June 2016

Test Your Self-Awareness

Looked in the mirror lately?  It’s easy to become confident and comfortable with the picture we have of ourselves.  If we don’t periodically test our self-awareness assumptions, we run the risk of overlooking important impacts on others that can undermine results.

Smoothing Edges

There’s no such thing as a perfect leader. We all have “edges” that may need smoothing. Great self-aware leaders know their edges and are always looking for the best ways to manage and adjust them. 

Self-Aware People

Think for a moment about the most self-aware person you know.  Now think about all the ways they behave, and how you feel when you are around them.  

For example, imagine that person in a conversation.

Do they listen more or talk more?  Do they tell more or ask more?  Do they pay attention to social cues from others to help guide the conversation?  Is it easy for them to admit their mistakes, as opposed to placing blame on others?

Now think about the most self-aware leaders you know and think about the qualities they display.  How are you like or unlike them? What do you most admire about them?

How Am I Doing?

Take a few moments and identify whether these statements are true or false about you:

  1. T/F   I am confident that all my behaviors are in complete alignment with my intentions.
  2. T/F   I have a trusted peer or confidant who gives me honest feedback and advice, both solicited and   unsolicited.
  3. T/F   I never step in and make decisions in the areas that are the responsibility of my team.
  4. T/F   I consistently create space that encourages learning and development versus simply creating control and compliance.
  5. T/F   I focus on broad patterns, finding connections to shape a vision that creates engagement and motivation to move my team to achieve.
  6. T/F   I get out of the way when I’m seeing positive results and step in only for guidance as needed.
  7. T/F   I listen and ask good questions that focus on my team’s thinking process, not just about the tasks.
  8. T/F   I clearly see my strengths and my development opportunities and can outline and define them.
  9. T/F   I can readily and easily admit when I’m wrong or have made a mistake.
  10. T/F   Though I might dread confronting problems or issues, I always address the situation or person directly without hesitation.

For all your “true” statements, go back and identify exactly how you know these statements are true. Create a list of specific examples for each statement. 

If you’re truly honest with yourself, you probably have at least a few “false” answers to those statements. More importantly, would a peer or friend answer differently about you than you did?  That’s an important clue in your self-awareness journey.

It’s not enough to have great intentions if you’re not clear on how you’re being perceived by those you lead.  Although the self-awareness journey is a lifetime process, even small shifts in self-awareness create big, powerful impacts.

"The leading cause of death of an executive career is a lack of self-awareness." - Whit Mitchell, Executive Coach & Author

Are you achieving the results you want?
The best leaders make simple shifts or practical changes for big results.  I work closely with leaders to create practical solutions to achieve real success. Let me help you discover what's possible. Visit my website www.terrihughes.com for details.

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