We all love to think we are embarking on a continuous path of professional development.
However, there is a distinct and definite cornerstone to professional development.
Naturally, it just happens to be ‘self- awareness’.
So how do we know if we are self – aware, and what are the consequences to this ideal state of being?
Research carried out by the Korn Ferry Institute in 2013 found that “companies with higher rates of return on stock also have employees with few personal blind spots,” in other words they evidenced a correlation between self-awareness in leaders and overall financial performance.
What is the stepping stone to self-awareness and self-actualization?
Self-reflection comes first-. When do you find yourself reflecting on your responses and behavior?
Some potential outcomes of self -reflection and analysis include a greater understanding of ourselves AND the ability to improve in – our skills, strengths and talents, beliefs and values, Identity (self-image), emotions, behaviours, Interpersonal skills and quality of life.
We are commonly driven as leaders to focus on our team and individuals. What do we do to engage them and take them forward with us in driving competitive advantage? How do we manage change and improvements in organizational performance?
In doing these vital things we often overlook ourselves as the leader and therefore the importance of self-awareness and the impact that this has on business performance. When in fact, one of the best things a leader can do to be more effective, is to develop their self-awareness. In this way, they become aware of what drives them and their decision-making.
Simple self-reflection? – Know your strengths and weaknesses
If we know what our strengths are, we can apply them in the right situations. We can know when to draw on the strengths of others within the team.
If we know what our weaknesses are and recognize our emotions in particular circumstances, we can acknowledge these and stop ourselves from reacting inappropriately to a situation.
Being self-aware enables us to be more realistic about ourselves and our judgments and in turn, others trust and respect us for this, the converse is that when we lack self-awareness, we appear less credible because others are more aware of our own strengths and weaknesses than we are ourselves.
Being self-aware enables us to balance our conviction with humility.
Through this process of a commitment to self-reflection and awareness, we arrive at self-actualization. Self-actualization occurs when we maximize our full potential, doing the best that we are capable of doing