There is overwhelming evidence that leaders who have greater levels of self-awareness perform at a higher level and can support their teams better. Knowing how your emotions, values, personality and habits affect your actions and those of others can support you to make better decisions. This will help you to support your team to do so also. Below are some tips how to develop greater self-awareness.
Connect with Your Emotions
When we feel emotions that are difficult many people respond by trying to get rid of it and often will avoid place, people or situations that might bring these feelings up. However, when we avoid these are missed opportunities at connecting with how we feel and understanding why we might be feeling that way. Being able to connect with emotions as a leader, will also help you to think about ways to manage these at work.
This might feel like a daunting task, but getting insights from those you trust, who will honestly share how they experience you in certain situations will support you to have a greater understanding of yourself. If you’re able to ask colleagues how they perceive you can also be helpful. These can be invaluable insights because when you understand how your emotions, reactions and communication style might impact others, you can then adjust it depending on the context and situation.
Lead with Values
Do you know why you are a leader? What are the values behind your leadership, is it to be a leader with integrity, honesty, or compassion. Values are our compass in life, they give us direction. However, identifying values is not enough, it’s then being clear what the behaviours are that reflect those. For example, if you value being a leader with integrity, then your words and actions will match and if you value being a compassionate leader then you will demonstrate empathy and be present with those you lead.
As a leader, you are the constant in an ever-changing workplace, and developing your self awareness will be an ongoing process.