The Self-Awareness Guy

Self-Awareness Skills

How to Increase Self Awareness in Communication

How to Increase Self Awareness in Communication


Here's how to increase self-awareness in communication:

  • Listen actively.

It's that simple. The problem is that our culture teaches us to interrupt, interject, dispute, cajole, get angry, become defensive, fight back, and any number of things that absolutely do not improve communication. Active listening is an excellent tool used by self-aware people who understand that communicating with another person is not about imposing one's will, it means learning about the other individual and gathering information. Here's how you listen actively:

  • Try to communicate with people one on one or in small groups.
  • Communicate at times when everyone is able to participate fully.
  • Set aside a quiet place to talk about meaningful things.
  • Sit on the same level, not separated by a desk or other objects.
  • Make time to talk thoroughly, without interruptions.
  • Decide with the other person what the topic at hand is, both of you agree on what it is, no one imposes the topic.
  • Once the topic is decided, let the other person tell their story.
  • While the other person is talking, the only thing you should do is listen carefully to everything they have to say. Don't think of how to rebut, or argue, or contradict, or direct the conversation. Just listen intently.
  • When the other person stops talking, and only then, ask any open-ended questions you might have and then let the other person talk again.
  • Repeat this whole process every time you talk with someone.

Active listening is the opposite of our standard way of communicating where we pile on each other and hope someone understands something. People who possess self-awareness are healthy and comfortable enough to give the other person the space to simply talk. This process will seem difficult at first but, over time, it will become your new way to communicate much more effectively.

Cheers,

Guy

The Peace of Mind of Self-Awareness

The Peace of Mind of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness can bring you amazing peace of mind if you let it. The challenge is being able to let go of all the noise and obstacles that get in the way of learning about yourself and living authentically. A lot of people struggle with the idea that there is a different way of living where they get to be themselves and enjoy the results they get from thinking, feeling and acting naturally.

You can start increasing your peace of mind and self-awareness by taking time each day to think about your strengths and areas for improvement. Celebrate the wonderful things about you and also work on one thing you'd like to improve. Repeat the process and, along the way, you'll discover more and more about your amazing gifts. What will you do to increase your self-awareness?

Cheers,

Guy

Our Culture and Success

Our Culture and Success

Our culture often defines success it as having a lot of money, prestige, or power. My interpretation of success is building your self-awareness so you can be in touch with who you are inside and live in such a way that you don't need to worry about wealth or influence.

There are countless really rich and powerful people who are miserable; you can tell because they don't treat others well. Anyone who is willing to harm other people doesn't feel good about himself or herself deep inside. Happy, balanced, fulfilled people treat themselves and others kindly because their lives are centered around creating a positive world rather than amassing wealth or crushing others.

I love providing life coaching for people who value self-awareness because they tend to view success in terms of how healthy they are, not how much stuff they have or trophies they display on the mantle. Even if you don't make a penny, you can still create something of great value. How do you define success?

Cheers,
Guy

Self-Awareness and Seeing the Big Picture

Self-Awareness and Seeing the Big Picture

A lot of people think that working on their self-awareness is a selfish pursuit but they may be missing the point. When you deeply understand why you think or act the way you do, you move from being someone who lives unconsciously to someone who understands the implications surrounding their thoughts and behaviors. For example: If you get mad at friends or family all the time, you're behaving in a way that is specific and limited, whereas if you take the time to think about what you're doing and how you can move in a positive direction, you increase your ability to see things from a wider perspective.

You can choose to live life based only on what you think, feel and do in the moment but you'll be much happier and fulfilled if you pause and think about all the other options available to you. What will you do to use your self-awareness to see the big picture?

Take care

Guy

8 Ways to Improve Long-Term Morale in Your Organization

8 Ways to Improve Long-Term Morale in Your Organization

Somewhere along the way someone convinced leaders that work had to be drudgery instead of fun. We've done a great job of designing companies that are highly productive and filled with employees who are miserable. Many organizations endure poor morale as if they believe they don't have any alternatives. Resourceful leaders and organizations understand that building long-term morale is vital to the success of their people and operations. Here are some ideas to help you design a workplace with great morale.

Leaders Create the Environment

Many leaders intellectually understand that happy employees do better work when people feel good but they don't know how to reliably improve morale and keep it going over time. They might try a company picnic or employee incentive program of some kind but those are only temporary fixes that yield limited results. Meanwhile, their employees are screaming for some kind of relief and even visitors notice that the company doesn't feel very welcoming. This dynamic occurs in countless workplaces because that's what we design through our policies and actions. We get poor morale because we create workplaces where leaders and employees behave in ways that lead to unhappiness.

Implement a Real People-Centered Philosophy

Many companies say they put their people first and then them, hamper their creativity, jam them in jobs they hate, treat them like children, work them to exhaustion, look at them solely as profit-creating objects or limit their ability to think and grow. A real people-centered philosophy requires a fundamental shift from the top down as to what employees really mean in the company. The goal is to move beyond words to actually instituting policies and procedures that demonstrate that we really care for our employees. These can include opportunities for education, flexible schedules, work at home, benefits, job autonomy or creating a workplace that values people's talents and encourages innovative thinking.

Leaders Set the Example

Leaders lead by example and set the tone for the organization. Anytime you see a company with poor morale you can be quite certain that leadership creates the situation through the actions they choose to take. If they behave in stressed-out ways then employees feel it. If the atmosphere is punitive employees pick up on it. Think about the difference between a leader who is calm and balanced and one that is always panicking. Which kind do you prefer? Leaders have a great deal of power in how the people in the organizations feel. If they treat their employees with kindness and respect at all times they create a much different workplace than if they're always belittling them. To build better morale in your company think about ways you can train your leaders to practice techniques that help them create a positive work environment such as active listening, two-way communication skills, delegating and team building.

Support Your Employees Instead of Bossing Them Around

Many leaders get caught up in the idea that they have to drive their employees like a team of horses. They push and push and push until they run off a cliff and then everyone loses. Many companies seem to run on the premise that employees are expendable and it shows in how they treat them. I'm not sure where leaders learn that the best way to motivate people is by imposing rigid order and dominance but ask yourself this question: Are you happy when someone is always in your face telling you what to do and to do more of it faster? A more positive approach is to move away from continuously bossing people around to being a resource that's available to help them if they need it. Be there for employees when they ask for help and share your knowledge only when they ask for it. Trust that they know how to do their jobs and drive them less. Offer them opportunities to grow, advance and become more educated.

Use Your Employees' Talents Instead of Putting Them in a Box

People feel great when they are using their talents and are genuinely interested in what they're doing. Identify what your employees love doing and encourage them do it in the context of their jobs. The ideal situation is to let employees design their own job based on their innate abilities and work they find meaningful. You will find that people will be much more motivated to perform at a higher level and will even come up with new ideas because they feel more worthwhile and valued. To find out what your employees love doing have ongoing conversations where they tell you what they find fulfilling.

Praise Genuinely, Constantly and Consistently

There is a huge void in many workplaces when it comes to leaders and co-workers telling each other that they're doing well. We're so praise averse that we think it will make people soft when it actually builds them up. Telling people they're doing a great job makes them feel great and greatly increases the likelihood that they will repeat the desirable behavior. Praising also helps you focus on successes rather than always correcting perceived mistakes or offering the dreaded constructive criticism.

Create Opportunities for Meaningful Interaction

Give people a chance to interact in positive ways and to get to know each other on a deeper level. Set up a regularly scheduled meeting time where people can talk with each other and share stories, ideas or personal perspectives. Give your employees opportunities to interact in ways that don't focus on job tasks. When people empathize with each other and understand each other's points of view it creates a workplace where people work well together and help each other succeed.

Keep Practicing

Nothing grows unless we water it and create a supportive environment. Long-term morale improves when we make sure we keep practicing positive behaviors and keep tending to the well-being of our leaders and employees. Plan on practicing your new approach until everyone learns how to do it automatically and it becomes the standard way of doing things. It will take some time but you will be happy with the results if you stick with it.

Boosting morale requires thoughtful and deliberate action over time. You have many options to improve how your employees feel and how your company functions and all you have to do is commit to taking action. Long-term morale can be greatly improved by practicing techniques that lead in a positive direction. Try the ideas we've talked about here and you'll find that your employees feel better about themselves, each other, your company and you.

Cheers,

Guy