When Heejin and I first started working together, she had managed many more people than I had. And she was always talking about how important it was for people to be “self-aware.”

Her emphasis on this confused me… until we suffered from the impact of an employee who lacked self-awareness (many tasks were not completed or were greatly mishandled despite her outward confidence).

We were reminded of this by a recent This American Life podcast in which they talked about the Dunning Kruger Effect: A cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled persons suffer an illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is (from Wikipedia).

This is a real risk in companies, as many of us get misled by applicants and employees who convey an unjustified level of confidence.

This is the link to the This American Life Podcast (highly recommend it): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

There is also a corollary to Dunning Kruger – highly skilled people sometimes underestimate their competence. Interestingly, the This American Life Podcast and the Dunning Kruger Effect were just shared with me by one of the most talented employees JVM Lending has ever had; she was concerned that she might suffer from Dunning Kruger :)

Note to Meg: You clearly do not suffer from Dunning Kruger :).


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