Self-awareness and leadership effectiveness go together because leaders cannot be fully effective if they are not in touch with their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Sure, many leaders get a lot done by shouting at people and building workplaces of fear and chaos, but self-aware leaders are much more effective because they do things like:
- Get along with employees.
- Motivate employees from within.
- Build cohesive teams.
- Resolve conflicts where everyone wins.
- Listen actively.
- Behave with kindness and empathy.
- Heal their own inner hurts.
- Allow for emotions to be expressed in the workplace.
- Be comfortable with touchy-feely stuff.
- Be open to new ideas, especially from employees.
- Welcome change.
- Move in a different direction if needed.
- Provide learning opportunities for employees.
- Help people grow and advance.
- Not be a tyrant.
- Be a person that other people actually like.
When I facilitate workshops or coach leaders on these types of things, I often get a lot of resistance, as in, "You can't be an effective leader and be touchy-feely," or "Someone has to lay down the law." This is totally normal because we've been conditioned to believe that only authoritarian bosses who shout at everyone get stuff done, or the common variation who is a little nicer but still a dictator. In my experience, leaders can be highly competent and high achievers without being rude and domineering; they can get just as much or more done by doing the kinds of things we've talked about here. What would you add to this list?