Everyone knows who a leader is. At one point or another, someone may have identified leadership qualities in you by how you carry yourself and relate with others. But what does it really mean to be a leader?
One thing’s for sure, a leader needs more than the ability to motivate a team towards a goal. You need to be empathetic, to be able to connect with your team. Most of all, you need to be aware of yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses, know when to act and when to retreat. A good leader needs self-awareness.
“Self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion”- Billie Jean King
The importance of self-awareness in leadership
Self-awareness is the acknowledgement of your personality, habits and skills and how they affect your interactions with others in the workplace.
Being a self-aware leader:
- Helps you set realistic expectations – Being self-aware lets you balance between achieving your goals and knowing what your team brings to the table.
- Helps understand your capacity– Being self-aware means you know your strengths and weaknesses pertaining to your leadership role you hold and can gauge your capacity to achieve your goals.
- Helps you make better decisions– Being self-aware means you can think ahead of negative possibilities. You have the ability to stop and reflect on your team’s perception of your words and actions, and are able to identify your mistakes and change for the better. In a nutshell, being self-aware helps you stay in control and make better decisions.
Characteristics of self- awareness
What characters of self-awareness make it a desirable virtue?
Five Major Ways to become more self-aware in leadership
Would you like to adapt or improve self-awareness in your leadership style? Follow these effective steps:
- Steer your emotions
Find what triggers your emotions, good or bad. Learn to recognise them and understand why you’re going through them, before letting them out. If you’re unsure which of your emotions are biased, consider taking psychometric tests such as the Entrepreneurship Aptitude Test
- Identify your strengths and weakness
There are numerous ways you can use to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. While you could be aware of some, try:
- Using the aptitude test – these help you evaluate yourself through practical scenarios
- Getting feedback from colleagues – Your colleagues can help you understand the positive and negative emotions through their perception
- Meditation– Take time to just sit quietly, and while relaxing, try to evaluate what is working in your leadership role, what isn’t and what is derailing your success
- Practice being mindful of others
Learn to be more empathetic. Consider how your words or actions impact your team members and find ways to improve your communication and build better relationships.
- Practice self- discipline
As a leader, you need to take the first step to guard your emotions and reactions. Know where to draw the line and gauge the value you bring to your leadership role against your objectives. Best of all, know when you can handle a situation and when to seek help.
- Keep an open mind
As a leader, keeping an open mind is essential as it allows room for new ways of achieving your goals. Be more receptive to your team’s opinions and you’ll notice that as your team thrives from your support, you too will achieve personal growth and development.
It takes a good leader to bring the best out of a team, but a leader who practices self-awareness can achieve so much more.
Sources: YoungMogul, chieflearningofficer, indeed, insperity, michaelpage, hbr, businessnewsdaily