Developing Your Inner Leader.
One of the most important skills you could develop as a leader is self-awareness—continuously being aware of your thought process and your reactions to those thoughts. It includes understanding and analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. It's difficult work, but when a leader practices self-awareness strategies, it makes a world of difference: Self-aware leaders transform their work cultures and inspire their employees.
To develop your self-awareness, begin by intentionally focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behavior. Self-awareness practices aren't complicated, but they do take practice, time, and effort.
TAKE TIME TO REFLECT.
Setting time aside for reflection is difficult, thanks to the tyranny of the urgent. We often feel we could always do something more useful or important with our time. Taking time to develop self-awareness, however, is vital to your success as a leader.
"Interpersonal debrief" is a self-awareness strategy I teach clients, during which they ask themselves six questions after an event:
- What went well?
- What might I have done differently?
- What did I learn about myself?
- What did I learn about others?
- How could I use what I have learned?
- What are my next steps?
Try this fifteen minutes a day for fifteen days, using a journal. As you read your entries after the fifteen days, you'll notice these questions have become habitual—and you'll have increased your self-awareness as a leader.
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Written by Tamara Rosier, who has been a college administrator, professor, leadership consultant, high school teacher, and public speaker. She coaches adults and adolescents with ADHD, helps intelligent people refine their social intelligence, and facilitates leaders as they develop their skills. Tamara received her Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Leadership from Western Michigan University. She may be reached at [email protected].