The Importance of Awareness

Awareness is important because it is a rare quality. Today more than ever before, self-aware people are more successful in life than people who are not. Awareness is the foundation of wisdom and self-confidence. It helps make smarter decisions and live with their consequences.

While most people are really good at assessing others, we tend to be wildly inaccurate about our own abilities. Most of us have experienced gaps in awareness when our intuition and reality get misaligned. There is a well-known Dunning-Kruger effect when people mistakenly think they are better than most other people. This misalignment is real and can impede our ability to recognize blind spots and achieve success.

Gaps in skills awareness is a challenge in Education the same way that it is a challenge in the business world. The economic cost is in billions of dollars as a result of bad hiring, corrosive culture and lost opportunities.

People have been interested in attaining awareness – to 'know thyself' – for a long time because with soft skills, what is learned on one scale of experience can be applied to all scales. Self-knowledge is timeless and all-encompassing.

Why incompetent people think they're amazing

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“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
- Socrates -


What's in the Name

In the name 2gnōMe, the "gnō" part is from the same root as the word "know" in English. The only difference is the sound shift between the unvoiced 'k' sound in English and the voiced 'g' sound in Greek and Latin. The Greek version was the basis of gnosis (knowledge) and gave us words like gnostic and agnostic, prognosis (future knowledge, prediction) and diagnosis (knowledge of the cause of the problem).

Did you know that another Greek word with the same root is gnome? In the 16th century, it was generally believed that there were four natural elements: Air, Earth, Water and Fire. Each element was inhabited by a spirit. Gnome was the name of the Earth spirit - and that's how we got the sense of a creature that guards underground treasure. But it was originally a Greek word, derived from the same gnō root.

The same root and spelling passed into Latin. "gnō" meant "knowledge" and gave us words like ignorant (lack of knowledge) and ignore. Other words where the "g" was dropped over time include noble, notion, notify, cognition and recognition.

Source for this etymological wisdom: Kevin Stroud's The History of English podcast.


Do thine own work, and know thyself.
- Plato -



We believe that self-reflection and feedback are key to closing the gap in skills awareness. 2gnoMe approach offers a human narrative about critical skills and behaviors that apply to people and organizations alike. 

Next: How it happens - Methodology

What if you see how others see you?