Last month I had the privilege to hold a lecture on the topic of self awareness and its connection to a good leadership. It was a most joyous experience and I feel honored to be invited to talk on such an important topic.
What constitutes a good leadership?
A well debated question and something many grapple with. I define a good leadership as a leadership defined by psychological safety, empathy, high performance, creativity, potential releasing and having fun while reaching set goals! What I like to call A Loving Leadership.
But leadership isn’t easy. Even with a good understanding about what needs to be done and of what needs to change, we often fail in implementing those ideas and strategies.
In my experience, and what research show, what we so often fail in when working on our leadership skills is our Self awareness, a key ingredient to a good leadership that works for us and the people around us.
Why is self awareness an important part in developing our leadership?
Let’s begin with defining self awareness and then move into why it is important and at the end I’ll say a few things about HOW we develop a higher awareness about ourselves.
Self awareness defines as a person’s capability to take notice about themselves, introspection, and the ability to reflect about oneself in relationship to others and one’s environment. To that, our level of self awareness relates to our conscious knowing and understanding of our own feelings, needs, character, and motives.
What research shows is that by becoming more self aware we lay the foundation of our leadership abilities. Unless we are aware of our emotions, our needs and our motives we are tempted to come to the conclusions that what is problematic and hence needs to change lies only outside of us.
A higher awareness about ourselves allows us to connect to others, it opens us up to become more empathetic and in so doing helps us to better understand our relationships. Hence, open us up for a deepening in our relationships. The quite amazing thing with increasing our self awareness is that it reduces fear since we ourselves, our surroundings and relationships becomes easier for us to understand. And a relaxed mind is a more opened mind is a smarter mind. That is, by becoming more self aware we create an emotional state of feeling more safe which in turn gives us greater access to our capabilities.
As we learn to connect to the deeper levels of ourselves through our emotions it leads us to understand our needs. That in turn help us connect to the deeper levels of the emotions and needs of the people around us. That is, we become informed in a deeper more empathetic way of what is needed for others and in various situations. We can therefore be of better service to the people around us and in helping our co-workers and companies to grow and expand.
How do we become more self awareness?
Well, it starts with becoming aware, tuning in to the present moment, to what is going on inside of you. In becoming self aware we need to tune in to our emotions and become aware of our underlying needs. To that, being willing to investigate our behaviors and our underlying motives and needs is the liberating and often challenging work which is demanded of us in becoming more aware of ourselves. And in my experience, it takes lots of courage to allow ourselves to become vulnerable in situations that often doesn’t take into account the feelings and emotions of the people involved. But once we do, we build an inner strength that allows us to make room for a deeper understanding, for empathy and it enables us to create more loving environments which is the cultural soil in which bravery and brilliance grow!
Be brilliant, be you!