How to Build and Expand Your Self-Awareness

Self-awarenessHow self-aware are you? Self awareness is one of the foundations of emotional intelligence and being able to lead others. I’ve been writing about the importance of knowing yourself well here.

The key to building better self awareness is feedback. Have you asked others for feedback about yourself?

It’s hard to know how you come across to others if you don’t ask for feedback, which requires taking a risk and feeling vulnerable. With a growth mindset, however, you can open yourself to learning through conversations with trusted peers, a mentor, or a coach.

Here are areas that merit exploring in order to expand your awareness of how you respond to situations:

  • Emotions:
    • How do you handle emotions, both your own and others’?
    • Do you know your “hot buttons”?
    • Are you aware of your feelings as they arise?
    • How well do you pick up on the feelings of others?
  • Situations:
    • How well can you read situations, climates, contexts?
    • Are you able to grasp the nature of a problem and analyze key points?
    • How curious are you about things you don’t know much about?
  • Failure:
    • How well do you handle your own and others’ mistakes?
    • How do you assign blame?
    • Are you open to hearing feedback?
    • Do you play devil’s advocate, willingly examining your assumptions?
    • Can you own your responsibility in a problem?
  • Ego:
    • Do you try to keep your ego in check?
    • Do you encourage the success of others?
    • Do you express gratitude regularly?
    • Do you try to express more positive thoughts than negative ones?
    • Are you neither too harsh nor too lax with yourself?
    • Do you try to suspend judgment of other people, places, and things?

Self-awareness requires sensitivity to both inner and outer realities, knowing full well you can never perceive things without your own biases and filters. By keeping a growth mindset, you can ask the questions needed to listen and learn.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinion. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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