There are tons of different skills that managers need in order to be successful at their jobs, but one of the most oft-cited is self-awareness. Self-awareness isn’t just a trait to put on a form, but has been found to correlate with a company’s overall financial performance. The Korn Ferry Institute found that public companies with a higher rate of return (ROR) were also the companies that employed professionals with a higher rate of self-awareness.

Last time on the blog, we discussed ‘Why Good Leadership Starts with Self-Awareness’. While many a leadership trainer and executive have lauded the benefits of self-awareness, the question of how to achieve it remains. If you aren’t sure where to start, below are a few simple tips on how managers can create a systematic approach to self-awareness.


Look At How People Respond to You

The first thing to do in order to achieve self-awareness is to first look at the way people, especially those on your team, respond to you. Organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich describes two forms of self-awareness, internal and external. External self-awareness is understanding how people view us. Eurich’s research found that those who had external self-awareness were more able to show empathy and understand others’ perspectives. This is especially important while working with a team; while a manager may be in charge of directing the focus of their team, being able to empathize with your members will lead to greater success and cohesion.


Open Yourself Up to Learning

When put in a leadership position, it can be tempting to assume that you know what’s best for the project. But the truth is that nobody knows everything, and you may encounter setbacks or learning experiences that you might not have expected. By opening yourself up to the possibility that you don’t know everything there is to know, you allow yourself to react more organically to emergency situations. You’re able to find solutions more quickly because you don’t get stuck trying to do it your way. Plus, every experience becomes a learning experience, benefitting you and your team in the long run.


Listen to Trusted Individuals

In a post on ‘Why You Need Self-Awareness to Be Successful in Business’, it states that collecting feedback from trusted individuals was listed as one of the main requirements for self-awareness. This is tangentially related to opening yourself up to learning: knowing how to take advice, and from whom, can be equally important. By taking feedback from people whose opinions you trust, you can get sound second opinions that will help you build a better solution in ways that you might not have known were possible.


Remember Your Role Models

Finally, one thing you can do in order to build self-awareness is to remember your role models. Think about the qualities in other leaders that you admire, and try to see if they’re applicable to your own work and your own team. By being aware of what makes other people effective leaders, you can identify and take on those same qualities for your own team. Leadership Thoughts has a short and concise post on attributes you might need in order to be a good role model, so check out the list and see if you can check off a few of those qualities.


Piece exclusively written for SelfAware Life

by Jillion Bao

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