Let me do a 180 degree turn and talk about self-awareness. Psychology? Yuck! Not everything I plan to write about involves disruption. Maybe indirectly it somehow ties in, but I plan to be much more broad than the topic of disruption. I only wish part of my schooling would have included psychology courses. It’s what I deal with every day. So let’s talk about self-awareness.
If you google “self-awareness”, you will find a definition that reads: “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” The importance of these 2 words separated by a hyphen cannot be understated in today’s business world. I will tell you that to me, self-awareness is a magic key to you and your company’s success.
I have faults. Many, many faults. Just ask my wife. Seriously. I have a temper. When things aren’t the way I think they should be, I get frustrated. When I’m hungry I get grouchy. We all have shortcomings.
I’m also very good at reading people. I can bring a sense of calm to a “situation”. I am organized in thought and action. We all have strengths.
One of the greatest keys to success, in my mind, is the ability to be self-aware. You have to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. It’s okay to have shortcomings. The greatest business minds in the world have them! What they also have is the ability to recognize those shortcomings and take them into account when confronted with a situation. It’s important to know that you make rash decisions when you’re hungry. You need to be aware that you don’t make great decisions shortly after hearing unpleasant news. Take your emotions into account before you make a bad decision or do something that you will later regret.
I truly believe if business leaders focused on building their strengths while understanding the weaknesses, company’s would succeed at a greater level than imaginable. Seriously – try this. Do a deep dive into yourself and think about your areas of strength or weakness. Maybe you’ve been subject to a Predictive Index test or an EQi Assessment. Read the results! Study. Learn about yourself.
After taking time to do this, use the next week to funnel all of your efforts towards your strengths. If you’re a good people person, walk around and interact more. If you’re a good problem solver, challenge yourself by taking on some of the company’s biggest issues. Push yourself towards your strengths.
At the same time, either stay away from areas where you need improvement, or, be very emotionally aware when you begin working in these areas. After all, some things can’t be completely avoided.
After a week, assess yourself again. How did you do? Are people reacting to you differently? Are you finding a little more joy in your life? If not, try it again for another week and then another week. See if it makes a difference.
I’m going to plug a great book called Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves. The book does a great job of giving you insight and suggestions on how to build your EQ including self-awareness. Good luck!