When I work with managers who have been recently promoted to increasing responsibility, the first thing I work with them on is self-awareness. I believe it is critical to your success as a manager to understand the impact you have on other people. When employees are asked on surveys who impacts their lives the most, it is always their direct manager who rises to the top of their list. Self-awareness helps you understand how you impact the lives of others, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Your CEO might be a celebrity and rock star, but for most of your team it’s you who represents the interests of both employee and company. That can be good news if you’re a good person, and really bad if you don’t take it seriously. If you choose not to take your impact seriously, consider this: Over 30% of employees would forego a raise for the year if it meant they could get a new boss. Ouch, this could explain many of the challenges we face in our roles as managers. Self-awareness is the key to overcoming many of these challenges.
I thought it might be helpful for you get a better view of yourself if you hope to begin empowering and engaging your team to build a stronger organization. The questions below are from book I’ve used for many years when I worked with clients on employment engagement issues, called Finding Your True North; a Personal Guide by Bill George. Bill has written several books on Authentic Leadership and this workbook can help you reconnect to your passion and purpose. Bill is great manager and leader because he walks his talk. He believes that anyone can be a stronger manager if they invest time in developing the skills and competencies. He goes farther than most leaders and stresses that many of the problems we face are caused by being disconnected from our own unique True North.
To be a truly self-aware person we must be willing to do the work that it takes to better understand what we value, what strengths we have, and how we bring these to the work we choose to do. The book is great resource for anyone who hopes to build a lasting leadership legacy. One of key qualities this book reflects is that Bill has walked the leadership path and knows what it takes to develop successful leaders.
His first key premise is that anyone can increase their self-awareness. He bases his beliefs on the work of Dan Goleman’s writings on emotional intelligence. Today I’ll share Bill’s questions to help you increase your self-awareness. His book helps you become a better leader.
So what is self-awareness? Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as your effect on others. Bill asks a series of questions that to help you get started. He asks you to rate yourself on these three questions. He also recommends you ask others to rate you as well. Good feedback is critical to your development.
The first question is: How self-confident am I?
The second question is: How aware am I of my moods, my emotions and my drives?
The third questions is: How effective am I in recognizing my effect or impact on other people?
These three questions are designed to get you thinking about your own self-awareness. Many people are so busy focusing on their results they miss the impact they have on others through their behavior.
Bill then asks you describe a situation where you demonstrated lack of self-awareness. These questions are going to help you better understand yourself. When I do this I also asks my clients: Why they act this way. Where did they see this behavior in the past? How productive has it been thus far in their lives? Would they exhibit this behavior with someone they love and respect? Finally, I ask: How would you respond if someone exhibited similar behavior towards you or someone you care for?
Want more information on Bill George and Authentic Leadership? You can find his books and his website here
Now that I have you thinking, I’ll be back Thursday to share some steps on how to improve your self-awareness. See you Thursday.