The Challenge of Self-Assessment
Unfortunately, a big part of the process of self-assessment is subjective, and subjectivity creates vulnerability to faults and results in biases. We tend to fall easily into the trap of subjectivity without being aware of it, this is because we don’t ask ourselves-regularly and repeatedly“Are my beliefs true?”, “How do I know it is the reality?”, and “Do others share the same belief or not?”
A subjective bias in the process of self-assessment is what I call “strength over-stretch”. It occurs when we assume that having one strength in one specific field or area, also referred to as a domain (e.g. work, family, friends,.. these are different domains) makes it automatically present in other domains without the need to enforce this strength further. I have a colleague who’s so punctual at work, he arrives to the office on time, attends his meetings on time, and delivers his tasks ahead of time. However, his family always complains about how late he is for any family commitment, and how he almost missed his daughter’s middle school graduation ceremony, and was an hour late for his family reunion last summer.
"No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself." Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke.
Still, my colleague always places “punctuality and time management” as one of his main strong points across the board. He assumes that if he’s good at time management at work, then he must be good at it in general, so he took his strength at the domain of work and stretched it to his domain of family, without checking if he actually uses it in this other domain or not.
Want to learn more about proper self-assessment? want to use an objective tool to assess your own capabilities and further understand your strengths and weaknesses? Check my new book "EVALYOUATE! Mastering the Art of Self-Assessment."