One thing self-awareness is not is the consciousness of being aware of what’s going on around you. That’s just observation. Self-awareness is understanding your motives, impact of what you say, the results of what you do, the character you present to others, and the desires you openly express. It’s what other people see and perceive when you interact with a team at work, or socially with family and friends. Do you understand it all? Most leaders don’t. The Hay Group behavioral database cites these statistics. Self-awareness is strongly evident in only 19% of women and 4% of men in general management roles.
Let’s kick self-awareness up a notch. We are, after all, dealing with the psychological and behavioral issues of thought leadership. Emotional Intelligence (EI) embodies what a leader needs to consider and understand to become a great leader. EI boils down to these five categorical elements of psychology and behavior:
- Self-Awareness – understanding one’s emotional wiring.
- Self- Management – learning to evaluate and control our emotions and behavior.
- Motivational – able to set and achieve personal goals with determination.
- Social Awareness – empathy to sense and relate to what others are feeling.
- Relational Management – able to work through and resolve conflicts to maintain healthy relationships.
You know when you’re angry, happy or sad, or afraid or threatened. You may not know, at the deepest level, exactly why. Furthermore, you may not know how that affects the people around you.
Highly curious about why you react the way you do?
Exploring, mapping and understanding your childhood upbringing?
Ceaselessly examining your emotional hard-wiring and emotional triggers?
Learning how to listen to your first reactions and thoughts and control them as you learn more about where they come from and why?
Realizing, accepting and fully owning that your disconnection with another person includes the part you play,without blaming, shaming or projecting onto others?
Quick to repair a broken relationship connection, recover quickly and take the first step?
Taking time to understand the lives and challenges of your parents and grandparents?
Interested in knowing what motivates you and longing to understand it?
Focused on setting and maintaining high trust relationships with others?
Realizing there are still things you don’t know about yourself and respecting that the process of moving from unconscious to conscious is a lifetime endeavor?
- The realization that emotional intelligence is more important than your IQ.
- Weaknesses discovered will multiply as strengths become more focused.
- Situational knee-jerk reactions to events such as anger should trigger a need to slow down to rethink how to react before you speak or make a decision you might regret.