Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
What do self-awareness and leadership have in common? My grandfather told me a story as a boy, and the moral has stuck with me throughout my years as a business coach. That moral was this: “The fault you see in others is probably your own.”
For many of us, that realization hurts. But consider this: when thinking about the coworkers that drive us crazy, could we be unconsciously sensitive to our faults? Could it be that we overreact to this behavior because it bothers us when we do it? Do we react immediately to their actions or tone without allowing time to process the message?
It’s essential to be honest with ourselves about these questions. Once we become self-aware of our shortcomings, we can become stronger, more understanding leaders.
5 Tips for Improving Self-awareness Skills
Self-awareness is the ability to understand yourself as a person. While you might think you already do, the fact is that people are complicated and will react differently in different situations.
You might think, for example, that you’re a pretty calm person by nature, but clinging to that self-definition can prevent you from noticing the times when this isn’t true: when you snap at your spouse, when you blow up at an employee, or even when you start to stress out right before a deadline.
Self-awareness in leadership can help you develop a more well-rounded view of yourself, which, in turn, will increase your awareness of how you interact with others. Here are a few ways to improve your self-awareness:
- Learn what makes you tick. Our behavior results from outside triggers that prompt our subconscious to react. Once you learn what causes you to respond, whether that reaction is anger, tears, or panic, you can better prepare yourself for the future.
- Take a behavioral profile assessment. While profiling tests such as the DISC & Motivators or the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator cannot account for all the complexities humans contain, they can be a powerful scientific tool to help you understand yourself more thoroughly.
- Ask for feedback. How does your family see you? Your friends? Your peers? Your employees? Learning how others see you is a valuable step towards fully understanding yourself. Just be sure you can honestly accept whatever they say and prepare for the possibility that you won’t like what you hear.
- Trust examples, not thoughts. We all see ourselves a certain way on the inside, but how does that match up with our external behavior? What we do carries much more weight than what we say. Look at the evidence for every truth you think you know about yourself. If your actions don’t match your philosophy, it’s time to reconsider.
- Be honest with yourself. A key component of self-awareness in leadership is admitting that no one is perfect. If you acknowledge your flaws, you’re one step closer to mastering them.
Self-awareness and leadership go hand-in-hand, but self-awareness doesn’t come naturally to everyone. So click on my contact form, fill it out, and schedule a time to meet me on a video call to work on your self-awareness skills.
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