Self-awareness is one of the most important skills that leaders need to develop. In addition, self-awareness tends to be closely related to leader maturity, allowing leaders with this quality to consider both positive and negative feedback without personally affecting them. A clear understanding of your abilities and limitations also allows you to communicate more effectively because a self-aware leader is better able to recognise the impact they have on those around him. The ability to see from different points of view makes the self-aware leader more aware of his own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of others.
Being aware of one’s own weaknesses allows managers to work with other people who have strengths that are different from their own, making it easier for them to accept the idea that someone else might have better ideas or skills than they do and thus take advantage of them. Leaders must actively work to see themselves clearly and receive feedback to understand how others see them. For example, we all need leaders who can listen, see both sides of an argument, and know when to delegate and when to be more practical. Successful leaders are aware of their strengths and tendencies and know how to make the most of them.
Successful leaders know what their natural inclinations are and use that knowledge to enhance or offset those inclinations. As leaders become better oriented in these areas, they are more able to change their behaviour at the moment and optimise their performance. This understanding helps them make informed decisions and helps them motivate employees to achieve positive results more effectively. Leaders who see themselves the way their employees see them, their employees tend to have a better relationship with them, feel more satisfied with them, and find them more effective overall.
As a result, leaders must develop strong emotional intelligence and self-awareness in order to communicate more effectively, build better professional relationships, and receive feedback. Self-aware and emotionally intelligent leaders understand that learning is an ongoing process and that everyone has strengths and weaknesses—the goal is always to strive for improvement. Being honest about these strengths and weaknesses will give leaders the opportunity to improve and grow. Emotional self-awareness also helps leaders relate their emotions with others and form meaningful relationships.
Self-awareness not only helps leaders become more aware of their actions, emotions, and biases, but it also helps them develop more emotional intelligence in the process. Leaders who demonstrate high self-awareness are able to understand where they are struggling, how they can make up for it, and what they learn along the way. This helps them display a range of skills and emotions that are vital to becoming a great leader. Please remember – What separates great leaders from others is their willingness to know themselves and others.
In addition to the above, leaders need to explore their own vulnerabilities without judging themselves, which can be incredibly difficult. It has also been observed on many occasions that as power grows, people become less willing to listen to others either because they think that they have more knowledge than others or receiving feedback can be costly and time-consuming. According to research, most successful leaders countered this trend by seeking critical feedback from their superiors, colleagues, employees and others who can offer them valuable advice.
Moreover, a study of more than 3,600 leaders across various roles and industries found that compared to lower-level leaders, higher-level leaders overestimate their skills more significantly (than other perceptions). Consider online tools for LSI Coaching and more to improve your leadership style and develop a healthy workplace culture.
Furthermore, it has also been observed that high-performing companies tend to have employees with higher self-awareness than low-performing companies. Previous research has also shown that companies with self-aware employees tend to be more financially efficient—one reason is that mindful leaders tend to be able to prioritise tasks more effectively and make better decisions overall. This highlights the importance of self-awareness for both the employees and the manager as it helps them to allocate resources to execute the plan efficiently. Hence, taking assessments such as HBDI can help the team to become more productive.
Communicating with your team to manage, assign tasks, or express expectations and directions is also a skill that a leader must have to not only keep them informed but also inspire them. It makes a big difference if you are in harmony with the environment and people around you, caring and aware of how you affect others and how they affect you.
In conclusion, self-awareness is a key to becoming a great leader as it helps one to understand themselves and others more and respond to events accordingly.