“Self-awareness” is a concept that has been widely examined and researched in varied fields, such as philosophy, social science, psychology and more recently, leadership development. This increasingly discussed notion has been described as a psychological catalyst – one that exemplifies the effect of other essential leadership qualities, like vision, charisma, communication or strategic thinking.
As a leader, one of your primary tasks is to motivate and inspire others – to get people to believe in their work and more importantly to inspire them to perform better. In order to carry out this role successfully, it is essential that you are in tune with what truly drives or inspires you.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to gain a better understanding of what makes up your internal thought process:
What principles guide your behaviour?
What is your leadership style?
How do you cope with challenging situations?
How does your behaviour impact your employees or team members?
These are just a few of the questions that will lead to an improved understanding of yourself; there are several other ways in which you can introspect and draw conclusions about what drives you personally and professionally.
Let’s delve a bit deeper into the concept itself. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “Conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings”. Throughout history, the phrase nosce teipsum, “know thyself”, has intrigued scientists and researchers and has led to extensive reporting on the topic. The concept has been studied under the broader umbrella of emotional intelligence, most notably by Daniel Goleman, author and pioneer in the field. According to him, self-awareness is most strongly associated with self-regulation and empathy, which are both key to creating positive emotions in those around us. He adds that self-awareness is crucial for all levels of success.
Most theorists agree that an important part of self-awareness is to identify your fundamental flaws and work on them. Successful leaders are not afraid to introspect and acknowledge their imperfections; rather they recognise their weaknesses and make efforts to improve.
Self-awareness will help you to:
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”– Stephen R. Covey
ProfitAbility has designed simulations that provide constructive solutions to a number of leadership challenges and help you discover how you can be a better leader. To attend one of our simulations or have one customised to your organisation’s specific requirements, you can get in touch with us here.