How would you rate yourself in terms of self-awareness? Self-awareness is about understanding what makes us tick including our strengths, weaknesses, drivers, emotions and beliefs. It’s impossible to be self-aware 100% of the time in everything we do but having a high level is important for success at work.
There are 2 main reasons:

  • It is a key part of being emotionally intelligent, meaning it helps us to understand how we interact with others and think about how they may perceive us. If we’re not self-aware, it means it is very easy to just act at will, without thinking about the impact on others. This leads to this impact being more hit and miss and potentially, negative relationships.
  • Secondly, we are unlikely to have a mind that is willing to be educated regarding how we can better relate to others, if we have no self-awareness to start with. We need to be aware of where we’re at and the impact we have on others and how we interact before we can consider how to improve.

Characteristics of those who have good self-awareness

  1. Realistic – understand what works for them, their strengths and weaknesses and how they react in different situations e.g. be able to turn down a job which requires continuous reporting back, when they know they work best in a role with greater freedom.
  2. Open – be candid about their reactions, strengths and weaknesses, with themselves and others. They are not threatened by constructive criticism.
  3. Self- confident – by having a realistic idea of what they are good at (and less good at), they are less likely to set themselves up to fail by setting unrealistic goals. This means they play to their strengths, even in a new and potentially daunting situation, they focus on the skills they can bring to that situation.

Self-awareness in everyone is a great asset but especially in leaders, as people generally respect it (although it is usually extremely underappreciated during selection). That is as long as it is complemented with the ability to make decisions. Good self-awareness helps a leader to be realistic about the company too and open to others’ input. After all, we’ve all worked in an organisation where a leader thought he or she knew it all – very demotivating!
What about you?
So going back to your own self-awareness…Do you have a clear idea of your strengths, weaknesses, drivers, emotions and beliefs? One step on from that, do you see what behaviours that translates to in the workplace and how those could be perceived?
As Peter Drucker said about success “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”, it is the same with self-awareness. If we have no idea about ourselves, we can’t possibly set realistic goals and understand what we need to improve on and make a start doing so. Therefore, we won’t improve how we are perceived and in turn improve our relationships with others for greater personal career success.
If you’d like to think more about the impact you have on others at work and how you relate to them with the goal of improving, then I can help. I work with clients on all the ‘touchpoints’ they have with others including meetings, networking, virtual engagement, presentations, as well as the day-to-day, to help them make their personal impact more positive and improve how they relate to others to build strong, professional relationships; both of which benefit personal career success and business performance contact me.
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