Close Menu

    Feb 06, 2024    |   Psychometrics Canada

Self-Awareness: The Cornerstone of Growth

Happy business woman exhibiting self-awareness in front of office building

4-minute read

Written by Psychometrics Canada

The Crucial Role of Self-Awareness in Development

Defining Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is “the ability to reflect on and accurately assess one’s own behaviours and skills and the impact they have on others” (Zenger, 2014; Church, 1997). The relationship between self-awareness and individual effectiveness has been explored at length, and multiple research studies have shown its positive relationship to work performance and managerial excellence (Van Velsor et al., 1993; Atwater and Yammarino, 1992; Ashford and Tsui, 1991). Furthermore, it has also been found that by enhancing one’s self-awareness, an individual’s performance is directly influenced in a positive direction (McCarthy & Garavan, 1999).

The Challenge of Receiving Feedback

However, what we also know is that in order for an individual to be self-aware – that is, to truly understand their impact on others – they must first be privy to feedback about their approach. In many work settings receiving feedback from others is rare and may never be voiced, especially in leadership contexts (Zenger, 2014).

Given the importance of self-awareness on individual performance, combined with the need for real and tangible feedback to necessitate this awareness, a key to any successful development initiative is to utilize tools that encourage both. By employing the self-report MBTI® assessment and the objective Psychometrics 360 instrument, a practitioner maximizes the opportunity to encourage – or elicit – more accurate self-reflection and a better understanding of an individual’s impact on the organization and others.

Maximizing Impact: The Dual Approach of MBTI® and Psychometrics 360

Development and coaching professionals can leverage insights from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Psychometrics 360 instruments to help individuals increase self-awareness and drive personal  growth. While using these assessments independently provides valuable personalized information and strategies, when used together, the MBTI instrument and 360 assessments have been shown to demonstrate invaluable impact on one’s self-awareness in the context of development (McCarthy & Thomas, 1999).

MBTI Instrument

The MBTI instrument is particularly useful in helping individuals understand their inherent motivations, intentions and default approach. It is a powerful starting point for self-knowledge and awareness as it provides feedback about a person’s preferences without judgement. That is, the MBTI assessment assumes all preferences are equal – every type has strengths and possible challenges to be mitigated, depending on how each preference is applied in one’s work. When an individual understands their preferences, they can reflect on how these may be influencing their communication, decision-making and general persona. From this, development comes in the form of understanding where they can start to focus more attention.

Psychometrics 360

The Psychometrics 360 tool uses evaluative data from others to elicit self-awareness. Feedback from this assessment consists of skill-based behaviours and outwardly manifested competencies that others perceive. Because it reports how the individual is seen by others in the work environment, the Psychometrics 360 often identifies more specifically where a client needs to develop their capabilities. In other words, rather than self-reported motivations and intentions, the Psychometrics 360 provides a first-hand opportunity to explore outward impact as reported by others. This is particularly important, as most people are not aware of other people’s expectations or experiences of them. Awareness of the gaps between self-perception and that of others helps individuals be more accurate when identifying their strengths and challenges and encourages more direct action to changing or addressing the limitations of their approach (Moses et al., 1993).

Key Differences Between MBTI® and Psychometrics 360

MBTI Assessment

Psychometrics 360

  • Self-report instrument
  • Describes four innate personality preferences
  • Examines preferences and their possible impact on work outcomes
  • Avenue for exploring an individual’s preferred work style
  • 360 degree instrument (various external raters)
  • Describes observed behaviours and competencies
  • Compares an individual’s  actions at work  to their own perceived actions


Harmonizing Insights for Holistic Development

The unique but complementary nature of the MBTI and Psychometrics 360 instruments enhances the depth of self-awareness in the context of development. By leveraging both assessments, professionals in the development and coaching arenas can guide individuals toward a more comprehensive understanding of themselves, fostering targeted growth and increased effectiveness. As practitioners seek to optimize insights for their clients, combining these tools proves invaluable, providing a holistic approach to self-awareness that is essential for personal and professional advancement.

MBTI Certification the first step to help build self awareness

Administering the Myers-Briggs requires Certification. Certified, professionals have the expertise needed to effectively utilize the MBTI tool to guide individuals through a transformative journey of self-discovery and development.

Check out these related articles: