As you build your capacities as a leader it is critically important to enhance your level of self-awareness. Self-awareness is often equated to emotional intelligence. It can also be seen as deepening your understanding of how your behaviors impact others and how you are impacted by other people.

Why would you want to deepen your level of awareness? After all, your "I am what I am" attitude has worked well for you.

Deepening your self awareness will enable you to:

  • remain in dialogue, especially under stress, chaos, and conflicting perspectives
  • create an environment of open communication by better understanding how you influence what is and isn't talked about
  • minimize how your biases and assumptions might blind side a conversation
  • remain open to other ideas and perspectives - not just to create buy-in, but, more importantly, to gather ideas you might not have thought of

Here's a simple exercise you can try to enhance your level of self-awareness:

1. Identify a recurring situation that would like to reflect on. Perhaps it's resolving a critical issue or how you handle a team meeting or how your react during a decision making process.

2. After you have been through the situation above, journal about your experience without judging the experience.

  • what were you thinking at the time?
  • what were your physical reactions? what did your body do?
  • what emotions did you experience (frustration, elation, disappointment, etc.)?
  • what were the other person's reactions?

3. After you journal about the items in step 2, diagnose what you experienced.

  • what went well?
  • what could you start doing to be more effective?
  • what could you stop doing to be more effective?

Repeat the process.

The most effective leaders are able to reflect in the moment and adjust how they respond so that ultimately they generate the optimal outcome.

How self aware are you?

emotional intelligence, leadership development, management development, self-awareness

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