“Look outside and you will see yourself. Look inside and you will find yourself..”
Being aware of yourself makes a significant impact on your life. You stop feeling that you are wandering and have a better understanding of your emotions. Self-awareness in leadership has similar outcomes. What are those, and why would you care?
Both terms, self-awareness, and leadership, are widely used. Because of it, they can mean different things to several people. So, to understand why self-awareness in leadership is essential, we want to explore their meaning and how they relate to each other.
Self-awareness and leadership
Anyone who can recognize something within or without themselves is being conscious. If the object of consciousness demands thinking and reasoning, then you are cognizant of it. However, when that’s about sense perception, you are being aware.
That’s why we talk about being self-aware instead of self-cognizant when dealing with sense perceptions. Indeed, self-awareness is about being mindful of our character, emotions, feelings, motives, and desires.
You want to approach your inner self with intuition, emotions, and mindfulness and have your mind support you when using your gifts and talents.
In our daily life, we are aware of many things. Our senses get a lot of stimuli, yet we get to choose which of them we will pay attention to. For example, when you are working on that elevator pitch for your business and listening to music, you are aware of what you are watching instead of what you are listening to.
Self-awareness is similar except for a big difference: you are not focusing on the outside but on the inside. Being self-aware, thus, means that your attention is on what’s happening within you, on how your inner reality looks like.
How is all of this relate to leadership? You can’t be a leader with no followers, right? That’s the whole point of this. Would you follow someone who doesn’t even know what their goals are? Would you listen to someone whose behavior is not consistent with their speech?
Inspirational leaders influence people around them through example and passion. We can only be enthusiastic about things we love. And how do we do that? By being aware of our character, emotions, feelings, motives, and desires.
The importance of self-awareness in leadership
Transformational leaders, inspirational leaders, or whatever else they might be called, are self-aware of their inner reality. Because of it, they can also be aware of someone else’s character, emotions, feelings, motives, and desires.
A leader is not a dictator who tells everyone what to do and how to do it. Instead, they understand how these elements interact within a group. As a result, they can see a train of action that can solve an issue the team is facing.
In other words, a leader gives up the spotlight to point it out to team members to nourish, support, and collaborate with them to accomplish goals. In this sense, leadership is not about bold bosses, top-bottom hierarchies, or management.
Some traits of leaders
As unique as each human being can be, their leadership performance will be special too. Yet, there are some traits all inspirational leaders share:
- Humility. When you realize that you can’t know it all, you tend to listen to what people around you have to say. As you understand yourself, you can appreciate them and see them as human beings.
- Vulnerability. Vulnerability. Being aware of your gifts, talents, skills, and strengths will imbue you with the courage to say things like “I am sorry I made a mistake” When you do this, you create a place where recognizing failure and asking for help is good.
- Excellence. You recognize that being perfect is impossible. What’s perfect anyway? When does something become perfect? There is no roof for it. Yet, you strive to become a better version of yourself, to be excellent.
- Accountability. As human beings, we are prone to err. We indeed have many strengths, weaknesses, and hidden biases. Since you recognize yours, you can take responsibility for their outcome.
- Curiosity. You never stop learning. Every new experience is a chance to research and discover something else. You even get happy when your inquiries give you helpful information that might strengthen your team relationships.
- Compassion. You have been there. You have had your lows and highs. So you get an idea of how it feels to be there. You know you can only show kindness when you are kind to yourself, so you are compassionate with yourself.
- Confidence. Because you know your gifts, talents, skills, and strengths, you are sure about your decisions, and the course of action needed to reach your goals.
How can anyone nurture these traits?
Quick answer: self-awareness. That’s the cornerstone of good leadership. Without self-awareness, a leader can’t understand the emotions and feelings involved in their team. Thus, leadership starts with learning to lead yourself and strengthening your inner leadership.
Just keep in mind that these traits are the results of diving into your inner reality. There’s no step-by-step guide on how to get those traits. You want to approach your inner self with intuition, emotions, and mindfulness while having your mind supporting you when it’s time to use your gifts and talents.
Then, how can you do that? Journaling is a great way to connect with yourself. Mindfulness and meditation are also good options. Whatever activity involves self-reflection will help your self-awareness.
Do you want to follow a structured program that guides you to know yourself better instead? Your Gift Journey will take you there. Uncover your gifts, talents, skills, and strengths. Use them to lead and inspire your team. Get to express your inner self through your daily activities.
You will also count on someone to support you with strategies to reach your goals. Those strategies will use your gifts and the resources you have at hand. Your Gift Journey is a chance to know yourself better and fortify your leadership skills.
But more importantly, you will express your inner self and impact your team and the world around you.
Self-awareness is fundamental for anyone being serious about supporting people around them. Even though leadership may involve bold bosses, hierarchy, and management, those won’t define a leader.
An inspirational leader is someone that empowers people. As a result, they follow the leader, not because they have to, but because they feel like it. Such a leader can do that because they are aware of their gifts, talents, skills, and strengths.
Since they are self-aware, they can also be aware of the people around them. The awareness allows them to integrate everyone’s gifts and create a harmonious team focused on a shared goal.
Do you want to know more about this? Reserve your spot for a complimentary call today! There, you can ask questions about this or any other related topic.
Remember, this is a chance to recall why you wanted to become a leader in the first place and the impact you want to have, both on your team and the world.