Self Appraisals: How good are we at evaluating ourselves?
When I was given a chance to self appraise myself, my first thoughts were – “Are you serious? Why do I have to fill a number in an excel sheet to show how good I am?”. I was this rockstar of some sorts who was killing everything with his new found knowledge and inherited efficiency.
I gave myself 11 on 10.
I could not have been more wrong.
The problem here is complicated, but the core issue is this –
most of us fail miserably at evaluating ourselves on our skills and capabilities. In fact we regularly and frequently overestimate ourselves.
And then there is a lot of us that is extremely good, and they commit the crime of undermining themselves. Because they think everyone is good and they’re not any special. This works on multiple levels. This video explains it like a boss (or a mentor, if you hate the hierarchical reference of the word ‘boss’).
What it means is that not only we don’t know ourselves, we also fake a lot of things to our own selves. ‘Illusory superiority’, what a phrase!
This is very dangerous if you are working in a creative environment where people are not only competitive, they also bring their peculiar personalities to their workplace. Remember, we are dealing with people here with apparently very high EQ. The emotional intelligence, along with other kind of intelligences, is one such area where everyone like to overestimate their abilities. Imagine, if everyone else starts faking their abilities and no one gives an honest feedback, what a disaster of an organisation we will make.
Are there any ways to avoid or make DKE less effective in business situations?
Yes. We can try and mitigate the effect by using very simple approaches on individual level. As this article sums it up here.
Always be in the learning mode: Take out more time to take tests, courses, sessions and discussions to learn the skills you think you are really good at. We are living in golden times of YouTube and Coursera, making it very easy to learn things on our own these days.
Be watchful at the start: Do you know when is prime time for DKE? Mostly when you’re new to a skill or topic. So start a new journey strongly and carefully.
Slow down a bit: Fast decisions are generally more biased. so take a back step and spend a little time.
Feedback: Well, we always need a friend or that colleague to tell us what are we good at and where we suck. Don’t we?
Feedback, that too a critical and honest one is a great way out of this bubble.
What do you think? What are your stories of self appraisals and group appraisals? Have you ever committed this crime of thinking that you’re too good or too bad for a particular kind of job?