Bosses don’t get the same feedback as other people because it’s costly for people to call you out. When you embarrass someone, or get angry for no reason, or say something inappropriate, there may be an awkward silence, but there’s rarely someone getting up in your grill about it. So if you’ve been a “boss” for a while, and especially if you’ve always worked for yourself, you may have poor self-awareness.
What does it look like to have poor self-awareness?
- Do people feel safe walking in your office with bad news, or do they hide it until the last possible moment?
- Does your team invite you to their brainstorm meetings looking forward to the energy and ideas you’ll bring, or do they have those meetings off-site and hope you won’t notice?
- Does the office go quiet when you come in? Do enthusiastic conversations dampen down when you join them?
People who are self-aware know themselves, they are aware of what they are doing, what they are saying, what they are feeling, and how other people perceive those actions, words, and feelings. They know that they need to modify their “natural” reactions in many situations — sometimes toning down their personality, or even choosing not to speak or react in some cases. Still confused, Mark Manson has a pretty good description of self-awareness and it’s importance.
If you find yourself saying; “I didn’t know that would be offensive,” or if you notice that a whole room is taken aback by the way you respond to a situation, or if you regularly lose control of your emotions and “dump” on someone who doesn’t deserve it, those are all demonstrations of a lack of self-awareness. Telling folks “that’s just the way I am, it was how I was raised” is not a good excuse and demonstrates even further that you aren’t aware of the impact you are having on others!
Your self-awareness impacts the performance of every member of your team. Whether that impact is positive or negative is a reliable indicator of whether your business will hit a growth ceiling or not.
What are some things that you’ve done that have helped you to increase your self-awareness? Hit reply and let me know!