Self-awareness: Your Leadership Goal

If you’re a manager who’s been in the workforce for any length of time, chances are you don’t need leadership research to tell you that high levels of emotional intelligence in key areas can predict your success as leader and low levels of emotional intelligence in other areas can derail your career (and yes, research does support this).

You’ve likely experienced for yourself the difference in your levels of motivation, engagement and trust when you worked for leaders who showed genuine interest in you and your success, were great coaches, supported teamwork, ignited creative thinking, communicated often, generously shared their insights, kept their teams focused through the ups and downs of organizational change and made good decisions. Perhaps you believe that some managers naturally have these qualities while others do not.

What if you had a better understanding of where your own perceptions and biases come from? What if you knew why you form certain judgements and how your mind works when it makes decisions? And…what if this self-awareness was a set of skills you can learn, practice and improve? You may think emotional intelligence doesn’t matter to your career success and that all you need is a track record of results and an MBA. You'd be mistaken.

Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. It gives insight into our thoughts, reactions and values in the moment. It takes our minds off auto-pilot so we can better understand how we arrive at certain conclusions, form judgements and make decisions. With self-awareness, we make choices that further build character. No longer a victim to the habits of our thinking, we better manage ourselves and in turn, better manage our teams and our organizations.

Here are six questions to get you started toward your goal of developing more self-awareness.

  1. How well do you know the basis of your emotional reactions and how emotions guide your beliefs and behavior?

  2. On a scale of 1 – 10, to what degree do your decisions, judgements and relationships hinder you from getting ahead?  

  3. Do your direct reports think of you as humble?

  4. Do you feel your work has purpose?

  5. Does your team feel their work has purpose?

  6. What does it mean to you to be an authentic leader?

Ready to develop the insights shared by highly self-aware leaders? Start with an industry leading and scientifically validated EQ self-assessment, EQ 360-degree survey or EQ Team assessment and development action plan. Contact The Ei Coach LLC today and make this the year you and your team build more meaning, connection and purpose in your work, relationships and results, every day.

Susan Clarine