Think about an instance when you tried working with someone who has low self-awareness. How satisfying and productive was this experience for you? The words “frustrating, painful and aggravating” likely describe this interaction. How many times have you gone out of your way since then to work with this individual? How would others in your organization describe this individual?
Developing a high level of self-awareness is not only a critical skill for positive career growth— it is also a key source of career satisfaction and well-being. The most effective and self-aware executives have an ability to seek out and recognize settings and roles where they are able to best leverage their core values and abilities. So, how did they get started in becoming more self-aware. To start, ask yourself the following questions:
- How would others describe your presence in group meetings, one-on-one discussions, and presentations?
- What do your superiors, peers and subordinates think about you? How would they describe you?
- Why is your current position and company a good fit with who you are? Conversely, why isn’t it?
The key to becoming more self-aware is to practice being more “in the moment” and observant of what is going on around you throughout the day. This requires letting go of distractions and your own agenda long enough to recognize what others are communicating verbally and non-verbally. Aware executives are open to receiving and processing both informal and formal feedback. They welcome feedback without being defensive and utilize it as a learning tool. This conscious learning allows them to relate to and align with their work environment in a more satisfying and productive manner.
Was there ever a moment or experience that drove you to become more self-aware? How did it help you in your career? Feel free to share your experience.
Next week…thoughts on how introverts can succeed in interviews.