Self-awareness is a critical quality of being an effective leader because it enables you to understand your own emotions and thoughts and how they might impact others. This understanding allows you to make better decisions, communicate more effectively, and create a more positive leadership and team environment.

Being self-aware helps you recognize and manage your own biases, which can be a huge barrier to good decision-making and can often lead to discriminatory or harmful behavior, sometimes without even being aware.

Being self-aware allows you to be better able to adapt to changing situations and navigate bigger challenges because you clearly understand your own strengths and weaknesses.

Self-awareness is essentially how you become more authentic, empathetic, and effective in your leadership and life!

So, what is self-awareness? Glad you asked!

Self-awareness is simply you being conscious of yourself and being mindful and open to what you notice about your own personality, actions, reactions, feelings, motives, and desires. That means you can recognize what is happening as it’s happening and why.

Some signs of people with more or developing self-awareness are open to feedback and willing to make changes if warranted. They can set realistic goals and create plans to back them up and achieve them, flexing where necessary. They are able to take in multiple perspectives in decision-making and, most importantly, know that there is always more to learn about themselves. We are not finite – each day, we continue to evolve.

Now, for the real question. How do you do it? How do you become more self-aware? There are several ways that you can build self-awareness:

  1. Reflect on your own experiences and actions: Take time to reflect on your own experiences and actions, and consider how they have shaped your values or what you deem important, beliefs about yourself and others and behaviors.
  2. Seek feedback from others: Ask for feedback from colleagues, mentors, and others whose opinions you value. This can help you to understand better how you are perceived by others and identify areas you might want to pay some attention to.
  3. Practice mindfulness: Engaging in mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, can help you to become more self-aware by increasing your ability to focus and pay attention to your thoughts and emotions.
  4. Engage in self-assessment: Use self-assessment tools, such as personality tests or 360-degree evaluations, to gain a better understanding of your own strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth. For business, I recommend Predictive Index.
  5. Seek out new experiences: Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. This can help you to discover new aspects of yourself and build self-awareness.

Now that you’ve opened the door to being more self-aware keep the door open. Notice what you notice about yourself in a variety of situations. Again, this isn’t about judgment; it’s about recognizing what is currently present within yourself to make better decisions about how you shape your leadership going forward. Nothing can change without you first becoming aware of it.

Until the next time, here’s wishing you all the Clarity and self-awareness you deserve. Be good to yourself.