The ability to understand your emotions, values, strengths, and weaknesses and how they affect you and your interactions with others at work is your self awareness. A strong sense of self awareness helps you understand how others perceive you, equip you to lead with empathy, communicate effectively, and build stronger relationships with stakeholders.
A lack of self awareness can leave you struggling to connect with your team, misinterpret feedback and make decisions that negatively impact your organisation. So, if you want to know how to improve self awareness at workplace, here are five ways that can come in handy!
Reflect Before Reacting
There are many situations when you can feel your emotions intensely, and your workplace is one of those settings too. So, time to analyse your feelings. When your emotions rise, try to determine what triggered those sentiments. Maintain a journal to capture these experiences and review them periodically. Take time to reflect on your thoughts in various work situations. They will enable you to handle certain workplace situations better and determine what you can choose to do differently in the future. It is one of the ways to improve self awareness, and it will help you understand everything that triggers you.
Be Open To Feedback
Be open to receiving input from those around you regarding your conduct. When you get feedback or tips, do not become defensive and determine what you can learn from their opinions. Being self aware is all about recognising your weaknesses, strengths, and all the potential career derailers. The best way to recognise them is by getting feedback from colleagues who work with you. Feedback is also said to be one of the most effective ways to course correct and identify your skills and blind spots. It helps you improve self awareness significantly.
Observe Those Around You
You can learn a lot by watching others. The first step is to understand:
- How do you respond often, and what are the reactions you receive?
- Are those reactions positive or negative?
- Do your actions motivate those around you or deter them?
- Do your words wow stakeholders or make them sleepy?
Next is to study the interactions between other people closely. It will help you determine the behaviours and words that seem to work best.
Discover What Makes You Unique
Self-reflection is your ability to evaluate your emotional, cognitive and behavioral processes. It is one of the best ways to improve self awareness. It helps you understand why you feel, behave, and think in certain ways. Begin by asking yourself ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions rather than ‘why’ questions. They put the spotlight on possibilities while ‘why’ questions focus on limitations. Here are some questions that will make you aware of your unique qualities:
- What is the reason people come to you?
- What qualities of others do you find admirable?
- What are you better at than anyone else?
- What makes you the proudest?
- How everyone around you describes you on good and bad days?
- How do your life experiences influence your way of treating others?
- What is the first thing someone would change about you if they took control of you today?
Keep An Open Mind Towards Different Perspectives
It is easy to ignore different perspectives in the world. But when you are self aware, you are in a state of curiosity. It leads to unexpected learning and deeper empathy. So, when someone has an opposing point of view, you can start by asking how they come to hold that view. Try to find out what influenced this belief and why they feel so strongly about it. Delay advocating your point of view to improve self awareness.
The Bottom Line
When you see yourself clearly, you make better decisions for yourself, your team and your organisation. Hence, when you improve self awareness, it helps us take control and influence the outcomes. If you are just beginning your self awareness journey, check out the self awareness journal we curated!