francesca. “I have an image that I keep in my head, and it's the image of a cat looking in a mirror and seeing a lion. And to me, it's a reminder of something that comes naturally to us because we are human beings, but also of the need to pause.”

Leaders must pause to consider if they’re truly listening to others’ points of view and providing an open, nonjudgmental space for people the share their ideas. Watch the video to learn a team exercise you can use to encourage self-reflection.

Often when I'm in front of leaders (or executives or students of any type), I ask them to think about the people who are with them in the room and to rank themselves as compared to those people on a few dimensions. Things like your ability to make good decisions, or your honesty, or your ability to get along well with other people. And I say, write down 100 percent if you are the best person in the room, on the dimensions. Zero percent if you're the worst one. And then once they have their scores, they average them out. And then I ask a very simple question which is, “For people who have a score, an average score, that is higher than 50, raise your hand.”

And what you generally see is that usually 95 percent or 100 percent of the room has their hand up. And it's a beautiful exercise, a very quick one, that makes people laugh, but makes them realize that we've just proven something that is statistically impossible, for everyone to be better than the average.

And we walk around with those perceptions. When we are in meetings, we fundamentally believe that the information that we bring to the table or the perspective that we bring to the table is better than the perspective of others. And that comes in the way of effective interaction because if that's the way I think about myself and what I bring to the table, I'm less likely to listen and to stay open to the ideas and perspective of others.

We think of ourselves as better than others, all sorts of dimensions, in a way that makes us often overconfident. I have an image that I keep in my head, and it's the image of a cat looking in a mirror and seeing a lion. And to me, it's a reminder of something that comes naturally to us because we are human beings, but also of the need to pause. So when I'm in a meeting, I remind myself of that image and I think more thoughtfully, “Am I actually listening to the view of others? Am I judging others for what they're saying or for the ideas that are bringing to the table? Or am I actually giving them the space to say what they need to say?” And for me to actually carefully listen and acknowledge and work with their perspectives. So it's more of a generated pause in my own thinking and decision-making, that I believe has been helpful to allowing me to have better conversations with others.
Data 2fimages 2foct5skrsq6ucxcxt0f5w fgino photo rt

Francesca Gino

Francesca Gino is an award-winning researcher and teacher, and a tenured professor at Harvard Business School. Her consulting and speaking clients include Bacardi, Akamai, Disney, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, Novartis, P&G and branch...

Take Action

Complete the following Action Items to put the insights in this video into practice,
and share them with your team to continue your leadership growth.

Perfect your new leadership skills every day with these exclusive Leadercast exercises, available to Subscribers! Click here to become a Subscriber.

Liquid error: No such template 'platform/programs/search-modal'