Diving into Consciousness: Unraveling 4 Archetypes of Self-awareness

Mark Bridges
4 min readJul 15


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Self-awareness is a crucial aspect of personal growth and development because it enables individuals to analyze their strengths, limitations, and values, as well as the effect these characteristics have on others.

Self-awareness is a necessary competency for effective organizational leadership because it enables leaders to advise their employees with clarity, empathy, and honesty.

Individuals who have a profound understanding of their personalities are:

  • More imaginative, better at communicating, and less likely to deceive, misappropriate, or mislead.
  • These personnel are superior and have greater opportunities for advancement.
  • Self-aware executives have happier employees and more profitable organizations.

Between 2014 and 2018, a comprehensive study examined what self-awareness is, why it is necessary, and how it can be enhanced.

· The study analyzed 800 existing scientific studies and 10 distinct investigations involving nearly 5,000 participants from various countries and industries.

· It also included in-depth interviews with 50 individuals whose self-awareness had been significantly enhanced.

· A survey of 100s of managers and their employees to examine the connection between self-awareness and leadership.

· The study led to the development and validation of a 7-factor, multi-rater self-awareness assessment.

Through various combinations of internal and external self-awareness dimensions, the study identified 4 leadership archetypes, each with its own set of development opportunities.

1. Introspectors

2. Seekers

3. Pleasers

4. Aware

Each archetype has its own distinct set of growth opportunities.

Let’s examine some characteristics of the 4 archetypes in greater detail.


Seekers are oblivious of their identity, fundamental values, and others’ perceptions of them. They may experience feelings of confinement or discontent with their performance and relationships. Decision-making may be difficult for Seekers, who may feel overwhelmed by the abundance of options.

By embracing the unknown and being receptive to new experiences and perspectives, seekers can cultivate both internal and external self-awareness.


Introspectors are aware of who they are, but they do not investigate their unperceived shortcomings or challenge their own perspectives by soliciting feedback from others. This can have a negative effect on their relationships and impede their success.

A commitment to personal growth and development through introspection and reinforcement with feedback from external sources can increase an Introspector’s self-awareness.


Pleasers are preoccupied with presenting a specific image of themselves to others, to the detriment of their own interests. As time passes, they are likely to make decisions that are detrimental to their success and satisfaction.


Individuals who are aware have a clear understanding of their identity and goals and seek out and respect the perspectives of others. In such a circumstance, leaders begin to fully appreciate the benefits of self-awareness.

Interested in learning more about 4 Archetypes of Self-awareness? You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on 4 Archetypes of Self-awareness here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Mark Bridges

I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management. https://flevy.com