Self Management and Self-Awareness


Continuing with the BLOG theme of self-management, leadership self-awareness is a critical leadership competency to possess. What is self-awareness?

“Self-awareness is an honest understanding of your own values, desires, thought patterns, motivations, goals and ambitions, emotional responses, strengths and weaknesses, and effect on others” Michael E. Frisina

Attaining self-awareness on an individual level is an important aspect of our psychological development as humans. However, its value extends to all aspects of our life. For example, self-awareness in the context of management of others is an important asset for successful leadership.


Self-Awareness: A Fundamental Leadership Competency

There are many schools of thought when it comes to leadership and management of others. But no matter how strongly you practice or align yourself with one, effectiveness comes down to self-awareness. Without it, leaders will not fully understand their role because they won’t see how their behavior and choices affect individual members of their team.

Knowing oneself helps to understand what it means to be a leader beyond the everyday duties. Sure, tasks like budgeting and scheduling are important. However, there are also other, more important components, such as the ability to inspire others, lead to the individual needs of others and prevent team dysfunction like interpersonal conflicts or gossip.

Effective leaders self-examine. If a process is broken, you examine it to determine why it’s broken. But don't stop there. It’s also worth turning the examination inwards. Ask yourself if your behavior as a leader contributed to or could have prevented the breakdown in communication resulting in a missed goal.

Effective leaders are sincere. Stressful events often show an individual’s true colors. Genuine leaders act consistently whether you are under pressure or not.  Presenting the genuine version of yourself and making choices that are reflective of that shows consistency. This helps influence the team’s trust in your leadership.

Effective leaders solicit feedback. As difficult as it may be to receive, feedback in various forms is necessary for healthy relationships. Employees may not voice concerns or ideas if they fear judgment from you as their leader. Consequently, feedback may be a leader’s primary tool to know that their body language is often perceived as dismissive or negative. And, in fact, this behavior can be what’s causing employees’ reluctance to speak up.


Self-Awareness and EQ

Self-awareness is a building block for emotionally intelligent leadership. This critically important aspect of emotionally intelligent leadership often occurs when you are out of your comfort zone. Are you change adverse or do you thrive during change? Knowing this about yourself enables you to be consciously aware of how to conduct yourself as a leader. 

Employees witness their leader's behavior daily and react accordingly. Therefore, a leader who uses self-awareness to influence decisions will find it easier to keep employees happy and working efficiently. Additionally, freely displaying the tenents of self-awareness encourages employees to act similarly. As a result, they may choose to use self-awareness to influence their behavior and choices. This is valuable to them in both their personal and professional lives.

If you’d like to discuss ways to improve your leadership skills by increasing self-awareness, contact me.