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4 Tips on Becoming a More Self-Aware Manager

How to become a more self aware manager

No matter how good we might think we are in our jobs, how much we outperform our peers and colleagues, deliver income and get great feedback, none of us are perfect. For those people moving towards leadership and management roles a track record of success can often help to mask shortcomings.

The Leadership Transition

Many great performers on the front line often struggle in managerial roles because they aren’t aware of their skills gaps. Those who are at a more youthful stage of their career often make mistakes or do something wrong but a lack of self-awareness means they justify their actions despite obvious negative outcomes.

It’s our nature to act first then consider and learn from consequences afterwards. Often impulsive reactions to challenges and workplace issues create further problems, upsetting colleagues or getting us into trouble. We’ve all known ‘untouchable’ star performers who seem to be able to get away with saying what they want regardless of the consequences.

However, when your role changes and you are starting to take responsibility for the performance of others, an abrasive and inconsiderate approach won’t do.


Self-awareness is the ability to understand not only where your strengths lie but also your weaknesses. Successful managers are self-aware and understand quite clearly their limitations. If they are unable to perform in certain tasks self-awareness means they can identify others who can. As Anthony K Tjan remarks in the Harvard Business Review, “You can’t be a good leader without self-awareness.”

Self-awareness helps to improve performance by supporting your ability to make better decisions and act in a considered fashion when under pressure. Becoming more self-aware, and aware of your actions however takes time and dedication. There is no overnight quick fix but there are things you can start doing to improve self-awareness. Here are our tips


Taking time regularly to stop and reflect on events can help you to become more self-aware. Whether you practice meditation or just take time to quietly reflect, by asking your yourself why you took certain actions and not others will help you to be more considered next time similar challenges arise.

2. Get Feedback

Seeking feedback from a trusted source can be an easy way of getting the views of someone else. By taking on board how others view your actions it can help to see how what you do impacts others.

3. Practice Writing

The art of writing and keeping diary notes is perfect for helping to reflect on daily challenges. The act of committing your thoughts to paper will enable you to reflect during the process and reading afterwards will also give you time to consider your actions.

4. Tests

There are a wide range of personality tests available that are designed for people to help improve awareness about themselves, their abilities and their blind spots. Such tests provide detailed feedback which can prove invaluable on a leadership journey.

Self-reflection is a key attribute for anyone who wishes to excel in a leadership arena. For more details on how Psyence can help improve self-awareness please contact us today.

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Graduate Skills of The Future

Grad skills for future

A recent article talked about how in future the role of the sales person will change, to a point where the function of the role will be to tell the customer the price and accept the signature. The world we live in is changing dramatically. Technology, globalisation and mind set changes are three of the main drivers behind the evolution of the commercial environment. An awareness of this change is important for leaders of organisations and when considering how success may be derived in the longer term its vital to know what are the skills that will be needed to drive organisations forward.

A number of reports in the past have highlighted just some of the key skills needed in the future workforce. Indeed, like with the sales person example above research from the World Economic Forum suggests that in the region of 35% of skills that are common today will not be required for the workforce of 2020.

If you look closely at some of the popular industries around us nowadays the picture starts to become clear. The travel agency sector, in decline for a number of years, for how much longer can travel agents remain in play whilst bookings move online? The print media sector is in steep decline, potentially impacting on thousands of roles. In financial services automated software is making decisions which no longer require human intervention.

All that said there are other sectors where staff demand is clearly high, in areas such as electrical engineering, software development, nursing and care. Roles may be changing alongside the face of many industries but what is clearly evident is that in future there’ll be plenty of new opportunities for skilled candidates to go for. What skills may be popular in future?

In short the types of skill that may be popular will perhaps be those that relate to tasks that cannot be done by a machine or a computer. Generally speaking, these are skills that are distinctly human in nature.

Although nothing is impossible the brains ability to conjure up creative ideas and concepts for new products and services is unique. Those who have the ability to harness their creativity effectively will find that opportunities may well be more available.

Problem Solving Skills
In a more entrepreneurial working environment with polarized job roles (where many require a low skill base and others a high skill set) there will be plenty of room for people who can use their initiative to make things happen, rather than accept the status quo.

Global Mind-sets
As the world becomes a smaller place and the barriers to entering new markets less of a challenge those people who are capable of communicating internationally will stand out. Rather than just have an ability to speak the language cultural awareness and understanding will elevate candidates out from the crowd.

Digital Communications
In the workplace of the future your ability to communicate via digital media may not just be something you do for fun. With messaging apps, file sharing and gamification of systems more and more common, in a few years-time they may just be must have skills.

For some, considering the changes is daunting but for others its exciting. What’s for sure is that change in some form is certain. Your ability to identify what those important future skills might just set you apart.

The team at Psyence has helped to develop graduates in some of the UK’s largest organisations. For help on how we can support your teams feel free to get in touch to find out more.

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The Resilient Leader


Resilience is one of the keywords of 2016 with so many experts in the field of Occupational Psychology talking about the importance of the theme. A company’s ability to be able to adapt itself to the influences of internal and external pressures are more vital than ever before. Of course the role of the leader in any organisation plays an important part in setting the tone of organisational mind-sets and one’s ability to be resilient in times of change is vital for the future direction of the business.

Professional Insights

At Psyence we’ve recently seen some first-hand demonstrations of the importance of adapting to the world around you in business. At our recent ‘Discovering Resilience’ event Hazel Wheldon of Multi-Health Systems spoke extensively of the changing workplace and the impact of technology. As the next generation of the workforce becomes more prolific communication is just one example of change. Will messenger tools soon replace email as we know it? Are the motivations of new graduates, with a work to live ethos, changing the office dynamic.? On both counts the answer is most certainly yes. As leaders of organisations is resistance to such changes futile?

Types of Challenge

Changes in technology, economic pressures such as the risks associated to Brexit, the changing demands of customers and many other factors are just some of the things that apply challenges to the business. The resilient leader has the ability to bounce back when challenges like these impact the organisation.

What is a resilient leader?

Resilient leaders see the big picture. They are aware of what is on the horizon and create strategies that will meet the challenges head on. That said, plans that are laid down may often be flexible to adapt to the uncertainty of the current climate. Their ability to change direction when required is vital in a modern commercial environment.
Communication is also a common factor for the resilient leader. Understanding that social relationships and the support of a board of directors is vital in a changing environment is key. Furthermore, the ability to keep the workforce informed effectively will help the resilient leader to achieve corporate goals.

4 tips for improving resilience

Be Proactive – For many the threat of change can lead to paralysis. When change is on the horizon, attacking the issues head on as opposed to ignoring them and hoping they will fade away is vital. Understand that change requires action.
Build a Strong Support Network – They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. By building a team of trusted advisors and having a network around you of individuals you can listen to in times of need, it will help to become more resilient in times of challenge.
Keep Healthy – The benefits of good physical health mustn’t be underestimated in times of tough mental rigour. Physical activity, balanced diet and adequate amounts of sleep are important to making sure that your decision making capabilities remain at their optimum levels.
Maintain a Positive Outlook – Resilient leaders understand that turning negative problems into challenges and keeping a positive outlook is vital. Remember that problems will come and go, and tomorrow the challenges will be different.

Resilience is a key attribute for modern leadership. If you want to discuss how Psyence can help your leaders be more resilient .