Self-awareness: The Essence of a People-First™ Leader

March 18, 2009 -- Sal Silvester

One of the most important characteristics of a People-First™ Leader is that they are self-aware.
Self-aware?
Here’s what I mean. (1) They understand why they respond to others the way they do, and (2) they understand why others respond to them the way they do.
Why is this important?
Because a leader impacts a person’s level of engagement, satisfaction, and productivity more than any other factor and a “one size fits all” approach to leading others does not work. Most people don’t leave their organization, they leave their leader. Think about all the jobs you have had in the past. Was this part of your experience?
So, how do you build self-awareness?
(1) You need time for reflection.
(2) You need a mechanism for feedback – input from friends, colleagues, team members you lead, etc.
(3) A behavior style tool such as DiSC® provides a framework for understanding self and others.
(4) You need ongoing support so that reflection, feedback, and learning more about behavioral styles become engrained in personal growth.
Does a one size fits all approach to leadership work for you? If not, how do you build self-awareness?

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