This is leadership: Self-Awareness

This is Leadership: Leader reflections

……self-assessment is central to self-awareness, so is self-confidence

Daniel Goleman demystifies emotional intelligence to an extent that leadership authorities have no option than to reference his works from all angles in areas pertaining to the subject. It is not as though Goleman (1995) prompts leaders to be aware of themselves.

He rather proposed a deliberate piece within a broader discipline to remind leaders to be conscious of every step towards leadership development. The intrapersonal awareness versus the interpersonal dynamics seek to bring leader- follower- situation into the realms of problem solving, team building, consciousness and how to deal with issues head-on. Interestingly, no one wants to be unaware of himself or herself. Unfortunately, however, someone will fill that slot though.

To be aware of yourself, use feedback as a tool. Although single loop works for authentic leaders, double loop may not be kind, but it will surely be effective in shaping self-awareness. As a progressive facilitator and a corporate training consultant, I learn lessons each day. Learning to be better each day starts with learning to be consciously conscious of ourselves.

After years of people grooming and facilitating programmes, I’ve noticed that people will be aware of themselves if they are able to evaluate the effects of their actions and inactions on their followers and also on specific situations.

In effect, leaders must learn to be self-aware by learning the art of self-reflection, looking at yourself objectively, writing down goals, planning and prioritizing objectives, keeping a journal to manage your actions, observations and reflections, and subsequently becoming assertive about the things that matter. Self-awareness is about emotional awareness, candid self-assessment and a steady level of self-confidence.

In a corporate training session, one participant hinted that emotional intelligence is taking emotions away from the office. To her, people are no longer ‘real’ in the office. Colleagues hide their true self in order to stay intelligent, emotionally. Whichever way you look at it, office spaces are regulated and therefore colleagues will never stage their true personality types in the office anyway.

Debating the point on emotional awareness, there is another school of thought that proposes that inasmuch as executive coaches of emotional intelligence and proponents of emotional management have succeeded in defending arguments that people must be intelligent emotionally, people will forever feign to relate well at the office.

This is why the subject of emotional awareness brings the issues of team trust, sacrifice and dedication to the fore. It’s not as though people are not real. Rather, colleagues learn to manage their personalities to be conscious of their spaces and to have some level of control over the situations they are confronted with. In all of these, leaders must show emotions (within teams), if they have to. Leaders are human too, aren’t they?

The only advice is that leaders must learn to control their emotions in order to manage the emotions of their followers and more importantly, the situations they are challenged with. To this end, self-assessment is central to self-awareness, so is self-confidence. 21st century leaders must prepare themselves to be ready at all times by learning to self-audit. This is one hidden secret to building self-confidence. Imaging you, knowing what people think of you? Self-awareness leads to self-confidence. Just be self-aware.

This is Leadership!

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