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.
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.