Frank Salvatore
Health and Lifestyle

Creating Self-Awareness at Work

May 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

While almost everybody thinks they have self-awareness, very few people actually do. In general, people are actually very poor judges of themselves. This can be detrimental in the workplace as well as everyday life.

People who know their motivations, know where their passions lie, and realize how they can impact the people around them, are more effective. They tend to get promoted faster in the workplace and have more financial success.

So, why is self-awareness so important, and how can one be better at it? Self-awareness is a complex topic, but there are certain things you can do to become more self-aware.

Why You’re Not Self-Aware

The more power a person gets and the higher they progress in their career, the less self-aware the person tends to be. Power in the workplace can literally go to one’s head and make it hard for them to recognize or comprehend the impact they have on their colleagues.

One example of this is the Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick. During his tenure as CEO of Uber, his chief marketing officer and his president have both left the company. This is a prime case of having very little self-awareness.

A CEO can be a genius businessman, but if they are not aware of how other people perceive them, their successful days will be limited. If they do not fail as a CEO, they will at least be ineffective, due to the fact that they are unable to get people to follow them. Many times, leaders who are not self-aware are not respected and are unable to get their goals accomplished because they can’t get people to get on board with their ideas.

Additionally, if a CEO does not make their future visions clear to their subordinates, they are creating a missed opportunity for themselves to be successful. Often, CEOs blindly chase the positive responses of shareholders, which is short-sighted and ineffective.

Why Self-Awareness Matters

Sometimes leaders can be successful in spite of their lack of self-awareness. If this is the case, they likely won’t make an effort to change how they are because they already have the power that they desire. However, there will always be a time when people learn the importance of understanding the people around them.

Often when leaders are told how people perceive them, they are in disbelief. However, if they change their management style, the positive results are exceptional. The more leadership the person has, the larger ripple effect the change can make, all the way down to the customers.

3 Steps to Improving Self-Awareness

Self-awareness cannot be achieved quickly, but there are three steps that you can take to start your journey.

1. Devote the time to learn the truth about yourself.

Even if you do not necessarily want to hear the truth, face up to the reality. Don’t just assume that everyone has the same positive thoughts about you as you have of yourself. Also, question your assumption that just because you don’t get pushback on your decisions that all of your decisions are right. Be open-minded, brave, and wise.

2. Find someone who will be direct with you.

A loving critic is not only someone who you trust but also someone who you know is rooting for your success. However, this must be a person who is willing to be transparent and completely honest with you. Look towards your board members or someone who is your equal in the workplace and knows you very well. Ask your loving critic what you are doing well and in which areas you could improve. You could be surprised how much insight you might gain.

3. Consider getting a coach.

There are a lot of great coaches that work specifically with executives. If you are able to connect with someone who is able to help you evaluate others’ perceptions of you within your company, and help you figure out what you need to work on, you will likely see some great improvements.

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Frank Salvatore