Over the years, we have observed the evolution of several different theories of leadership and management, and the ‘upgrade’ of the skills required to be an inspiring and authentic leader.
One of the areas of development, that became very vital, is self-awareness, and without a doubt it got a good ‘boost’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe not right from the beginning of the pandemic, but later on, we realised that connecting with our experiences and making sense of them can be a valuable journey.
Unsurprisingly, self-awareness has become a common topic in coaching and training sessions with clients from Malta and overseas.
“Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards. If you’re highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behaviour with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you.” (Shelly Duval, Robert A. Wicklund, 1972)
In simple words, this is the skill that enables you to stop and take a stock of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences, and then consciously take actions for improvement or correction.
Leaders who apply self-awareness are able gauge their development, evaluate their progress and make changes if necessary.
Leaders with good self-awareness usually know how to avoid their blind spots, express empathy when needed and dial in their strengths in times of adversity.
Such leaders lead with empathy and compassion, support individuals to grow and are aware of their impact on others or the business. They can see things from the perspective of others and be better communicators.
Not everyone is born with good self-awareness, but there are many examples of leaders who have worked strategically to develop this skill and use it in their everyday professional and private lives.
Hint – start small, don’t rush and expect big improvements overnight!
Having an accountable buddy, peer supervision or more experienced mentor to bounce back ideas, observations, get advice or just celebrate success will be a of a great help and will give you the feeling that you are not alone on this journey!
Dragan is an accredited Coach Practitioner with the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) and can be reached at [email protected] or by visiting www.carobconsult.com.
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