One of our client companies is a technology startup that’s growing quickly. They’re working in a competitive field and want to move quickly to develop the best technology, so they’re deeply concerned about hiring the best people. But equally important to them is hiring people who are conscious — people who are aware of the impact they are having on the rest of the team and choose to respond creatively to challenges instead of blindly thrashing around in their own drama and blame.
The leaders of this company know that it’s not enough to have talented people — all of their competitors have that. Many talented—and even well-meaning—people can create a lot of drama in a culture if they lack self-awareness, which can translate into significant cultural, productivity, and bottom-line costs.
These leaders know that an important differentiator for their company is to have a team that’s conscious and focused not just on having the best answers, but on how they are as a team. They know that having even one extremely talented but unconscious colleague exacts a huge toll on the rest of the team.
Conscious employees, on the other hand, are less likely to cause drama, and more likely to shift out of it when it happens. They’re able to relate from trust versus fear, which results in more energy, connection, and innovation.
Here are some questions this team, and you, can use to discover how conscious your potential hires are:
If you want to learn about the zone of genius that the prospective new employee can offer to your organization, consider having them fill out our Best Stuff Handout before the interview. The handout asks them to describe their top eight favorite memories from their life when they felt like they did a great job while having fun.
Another benefit of asking questions like the above is that interviewees will grok that self-awareness is a core company value and that their own will be valued, which may influence their choice to take the position should you offer it. Talk about a win-for-all! Let us know how it goes when you try out these questions or if you have favorites of your own to assess self-awareness during interviews.
Assessing for self-awareness has many long term payoffs and can certainly help you to avoid hiring someone who isn't a good fit. But when you do need to let someone go, read this article about how to fire someone consciously.