It’s a fact. The one competency you will find in most great leaders and achievers is a strong self awareness. It’s a quality that enables them to know their strength and weaknesses which then allows them to change their behavior in a truly positive way. It helps a person to enhance his/her thinking and reasoning, and generally leads to a significant improvement of one’s interpersonal skills. Self awareness helps to bring out the best in people. It’s no small wonder that companies’ recruitment teams during job interviews try to draw this out from applicants.
So, how do you get to know if you’ve got a great level of self awareness? Here are four warning signs that say you might need some help:
- You’re always on the defensive. You may have gotten some good, constructive and objective feedback that didn’t support your decision or action, but instead of calmly listening, you jump into a defensive stance.
- You find fault in every minor thing. In other words, you tend to see people doing things differently from the way you do things as being at fault and immediately take over whatever it is that’s supposed to be done. Behind the scenes though, you just might be failing with the bigger things. Not paying attention to these larger issues could spin off to even bigger, more critical problems.
- You tend to make excuses. When all you’ve got for a failed project or missed deadline are excuses and alibis, you would, in your mind be convinced that you’re right and that you’ve got a good reason for it. You’d tend to be amazed at why everybody else doesn’t agree with you. When you’re caught in this trap, you miss out on opportunities to look at other options that may have a greater and better impact on all people concerned.
- You don’t know why people think you bully your way around. You’ve just recently realized that behind your back, people around the office have been calling you a bully for some time. And the thing is … you’re clueless as to what makes them think of you as this “Mafia henchman.” Anyway, get it through your head, accept it … that you’re not perfect and that you’ve got some character flaws. Once you accept this and get off that ivory horse, you just might behave with a little bit more empathy, respect and humility.
If you see yourself in two or more of these situations, you will need to over-haul your level of self awareness. You’ll need to work on this starting today. Once it goes up, it’ll help you to make better judgment and enable you to react to events with more control and flexibility.