Self-awareness is a vital component of a healthy, highly functional workplace. Many leaders have no idea what looking at themselves means and it shows in how they behave at work. Here are some things leaders who don't yet possess a high level of self-awareness do:
- They think they're great bosses but none of their employees do.
- They work out their personal problems on their employees.
- They don't behave consistently or in a balanced manner.
- They function based on the need to gain power or control people.
- They don't seem to get it about treating people well.
- They don't have a handle on their own emotions.
- They don't see how their thoughts and behaviors affect others.
- They don't build healthy workplace relationships.
- They repeat the same mistakes over and over.
Here are some characteristics of self-aware leaders:
- Their employees say their great bosses (and it's not due to fear).
- They work out their personal problems at home and don't let them affect their employees.
- Their behavior is consistently balanced.
- They encourage people to shine and don't have the need to exert power over or control others.
- They consistently treat people well.
- They understand and manage their emotions and don't let them affect their employees.
- They understand how their thoughts and behaviors affect others and adjust them to move in a positive direction.
- They build healthy workplace relationships.
- They learn from their mistakes.
If you've ever worked for a boss who lacks self-awareness, you know what a trying experience it can be. The irony is that leaders don't need to behave this way to get things done and run a successful workplace; they can replace the unproductive behaviors with ones that yield more positive results.
Helpful hint: If you think the second list is impossible, impractical or unrealistic, you might want to do some research on building a healthy organization. What will you do to promote self-awareness in your workplace?