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The importance of self-awareness

In a recent article for The Guardian, Oliver Burkeman reported on some of the work being done by Tasha Eurich, an organisational psychologist, author and expert on the subject of self-awareness.

According to Eurich, 95% of people think they’re self-aware but only 10-15% of us really are. If we’re not self-aware then we only have a limited understanding our own motivations and the ways in which we are perceived by others.

In order to better understand ourselves, Eurich recommends asking ‘what’ questions rather than simply wondering ‘why’ things happen to us. Asking ‘why’ questions (e.g. “Why did I fail my exam?”) tends to lead us to speculate and construct false narratives around our experiences, while asking ‘what’ (e.g. “What was it about my preparation that caused me to fail the exam?”) can help us to identify patterns of behaviour that can be analysed and changed.

In a football context, we can apply similar lines of thinking to strategic decision-making within our club. Wrapped up in the everyday business of running an organisation, it is possible become short-sighted and lose objectivity regarding our own processes. By falling into comfortable habits or having misplaced confidence in the power of our intuition, we can make ourselves blind to reality and take poor decisions as a result.

This myopia can manifest itself in a number of ways. If we’re over-reliant on our instincts then we might be too quick to approve or discard a potential signing without getting a more objective view of their true performance level. If we’re short of time then we might settle for a deal without completing the appropriate level of due diligence. Being blind to our own limitations in this way only serves to perpetuate a cycle of poor decision-making.

In player recruitment, rather than starting with “Why did that player not succeed at our club?” and proceeding to build false narratives around events, we should instead ask “What was it about the player’s performance that wasn’t considered good enough for our club?”

This sort of thinking has been at the forefront of our minds as we’ve been building Acquisition – the new module in our Evolution software – and can help guard against complacency and protect us from the assumptions and falsehoods that stem from a lack of self-awareness around decision-making.

About Chris Mann

Chris Mann has created 6 entries.