How much time and effort do you put into self-reflection?
In order to become better versions of ourselves, we need to allow a certain amount of time to self-reflect, learn from mistakes, develop our self-awareness and grow. In the words of Ernest Hemmingway “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True is being superior to your former self”.
Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses and what areas need improvement can have a positive impact on how you perform in the workplace. Self-aware leader are much more likely to create an environment of positivity and engagement.
Think about a leader you have had in the past who managed to keep you motivated, engaged and doing your best work. I’m sure you can probably also remember one who made you feel disengaged and unmotivated.
Thinking of these people, how much self-awareness did they have? How well did they understand their own strengths and weaknesses? Self-awareness goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence.
Allowing the time to invest in your own emotional intelligence will go a long way in becoming a better version of yourself. Reflecting on your past leaders and managers, the great and the not so great, ask yourself these key questions:
- How much self-awareness did they have? How well did they understand their own strengths and weaknesses?
We all have areas that need improvement. Trying to hide them is futile, it shows much more emotional intelligence and integrity to admit them to your team and makes you more accountable to improve on them. Admitting to others your weakness and being vulnerable in this way can also fast-track your human connections. As humans we naturally want to help others who are vulnerable. If you can show others your human side and your ability to admit mistakes, they of course will be able to identify with you and be encouraged to express their own vulnerability to you, identifying their own areas for improvement and strengthening your relationships in the process. It’s a win-win situation. How have your leaders of the past handled people making mistakes? Was there a spirit of encouraging accountability and accepting mistakes? Were people shamed for making mistakes or encouraged to learn from them? Was there a culture of blame and hiding mistakes?
- How much social awareness did they have?
How well were they able to read the room, to pick up on the general vibe and attitude of their team? Being able to tune in to how people are feeling and how engaged they are is essential, it is astounding how many leaders lack this awareness. Developing deep listening skills and fine tuning the art of reading the room is essential skill for leadership.
- How much self-management and adaptability did they have?
How was their ability to manage themselves and adapt to changing situations. So many leaders get to where they are by having the technical skills and experience in their trade, but are not so good at growing themselves and developing as leaders. Being resistant to change is a natural human tendency, but it is essential to be able to adapt and grow in today’s business environment. Being self-aware means being able to oscillate between doing your job and reviewing and changing your actions to allow for constant and continuous self-growth. An average leader will focus simply on doing their job. A self-aware one, will do their job but will also take time to stop, assess, review and refine what they do by looking at their actions and the way they do things from a distance, with a healthy level of objectivity.
- How would you rate their social skills?
How well were they able to develop, influence and lead others? Self-aware leaders are more motivated on building engagement, trust, rapport and performance amongst their team. They seek candid and formal feedback from their staff and actively work to improve the way things are done. In one to one’s a self-aware leader will be motivated on building strong connections with the individuals in their team to develop trust and build a good foundation. This involves finding common interests, getting to know the individual and what they are all about, finding some common ground and establishing stronger connections.
The top ten workplace skills now and in the future are:
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking
- People management
- Coordinating with others
- Emotional Intelligence
- Judgement and decision making
- Service orientation
- Cognitive flexibility
Having a good level of self-awareness is the foundation for each one of these skills. We all need to allow the time and the effort for constant self-reflection in our work to ensure we dig deep and develop these skills within ourselves and empower others to do the same.
If your leadership team could do with my help in 2023 get in touch today, I’d love to hear from you.