The featured image for this post shows a woman in a boat who is seems to have noticed that her journey has left a mark, an interrupted path. Maybe it’s because I have teenagers that this immediately reminds me of the path of destruction that Black Widow leaves in every Avengers movie. Black Widow is my favorite Avenger, and not just because she’s a female superhero. In Iron Man 2, she takes down a dozen bad guys in the time it take’s Iron Man’s head of security to finish off one. If we could apply those ninja skills in taking down narcissists and egomaniacs, imagine our success in business negotiations.

Dr. Tasha Eurich is an avenger of sorts for insight, helping people create internal and external self-awareness. Harvard Business Review provides a nice summary of her approach to successfully manage relationships with the 85-90% of people that her researchers find to be lacking in self-awareness. That’s right. Her research has found that though most people believe they are self-aware, 10-15% truly are. It’s no wonder that National Public Radio (NPR) reports that millennials are obsessed with self care. As I’ve gone through the gauntlet of self-awareness myself, I can attest that my kids are much more self-aware, I daresay more emotionally intelligent, than what they’ve witnessed in dear old mom and dad on many days. The next generation is poised to exceed us, which is the goal of parenting, is it not?

The NPR article posits that it could be their access to information, as opposed to strictly taking our word for it. It quotes a Pew Research finding that “more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them.” I’ve personally experienced this in my market research. I’ve been holding a series of local seminars on Insight, which is the title of Dr. Eurich’s book. One of the people who showed up to my last workshop was a new college graduate, starting her first job in Colorado Springs on Monday. I marveled, “When I was setting up housekeeping in my first apartment and starting my first job, I was preoccupied with things like what to do on Friday night. What inspired you to come to a workshop on self-awareness?” She was almost baffled by my question. It seems so natural for her to investigate ways she can improve herself and her success in the workplace. I told her she is in good shape to do great things!

Whole industries are catching on. A website for Small Business Trends reports that self-awareness is having a positive impact on sales. In fact Target Training International, a research company that publishes a suite of assessments providing success insights for professionals, has a report dedicated to providing a Sales Skills Index.  It’s based on an assessment that helps sales managers hire people with the right natural skills for the job and develop for prospecting, qualifying and closing the sale, among other competencies. The insight this index provides into possible strengths and obstacles can mean the difference between success and finding a new job for sales professionals.

Imagine having Black Widow’s closing skills in a sales conversation, without knocking anyone unconscious. Self-insight is the secret weapon. If you are interested in TTI’s sales skills index or an executive summary of Insight, get on our mail list or request a consultation.