One of the foundation capabilities of being a good (or even great) leader is self-awareness. But being self-aware is a skill that research shows we lose as we rise through the ranks. Why? Because the more senior you get, the less people give you honest feedback.
So to improve your self-awareness, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. But that’s really difficult. So difficult, it’s almost impossible to do on your own.
(As a point of balance, being honest is as much about recognising your strengths as it is about identifying areas to work on). However, you’re reading this expecting to feel uncomfortable. So here’s a way to begin focussing on improvements. Let’s start with a quote from the great Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung (the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was developed from Jung’s theory of psychological types)
Have I lost you? Are you saying to yourself ‘don’t be so ridiculous’? If you are, maybe you’re not as open to being self-aware as you thought.
Read the quote again. Or maybe think of it in another way; The things that annoy us most in other people can be things we dislike (and generally deny) in ourselves.
Really think about it. Be honest. What’s happening for you now? See what unfolds in your thinking and how your new awareness could impact you as a leader.
Remember Jung’s quote when you feel the same kind of frustrations with people rising over and over again. Then think about whether there’s an opportunity to understand yourself more.
Better self-awareness will help you identify behaviours you want to improve.
The next step is knowing how to turn that awareness into changed behaviour.