4 Aspects to Improve Your Self Awareness as a Manager


Leading Well – Self Awareness as a Manager
Leading well requires proficiency in a combination of competencies.  On the outside, it takes an unusually strong ability to communicate with and to influence others.  On the inside, leadership skills include a commitment to ongoing learning and self awareness as a manager.

Many say that this last trait of self awareness as a manager is the foundation of all the others.  Once you know and understand yourself, you can strengthen your communication skills and your ability to influence others and you are able to recognize what you have learned and what you have yet to learn.

Four Aspects of Knowing and Understanding Yourself
Originally created by psychologists, the Johari window is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others.  It focuses on:

  • THE KNOWN: What is known to you and others
  • THE BLIND SPOTS: What is unknown to yourself but known to others
  • THE HIDDEN: What is known to yourself but unknown to others
  • THE UNKNOWN: What is unknown to yourself and to others

Leaders who have high levels of self-awareness have high levels of knowledge about themselves across all four areas.

How to Improve Your Self Awareness as a Manager
You can think of leadership self-awareness as having four different lenses for looking inside yourself.  To improve your self awareness as a manager:

1. Know What You Know
The best leaders have learned how to authentically lead from a foundation of relevant knowledge and experience. They have learned lessons along their career that they can call upon to get the most out of their teams and make wise decisions.  They think about each step they’ve taken for good or for ill, determine how they could have done better, and apply that lesson going forward.

2. Know Who You Are
How well do you know yourself? Certainly there are some aspects of your identity that you had no choice over like your ethnicity.  But the innermost definition of who you are includes your values and your beliefs.  What matters most to you and how do you express your core beliefs in the way you behave?

The best leaders align their inner self with their outer self and have continuity between their private and public personas.

3. Know How You’re Perceived
Get 360 degree feedback to be able look at yourself through the eyes of others. Do you come across as more introverted or extroverted, controlling or accommodating, open or closed?  When you understand how you’re perceived, you can more effectively communicate and influence those around you.

4. Know What You Want To Be
What is the leadership persona you aspire to? And how do you need to behave and grow to earn a reputation as the leader you envision?  With this knowledge you can adjust your behaviors in the direction of your ideal picture of the leader you want to be.

The Bottom Line
The best leaders not only know what leadership skills matter most, but they also know how they as self-aware individuals express those skills and behaviors.  Until you have a very good sense of self, it is hard to be an effective people leader.  Invest the time to learn about yourself from the inside out.

To learn more about how to improve your self awareness as a manager, download 8 Reasons Leaders Need 360-degree Feedback

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