The Self-Awareness Guy

Self-Awareness in the Workplace

A lot of leaders think that self-awareness in the workplace is some touchy-feely thing that has no applicability in the real world. The irony is that self-awareness can help leaders run much more effective and happy organizations with less effort. Here are some of the qualities of leaders who have a deeper knowledge of themselves:

  • Ability to empathize.
  • They don’t get their stuff all over their employees.
  • More balanced emotions.
  • Greater attentiveness to employee needs.
  • Able to see the big picture instead of being stuck in their own brains.
  • Open to new ideas.
  • They’re comfortable with themselves and others.
  • Kind to others.
  • Behave positively.
  • Think in ways that are expansive rather than limiting.

If you and your leadership team possess these qualities, you know how vital they are to running an effective organization. What will you do to increase the self-awareness in your workplace?


Deeper Communication Skills Part 2

Effective communication is about practicing behaviors that will get you positive results rather than finding yourself stuck doing things that don’t work. In the first part of Deeper Communication Skills, we looked at how to help people talk in a meaningful way. In this post, we’ll review how to help a group work together on a challenging issue or any topic of interest. To continue the process from last time, reconvene the group and work through the following steps in order.

  1. Have the facilitator pick a topic of interest.
  2. Divide people into groups of four or five.
  3. Have each group repeat the process above by having each member give his or her perspective on the topic and the remainder of the group listening.
  4. Ask the group to brainstorm possible ways to deal with the topic. Have them write down their ideas and remind them that all ideas are valid and welcome. Let everyone know that this is just brainstorming, not the time for rebuttals, reactions or debate.
  5. Ask the group to pick one brainstorm item to start working on. Remind the participants that it doesn’t matter which item they pick, what matters is that they’ll be working together on whatever it is. Invite participants to let go of the need to advocate for their favorite item, encourage them to focus on the collaboration not the name of the item.
  6. Have each participant tell their group briefly what he or she will do to work on the brainstorm item and by when he or she will complete the action.
  7. Have each group share what happened in their group, what they decided to work on and how each will contribute.
  8. Take a break.

At this point you could adjourn the meeting. If time permits, you could have people share what they thought about the process. Give everyone a chance to talk from the heart but keep it brief.

So how does this process help people communicate on a deeper level? These exercises help people practice behaviors that are conducive to resolving conflict and promoting peaceful interaction. They eliminate the distractions that occur in standard conversations and give everyone an equal voice. The trap many people fall into is thinking that these types of interactions have to be about someone winning and someone losing. Both sides try to impose their will and no common ground is identified. The difference in the process outlined here is that it gets rid of both side’s agendas, encourages them to empathize and allows them to generate solutions collaboratively.

Well-meaning people can come together and move past the standard grievances and recriminations that plague so many interactions and shift to a model where they build trust and understanding. There is a huge amount of power in listening to other people’s stories and making decisions based on commonalities and shared experiences. When you set up an environment where people are able to let go of unproductive behaviors you open the door to creating positive relationships and mutually beneficial problem solving. This approach isn’t a quick fix but it yields remarkable long-term results. What will you do to promote deeper communication?

Take care,


25 Characteristics of a Self-Aware Person

Here are twenty-five characteristics of a self-aware person:

  1. You’re able to look inside yourself.
  2. You understand how your thoughts and behaviors affect you and the people around you.
  3. You’re able to manage your emotions and comfortably deal with other people’s emotions.
  4. You don’t walk through life hurting others.
  5. You treat yourself and others well.
  6. You’re generally happy and balanced.
  7. You live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
  8. You know who you are deep inside.
  9. You follow your dreams.
  10. You listen to your inner voice.
  11. You build healthy relationships.
  12. You don’t get into a lot of conflicts.
  13. You don’t try to control other people.
  14. You behave with kindness and empathy.
  15. You don’t feel you have to win or beat people.
  16. You heal your inner damage.
  17. You derive your self-esteem from being a healthy person.
  18. You listen to other people.
  19. You don’t feel threatened by new or different ideas.
  20. You live based on reality.
  21. You give to others.
  22. You don’t have an inflated ego.
  23. You don’t make excuses for the mistakes you make.
  24. You’re willing to change.
  25. You’re a nice person.

Being self-aware means that you’ve done the work necessary to understand who you really are and fix the things that cause you or others discomfort. When you possess self-awareness, you’re in touch with your emotions, thoughts, and actions, so that you can live a life where you treat yourself and others with care and compassion and help build a better world.



Leadership and Self-Awareness

Leadership and self-awareness go hand in hand to build happy workplaces but many leaders have no clue how their actions affect the people around them and the well-being of their organizations. They stumble through their days working out their personal issues on people without realizing what they’re doing.

Leaders with self-awareness have the ability to manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors so that they treat themselves and others positively. Most leaders have little to no understanding of how they affect the people around them so they spend the day bossing everyone around instead of inspiring them. Here are five signs you’re practicing leadership with self-awareness:

  1. You don’t bark orders.
  2. You create a work environment where people motivate themselves from within.
  3. You don’t picture yourself as a fearless leader steering a ship through turbulent waters.
  4. You work collaboratively for the collective good.
  5. Your staff genuinely likes you.
  6. You appreciate feedback and do something positive with it.
  7. You’re constantly growing.
  8. You delegate often and well.
  9. You don’t get into power struggles.
  10. There is low turnover in your department or company.
  11. There is very little conflict in your organization.
  12. You communicate well because you’re an active listener.
  13. You’re a balanced, likable person.
  14. You don’t lead through fear but rather through kindness and compassion.
  15. You have empathy.

Leaders who possess self-awareness get a lot more done with less effort. There’s no mystery to becoming more self-aware, you just have to work at it every day. Try picking one of the items on the list and practicing it until you get good at it, then move on to the next. Before you know it, you’ll be leading with self-awareness.



Insecurity Is a Normal Part of Self-Awareness

Insecurity is a normal part of developing self-awareness because it indicates that you understand that some area of your life that needs improvement. No one feels 100% confident all the time and everyone has doubts. The trick is to use those feelings as inspiration to keep learning and growing instead of letting them affect you and others in less that wonderful ways.

People who are always insecure lack the self-awareness to move past those feelings. The key to getting rid of insecurity is to determine what’s causing it and continue taking action even when it feels difficult. As you keep doing positive things, you’ll gradually feel more confident and less insecure.

Here are some signs you’re moving past insecurity:

  • You feel happier and more balanced.
  • You’re able to overcome obstacles.
  • You like yourself more.
  • You feel more confident but not in an arrogant or fake way.
  • You don’t feel the need to compete to prove how great you are.
  • You help other people succeed.
  • You behave with kindness and empathy.