Self-Awareness Training…I know someone who needs THAT!

looking for shellsWhen I describe what I teach, so many people say that they know someone who needs this training.  I hear stories such as “My co-worker is so awkward that he shared with our boss that he (the co-worker) is lazy and only does the minimum” or “Joe is always yelling – his voice is so loud but he does not realize this at all.”  Not once does someone say to me.  “Self-awareness training? Oh I need that!  Sign me up!”.

Are you a self-proclaimed assessment geek?  Do you love those quizzes on Facebook?  You know the ones…What animal would you be?  Which Disney princess are you? or Which Harry Potter Character best describes you?  I have a wonderful friend and colleague, Tami who states that she has done so many self-assessments.  She truly wishes to know more about herself and how she relates to others.  So, often we are working with rediculous deadlines and feel that we don’t have time to “work on ourselves”.   So many of us wish to find out more about ourselves but the term self-awareness training seems to have negative connotations.  Let me make this term a bit easier with an example of self-awareness done right!

One of my favorite self-awareness models is Ingham and Luft’s Johari Window model diagram.  This 1955 model is an oldie but goodie.  I love to use it working in groups.  But, it is very helpful when beginning a class about self-awareness.  This model has four regions

  1.  The open area – what you know and understand about your self and others know too
  2. The blind area – what other people know about you but you do not know about yourself (Joe in the above example)
  3. The hidden area – what you know and understand about yourself and don’t share with others
  4. The unknown area – what you don’t know about yourself and others don’t know either.

This model is graphically represented as a window with 4 panes.  Imagine a square with a plus sign through it and each of these areas are a pane in the “window”.

When I share this model with individuals in my classes it seems that they never realized how multi-faceted their world is to them.  This model seems entirely self-explainatory until area #4.  I get questions about why this is even in the model if know one knows.  I suggest that you CAN bring out characteristics, strengths, behaviors,  feelings or attitudes.  Can you imagine learning about one of your strengths that you’ve never explored before?  Realizing that you are more empathatic than you ever thought you were – but only around your family.  Suddenly becoming aware that you have a more positive attitude than you thought you did?  These are all “light bulbs” that went off in the heads of participants in a recent class I taught.

Now isn’t that fun?  Learning more about self-awareness models can be a first step to self-awareness training.  It is exciting to learn more about yourself and your colleagues, friends and family.  So I challenge you to listen to others.  Elicit helpful feedback.  Then you will be on your way to discovering more about yourself!  Becoming more self-aware should be a treasure hunt for all of us.

lori photo 10-2015Lori Ann Roth, Ph.D., CPLP, is the president of Learning and…  She is a life-long learner and self-awareness expert who is dedicated to helping individuals learn so that they can be their best selves and work with others.  “Be the best YOU” is one of her favorite sayings.  She is a creative and experienced learning and development professional who has been in the field for over 35 years and loves to help adults learn about facilitating a fun and yet educational experience.  Get this free and fun eLearning training now!  Lori has transformed individuals and teams to be more productive, communicate better and solve problems faster through training, coaching and facilitation.  See more at


#self-awareness   #johariwindow   #training  #learning



The strangest answer ever to the question…What is your greatest strength.?

What are your strengths and weaknesses interview questionMarcus Buckingham said, “Teams that use strengths, massively and consistently out preform teams that don’t use their strengths every day even if you are slightly positively deluded as to what your strengths are – it doesn’t seem to matter” in the video Marcus Buckingham presents the Business Case for Strengths.  This is a great video that discusses great teams not great companies.  According to Buckingham rarely 1 in 10 people feel that their strengths are in play in the workplace.  It is important when interviewing to know your strengths to be productive in your new company.  But, what if you really don’t know how to find your strengths?  I had that happen recently.

While teaching a class on Interview Skills I had a huge range of participant’s age ranges and experience levels.  One 19 year old man, we’ll call him Joel, had never held a job and had absolutely no idea how to interview.  He had no idea that most interviewers ask that fated question, “tell me about your strengths and weakness”.  When we did a role play he was absolutely lost – he joked around because he was feeling incompetent and did not want the group to know that he was lost.

I realized what was happening and listened in as his partner said to him, “Dude, I really care about you.  I want you to get a good job.  Let’s really work on this.”  I was touched and asked Joel what is your greatest strength?  Now I have asked that questions to probably over 100 people in the last 10 years.  He gave the strangest answer I had ever heard.  “My thighs”!  (WHAAAT?)  When I asked if I heard him correctly he said yes. His thighs.  I asked him what was so great about his thighs.  He said he works out every day and he used to be really skinny but now this is his greatest thing about him.  OK…I decided to go with that thought and try to move him closer to an interview scenario. “So, you work out everyday?” I asked, “Even when you don’t feel well?  Even when you have something better to do?”  “Yes”, he said, “everyday”.  Well, you have great discipline!  That is an excellent strength in the workforce.  People know you will come into work on time and do your job with great discipline.

He was shocked that he had discipline.  He thought he was mostly lazy and that is why he never had a job in the past.  He liked to play video games at his parent’s house.  But, now he realized that he had to get a job and was attending this class.  Now, he had to learn to apply his greatest strength to the workforce.  But, that is another story.  So, back to Marcus Buckingham’s quote about being deluded as to what your strengths are.  In fact, Marcus said, “positively diluted as to what your strengths are”.  Well, Joel was diluted when he said, “my thighs”.  If he were the mail deliver in a company and walked (using his thighs) each day would that make his team great?  I am still trying to come to grips with the Buckingham quote.  What has your experience been with people who truly do not know their strengths or have been “positively deluded” as to what their strengths are?  Sure, they can take the assessments – but some do not have the means.  Let me know your experiences.


#strengths   #funny   #Interviewskills