7 Tips for Improving Your Self Awareness as a Leader
There is a long list of opinions on what the most important characteristics are to make a great leader. Honesty and integrity, ability to inspire others, commitment and passion, emotional intelligence, sound decision making, accountability, creativity, and superior communication skills. One characteristic that you don’t often see in a top 10 list of effective leadership skills is Self Awareness. Unless you are self aware, it is hard to know if you are making the mark on any other leadership attribute or characteristic you may possess.
Self-awareness is a key characteristic that keeps us grounded, attuned and focused. When leaders are grounded, they are able to be efficient and deliberate in staying on task and being in touch with those around them. Learning to be self aware isn’t always easy but mastering this skill can help you become a much more effective leader as well as a great help in promoting your personal brand.
Here are 7 Tips for Improving your Self Awareness.
- Keep an open mind. When you have the ability to regulate your emotions, you will be better attuned the emotions of others. To be a successful leader, you have to be curious about new people and all they have to offer. The more open, genuine and transparent you are to others; the more people will trust you, respect you and seek out your opinion.
- Be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses. Self-aware individuals know their own strengths and weaknesses and are able to work from that space. Being mindful of this means that you know when to reach out for assistance, and when you are good on your own.
- Stay focused. It is important for a leader to first focus on themselves. Inward focus allows you to think more clearly – come up with your own logical opinions without any interruptions or outside influence. Being able to trust your own decisions will give an air of confidence that shows through with others, giving them a reason to trust in your leadership.
- Set boundaries. A leader needs to have strong boundaries in place. Be warm toward others but learn how to say no when you need to say no. Be serious about your work and your passions and keep your boundaries firm to maintain the integrity of your goals and the work you put into them.
- Know your emotional triggers. Self-aware individuals are able to identify their emotions as they are happening. Don't repress your emotions or deny their causes; instead, be able to bend and flex with them, and fully process them before communicating with others.
- Trust your intuition. Successful leaders trust their gut instincts and take the risks associated with them. Your instincts are based on the survival of the fittest and the need to succeed. Learning to trust your intuition will serve you well.
- Practice self-discipline. Good leaders tend to be disciplined at work and in every area of their life. It is a character trait that provides enduring energy and focus necessary for strong leadership.