Self-awareness…In all walks of life

And the difference it makes!
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In order to improve at anything that we do, we have to reflect on our performance or behaviours, analyse against a set of measures or the accepted “best practice”, analyse the results or outcomes, and determine what needs to change…Implement, and finally learn and move on.

Self- awareness is subtly different to Emotional Intelligence (Ei). The latter has been a big cultural buzz phrase for over a decade now and an expectation that we should all possess this.

Defined simply, it is the ability to understand and use our own emotions in a very positive way and to aid communication and recognise both our own and other people’s behaviours…And how to manage any situation.

Self-awareness is an honest and realistic awareness of ourselves, including our behaviours, abilities and the effect that we have on others…Almost the first stage of understanding Ei.

If this is a stage before we tackle our own Ei, what do we need to do? Try these four simple actions.

  • Try to have some “personal down time” each day. On your own and allowing yourself some space to reflect on the day and how you handled the challenges of the day.
    • The conversations that you will have had
    • The decisions that you will have made
    • The way that you interacted with other people
    • At this point, don’t be judgmental, but reflective.
  • Practice being a “good listener”. Listening is very different to hearing. The former is active…The latter is passive. Listen with your eyes and not just your ears. Body language will tell you a lot. Being a good listener, also allows you to be more self-aware of your potential actions.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback…Seek the views of people that you trust and that will be honest and productive in their feedback.
  • Act on the advice and perhaps have a diary that plots your journey as you become more self-aware.

Self-Awareness…A personal journey to better understand ourselves and one that never ceases.

If the quote below is correct and one that perhaps holds true among many of us, there is much to do!

“Self-awareness is something that we actually actively avoid”
Ted Dwane.