There are two types of self-awareness – internal and external. Internal self-awareness is awareness of our beliefs, value system, personal preferences, strengths, and everything related to the self. External self-awareness is our understanding of how other people view us and the impact that has on us.
As a leader or manager, self-awareness is one of the most important traits you can develop to help both yourself and others. However, it’s not something we ever stop and think about.
We go about our daily lives on automatic pilot. Until something happens. A setback – a failure or something worse. Then all bets are off. Suddenly we find ourselves reviewing everything. We are bemused, staggered, shocked – how could this have happened we wonder.
This is where certain questions can be useful, such as
‘What did I learn from this?’ or ‘How can I ensure I improve going forward?’
And other questions can be destructive if we go into victim mode:
‘Why did this happen to me?’ ‘Why can’t anything go right?’
Clearly the more we can take responsibility for our behaviours and emotions, the better off we are when setbacks strike.
Recently I have suffered a couple of setbacks, but the second one really knocked me for six both mentally and physically. I fell down the stairs and badly injured my back.
I hate to admit it but there was an awful lot of feeling sorry for myself after the event. I also felt incredibly stupid. It was obviously entirely my fault.
It’s so difficult to take full responsibility for our actions when they lead to problems and setbacks. But that is where the key to growth and developing your self-awareness lie.
The learning is there to be absorbed, reviewed, and never forgotten.
We grow, we increase our resilience, we understand that we are only human and we try to do better.
And if we can forgive ourselves, well all to the good – I’m still working on that one, but I hope I’ll get there eventually! I’ll certainly be a lot more careful where stairs are involved, that’s for sure!
If you’d like to measure your level of self-awareness along with 7 other traits that predict success in the workplace, get in touch to do the EBW Psychometric Assessment. 20% discount on offer until 1st September 2022. Contact Justine at firstname.lastname@example.org