Self-Awareness Fosters Great Workplace Leadership

By Aleksandra (Ola) Mackiewicz

What is Self-Awareness?

Self-awareness is one of the most valuable skills to practise in order to better your emotional intelligence (EQ). Unfortunately, EQ has long flown under the radar and the concept is not as widely discussed or debated as IQ. However, the value of EQ must not be underestimated. It is important to pay attention to the soft skills and character traits when hiring employees, as these factors can deeply affect the feng shui of your team in the long-run. Team members that are more self-aware are capable of learning from their mistakes, as well as forgiving others. Managing these interactions can build a stronger foundation for your business growth. On the flip-side, if the most collaborative work cultures are sifting through applicants and keeping soft skills in the forefront of their decision-making, job-seekers displaying self-awareness will have an upper-hand. To put it plainly, it’s being aware of oneself. Many of us are under the guise that we are fully self-aware, and that we do not make mistakes as a result. However the truth is that being self-aware, actually means that we are able to learn from our mistakes. This sense of self-awareness leads to a more powerful level of understanding others. Self-awareness is an intrinsic form of intelligence, and it requires practise, and deep, reflective thought. It is not a result of the words and opinions of others about you. It is about your true understanding of who you are, and who you would like to be.

Why Should I Care About Self-Awareness?

Being self-aware can lead to a better comprehension of others. By understanding how your actions, behaviors, and words affect those around you, you are much more capable of adapting and becoming the best version of yourself. You are able to impact your friends, family, teammates, colleagues, and employees in a positive, encouraging manner. This even goes for the impact you have on strangers you meet while shopping, or chatting online. Self-awareness translates to how we treat others on the web, during video calls, and passersby as we go for our daily walk. Moving forward into the reopening of the global economy, it will become even more important to be aware of one’s own mental health habits, as well as how we react to others behaviors.

How Can Being Self-Aware Impact my Work?

For business owners, being self-aware is key to leading a great team onwards and upwards, especially during the COVID era. Caring for oneself is part of being self-aware. Right now self-care, in particular mental well-being, for many, has slipped, due to job loss and through adjustments to a fully remote work lifestyle. By maintaining healthy practises and a balanced remote work lifestyle, we better manage stress for ourselves and others, particularly during our current challenging times. Good self-care now, will also help us all respond to future crises through learned coping skills. Currently, we are experiencing the crash of an economy due to coronavirus. In 5 years from now, we may be coping with weather-related disasters that impact the world. If you develop strong self-coping skills, you will develop critical leadership skills for your organization. Looking ahead, this will help you keep colleagues and also direct reports positive and calm, even if the going gets tough. So how do you do this?

Tips on Self-Awareness from the VFC Recruitment Team:

Here are some of the self awareness tips and approaches we teach in both of our Venture for Canada programs. These are starting points to improve your self-awareness and reflection:

  1. Identify and assess your personal strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  2. Reflect on your needs, aspirations and wants in the short, medium and long term and write them down. Come back to them often to see if they are still relevant/working.
  3. Identify one or two weaker skills you might want to work on.
  4. Believe in your ability to influence the course of events, despite uncertainty, setbacks and temporary failure. Build your grit and resilience muscles.

One way to improve self-awareness, grit and resilience is through staying connected to others in your community, be it work or personal. Today, this is largely going to be through virtual networking. Here we share some tips on virtual networking skills. Here are additional excellent (and free!) resources build better self-awareness:

  • TedEx Talks – here is a great one to start you off on your journey to becoming more self-aware.
  • EQ Books and Articles – Daniel Goleman authored one of the most famous books surrounding EQ. Find his website here. Another modern self-awareness and emotional intelligence writer includes Eckhart Tolle. Audible has a free 30-day trial if you’re looking for a low-cost way to listen in.
  • Here’s a list of activities to try out while working on your self-awareness skills.

Start your journey online by checking out the links above. Diving into the world of emotional intelligence is a recommended starting point to strengthening your self skills overall. Remember to apply the concepts you learn to your social interactions, and you will become a better communicator. Being a great communicator will open doors to new opportunities. We’ll have more to say on this soon. In the meantime, try these free tools and resources today.

Don’t miss your chance to join the Venture for Canada Community! Check us out online @Venture4Canada #VFCCommunity