Self awareness is being aware of the aspects of you, such as your own behaviours or feelings. It is where you become the focus of your own attentions. It’s important to be self aware because if you have an awareness of self, you are more able to make changes and build on areas where you want to make improvements.
In this section I am going to explore the following tools,
- Johari Window coaching tool
- MBTI psychometric test
- 360 Degree Feedback
Johari Window, the concept of the Johari window is to help a person understand their relationship with themselves and others, it also explores the idea that there are some parts of oneself that are unknown to them and other people.
In the imagine below you can see that there are 4 sections to the window. Section 1 refers to the public arena, these are the open things that someone is aware of and also that others would be aware of too, such as behaviours, knowledge, skills, views and emotions. Section 2 refers to the blind area, this is what is known about a person by others but not by themselves, these are things that would only become known if feedback is given or something is pointed out. Section 3 is the hidden area, these are things known to self, but kept hidden form others and could be fears, insecurities and things someone chooses not to reveal. Section 4 is the unknown area, this is when something isn’t yet known to yourself or to others, and this could be for a variety of reasons such as lack of opportunity or training or something yet to be discovered.
By w:User:Simon Shek – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Johari_Window.PNG, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4565679
The concept of using the Johari window is to learn about yourself and move as many things that are hidden from yourself, in areas 2 and 4, and move them into an open arena, moving things into the open arena opens up both for you to be self aware and for others to be able to spot your strengths and opportunities in the workplace. Only once you can move things into the open arena, can you help yourself and seek help in your career.
I feel the Johari window is a good way to learn about how aware someone is of themselves; it would be a useful tool for someone to use collaboratively with a mentor or coach to learn more about what they can do to move things into the more open area in order to develop themselves.
There are also psychometric tools which can help with your own self awareness, these are a structured framework, which look for patterns in answers to understand someone’s psychological characteristics such as intelligence, motivation, personality type, or values. These can be useful in finding out how people may work together or what challenges they may face from being in groups of differing personality types.
Myers Briggs personality test
This measures personality differences in the population and can be valuable for tackling challenges such as communication and managing change in the workplace. The MBTI personality test gives results based on 16 different personality types and helps you to understand your way of working, and what positives and challenges can come from working with others of differing personality types.
My MBTI personality type is INTJ according to Myers – Briggs
“INTJs are not interested in simply solving a problem. They’re interested in how that solution can lead to solving many problems. They’re idealistic and resourceful, and are keenly able to observe structures and systems so they can fix or recreate them.
Their dominant process is Introverted Intuition, so INTJs often act independently from others. They don’t need much input or advice before making a move. They are passionate problem solvers, and this often carries over into helping the people they care about most in their personal lives.”
( INTJ Strengths & Weaknesses – Understanding INTJ | MBTIonline Viewed 21/09/2021)
Knowing my personality type is an important part of self awareness, my personality type lends itself to sometimes working too independently, and missing important details that could be going on around me. In the workplace it’s important for me to be aware of this, as it means I will actively seek feedback and insight form others so as not to miss important details, and not to try and bring people around to my way of thinking before considering other viewpoints.
Another useful set of tools to use when thinking about self awareness are management feedback tools, these are where you actively seek insight from others, to identify areas of opportunity and growth, and linking back to the Johari window, you can help yourself move more things from the blind area, to the open arena.
360 Degree Feedback
This enables you to be able to get feedback from people who work around you at different levels, such as team members and management, using the same questions you can piece together feedback in order to become more self-aware. I have used the 360-feedback tool to gain feedback from a wide range of people I work with. The feedback I received was mostly around, that I shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate my own success for fear of other people’s reactions. This really resonated with me, as I’m always the first to shout about others success’ but am quieter about my own. Going forward this will be something that I am mindful about as a success for me can be something that brings value to the wider team, and goals.
Without being self-aware it’s difficult to maximise self-management skills, and how to effectively work alongside other people, if you are not aware of the things that you need to work on to better yourself, you are unable to make any changes in the way that you do things, and may continue to do the same thing without anything ever changing.
A study by Atwater and Yammarino (1992) examined how a group rated their own leadership performance against what their supervisors and subordinates. There were 3 classifications of the results – over estimation of skill, under estimation of skill and agreement of skill. This study aligned with performance of the people taking part, showed that the people who rated themselves the same as those around them were the individuals who made better leaders, therefor showing that self-awareness is a critical psychological tool in leadership.
As a manager it’s important to use self reflection, it can help you to identify what when well, and where any development areas are. I like to take time to reflect after team meetings, and after 121’s with team members as I find that having time to digest information can lead me to better decision making as I’m often caught up in the moment while something is happening. Using time afterwards to think about what’s been said and taking the emotion away from it can lead me to making better decisions, or being able to think about what I may need further clarity on before making a decision. I think that I develop as a manager more when taking this time out.
I’ve also thought about my own personal triggers and how they affect me in the workplace. One of my triggers is people being consistently late, my though process behind this is that generally if someone is consistently late to work that it shows a lack of drive and caring on their part for the role. However, thinking further into it there could be several reasons that some one is late and not just that they don’t care. I have been able to identify this as a trigger and from there change my way of thinking about this so that I can react differently.
In the following section I am going to compare and contrast 2 leading theories of Emotional Intelligence and go on to illustrate how I have used awareness of my own emotional intelligence to enable me to become more self-aware and effective in my role.
The first theory I have looked at is Goleman.
The Goleman model evaluates 5 different aspects of emotions intelligence, these are:
- Self awareness
- Self regulation
- Internal Motivation
- Social skill
Self-awareness is about being comfortable with our own thoughts, emotions and behaviour and how they can impact on others, understanding how you feel in yourself and reflecting on this is the first part of being self-aware.
Self-regulation is about being able to control and manage your impulses and emotion. Sometimes not being able to self-regulate can lead to mistakes being made because of actions not being controlled and can damage relationships
Internal motivation is what drives you. Sometimes people will say they are driven by one thing such as money or reward, but there will be something else underneath this, to be an effective leader it’s important to find this out in order to effectively coach someone to be their best.
Empathy – Plays a huge part in effective relationship building, while it’s important to understand your own emotions, it’s also important to understand how someone else feels in order to understand their behaviour and drives
Social Skill, this is about your skills in forming relationships with others and is more than just being friendly, it’s a very important part of relationship building.
On reflection, the Goleman model of emotional intelligence brings together 5 key aspects of relationship building, which starts with self, and extends to your relationship with others.
Salovey and Meyer’s emotional intelligence theory – their definition:
“Emotional intelligence is the ability to process information about your own emotions and other people’s. It’s also the ability to use this information to guide your thoughts and behaviour.”
(Salovey and Mayer’s Emotional Intelligence Theory – Exploring your mind) Viewed 21/09/2021
Salovey and Meyer have 4 characteristics that define someone as being emotionally intelligent.
- Ability to perceive and correctly express your emotions and other peoples
- The ability to use emotions in a way that facilitates thought
- The capacity to understand emotions, emotional language, and emotional signals
- The ability to manage emotions and achieve your goals.
Both of these models are similar in they way they both mention empathy as an important part of emotional intelligence, I agree with this, as empathy is a great way to begin to form a bond with others and is key to being able to get the best out of people, and also to gain trust to allow others to share their vulnerabilities encouraging a place where coaching conversations can be about growth.
It’s important that as a leader you show emotional intelligence in the workplace to get the best out of people. A lack of emotional intelligence can show that you lack empathy to individuals’ situations and put up barriers to being able to understand people and the way that they think. I find that often people will say one thing but their body language tells a different story, being emotionally intelligent enables me to be able to explore that persons reaction, and have a much more open and honest discussion with them, ensuring that they’re on the same page as me and open up a better, more 2 sided conversation.
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