What is accurate self-assessment?

Episode 20 in Part 2 of our Introduction series: Getting to know yourself.

Habits:  Know thyself | Be curious

Skills:  Self-awareness | Action

Description:  In this episode, we introduce the concept of accurate self-assessment – and outline four distinct areas you can look at to begin your own self-assessment. These four areas include the roles you play in life, the amount of time you spend in each role or activity, the level of enjoyment you get out of them, and the level of skill you have in each role. This forms one of many exercises we offer to get to know yourself better.

How this lesson might be discussed with your child

This episode outlines Daniel Goleman's description of the three areas of focus for both emotional and social intelligence. We introduce one method of investigating self-awareness, which considers how we feel in certain situations in our lives. The four areas outlined are

  1. Roles – the particular roles we play each day in our lives

  2. Time – the amount of time we spend in each role

  3. Enjoyment – how much we enjoy each of the roles we play

  4. Skill – how well we perform in each role

This episode is simply designed to introduce these concepts, as a way of further clarifying and explaining today's exercise.

Some questions which might prompt greater class discussion include:

  • Why is it important to understand the various roles we play in life?

  • How do these roles affect our emotions or attitudes each day?

  • Do you think your enjoyment of an activity or role can change over time? Why/Why not?

  • Do you think it's possible to spend more time on things you don't enjoy than things you do? Why/Why not?

  • What could you do to spend more time on things you enjoy?

  • Could you simply choose to enjoy some of the things you currently don't enjoy? Why/Why not?

  • Do you think your skill level impacts on your enjoyment of an activity or role? Why/Why not?

  • What would it take to improve your skill level in a particular role?

Some specific discussion points

Discussion on this topic might be best centred around people who students know well. This offers an opportunity to discuss either a family member or close friend, and the types of roles they play each day. Through this, we can start to introduce the concept of empathy or "putting yourself in another's shoes" by considering not just the roles but the amount of time they spend, possible enjoyment, and skill level in relation to each role.

Some possible questions may include:

  • What are some of the roles a family member or close friend have to play?

  • Do you think they spend more or less time on each role than they want to?

  • Which roles do you think they'd like to spend more time on?

  • Which ones would they like to spend less time on?

  • Have you answered the previous questions based on how much you think they enjoy the role?

  • Do you think they could improve their enjoyment of any of the roles? How?

  • What do you think their skill level is at each role?

  • Do you think you could ask them about each of their roles, to see how their views might differ to yours?

Discussing the quote from this episode:

"I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion." — Billie Jean King

Possible areas of discussion may include:

  • Why do you think Billie Jean King says self-awareness is so important?

  • What do you think self-awareness gives you that helps in being a champion?

  • Are there other skills that you would need as well as self-awareness? What are they?

  • How do you think self-awareness helped Billie Jean King?

Further information on this topic

If you'd like to dive a bit deeper on this topic, you might like to read:

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than I.Q.
by Daniel Goleman, 1995.

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.
by Daniel Goleman, 2006.