How Leaders Can Increase Their Self-Awareness in 5 Easy Steps

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Self-Awareness can help increase your team’s performance

Self-Awareness can help increase your team’s performance

Tuesday, we talked about the importance of self-awareness in your life. Today, we give you several tools to help you increase your self-awareness in any given situation. More executives derail because they lack self-awareness. Since were getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July I thought I’d help you spot your emotional fireworks before they go off.

As you become more self-aware, your ability to deal with more challenging situations increases. A warning I share is even the most emotionally intelligent persons can react in a given situation. Don’t let small emotional outbreaks keep you from working on increasing your self-awareness. I find the best way to increase self-awareness is being aware of the early warning signs and then taking steps to bring yourself back into balance.  Now, let’s learn how to avoid the emotional fireworks this weekend and beyond.

The first way to increase your self-awareness is to take time to know how you feel at any given moment. Are you tired, stressed out, well rested, and or just moving forward? Most people spend little time to consider how they feel as they enter any given circumstance. Emotions are great indicators about how you feel about any given situation. Learn to read them better and you will master them.

Second, take time to consider what outcome you want before you decide to take action. Come to a full stop before moving forward. It’s much easier to gauge how you’re feeling when you’re not moving so quickly. Take time to do a quick emotional check in. Then make the better decision.

Third, understand who pushes your buttons and why. It’s funny, I’ve known many prominent and influential people in my life and many still allow their parents and family to push their buttons. I can think of one person in particular who reacts almost every time his mother calls. You can literally see him shrink every time his mother called. I made him aware of this and, over the next several months, he was able to reprogram his thinking to enjoy the time he spends with his mother more.  I also convinced him not to tolerate certain bad behavior from her. Guilt can be a powerful manipulator in controlling our emotional states. Master guilt and the other emotions begin falling in line.

Fourth, surround yourself with people who have high level of self-awareness. When you find someone with whom you can quickly check in, it can provide you with a quick reading when you might be moving out of balance. A high level of self-awareness can provide a great platform for a high performing team. There is nothing worse than increasing your team’s challenges by having people around that are not in control of their own emotions.

Fifth, take time to teach others how to be more self-aware. I’ve found the process of teaching others how to be more self-aware helps you increase your own self-awareness. When I have a client who might be more emotionally tone deaf than she can afford to be, I ask her to train her team about self-awareness. Self-awareness can provide significant benefits to individuals who are always moving quickly. Their ability to better understand their own and others’ emotions can help create better teamwork between all members of the team.

Finally, learn how you express yourself emotionally. For men, it can be challenging to get them to say how they feel, but I’ve discovered increasing an awareness of their feelings provides significant growth for leaders. Take time to check in with yourself during both good and bad times. As you start to better understand how you feel at given times and situations you will be better able to master your emotions.

One of the ways I check my emotions is with my puppies. They inherently know when I’m having a good or bad day. If they come into my office and lay at my feet, it’s hard for me not to change my negative attitude.  I’ve seen the same thing with little children. Don’t be afraid to create a work environment where you can get more joy out of your daily activities. If you’re having a bad day, take the dog for a walk.  It’s healthy for them and will do amazing things for you.

Have a great Fourth of July.  I look forward to introducing you to several new writers for our community next several weeks. See you here on Tuesday.

About the Author

Tripp Braden partners with entrepreneurs and senior executives on their high engagement C-Suite communication and content marketing strategies.

He believes client education is the best way of building trust and long term sustainable growth.

His consulting practice focuses on second stage entrepreneurs, technology organizations, and senior level business executives. Tripp partners with clients to develop high impact C-Suite communication and account based marketing strategies.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Tripp at or send him an invite on LinkedIn. You can find Tripp’s business growth blog at Market Leadership Journal.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Empowering Serving Leaders.

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