self awareness for being a better leader or boss

How to Improve Your Self-Awareness and Become a More Effective Leader

cliffhilton Blog, Lead Others, Lead Yourself

Self-awareness is the new leadership buzzword and has recently been heralded as one of the most important traits a leader can have. Self-awareness is said to be a key factor in Emotional Intelligence. It involves knowing yourself and being cognizant of the areas in which you excel or lack.

What is so great about self-awareness and why should you care?

Being self-aware means knowing what drives you and what debilitates you: your motivators, breaking points, and inclinations. Why is this important? Because a leader leads people. If you aren’t able to manage yourself, then how can you manage your team?

When you acknowledge your tendencies, you’re more able to anticipate them. And when you do this, you reach the top category of leaders who know how to play to their strengths and compensate for any weaknesses.

Do you know the one thing that is absolutely necessary to develop your self-awareness?

Here’s a hint: it doesn’t come from you. The tool every leader needs to develop in self-awareness is feedback.

But not just any feedback… Sure, feedback to improve work environment or processes is great, but it won’t help you in your ability to work alongside your team. You need to be assessed in your leadership because it is this kind of direct feedback that will let you know if you’re leading people well.

At David Novak Leadership, we recognize that leaders need feedback specific to their leadership skills, which is why we’ve developed a set of focused questions that help people analyze their leadership style. Questions like, does this leader work to ensure that each person on their team knows the team’s vision and can explain it? And, does this leader directly involve others in setting goals so everyone can feel ownership of them?

Every leader has weak spots, but it’s hard to know what they are unless someone tells you. Real, honest feedback will enable you to see those weak spots and improve your performance in those areas. For an example of why feedback is important, check out how Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor at Large at Fortune Magazine, learned to become an expert through feedback in this interview.

Are you willing to invest in becoming the best leader you can be by becoming more self-aware?

One sure way to develop in this area is by taking our Leadership Assessment. See below.


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