Self-Awareness: You Need to Know Yourself Before You Can Know Others
Do you know your real self? Many of us don’t. Knowledge of your strengths and
weaknesses can help you gain insights into areas you want to change and improve. And it can help you better understand how others see you. The following identifies five key elements of your personality. Understanding how you rate on these elements is critical to your self-awareness:
- Introversion vs. Extroversion. Are you quiet and reserved? If so, you are probably best described as an introvert. In contrast, are you outgoing, sociable, and assertive? This characterizes extroverts.
- Thinking vs. Feeling. In making decisions, do you put the emphasis on reason and logic? If so, your preference is for thinking. If you make decisions by emphasizing human values, emotions, and your personal beliefs, then your focus is on feelings.
- Internal Control vs. External Control. Do you believe that you’re the master of your own fate? If so, you have an internal locus of control. If you believe that what happens to you is controlled by outside forces such as luck or chance, you have an external locus of control.
- Organized vs. Disorganized. Are you conscientious, responsible, dependable, and consistent? If so, then you’d be organized. Are you easily distracted, unreliable, and have difficulty meeting deadlines and commitments? If so, then you’d be classified as disorganized.
- Open to Change vs. Comfortable with the Familiar. Finally, do you tend to be creative, curious, and enjoy new experiences? You’d be open to change. If you’re better described as someone who is conventional and uncomfortable with change, you’d be described as comfortable with the familiar.
Many of us don’t have a good read on who we are. If that’s you, here are three suggestions on what you can do to increase your self-awareness:
- Seek feedback. Find individuals you trust and seek their honest feedback.
- Reflect. Review your experiences, situations, and actions to better understand and learn from them.
- Keep a journal. Keep a written, ongoing account that includes comments about personal events and interactions you have with others. Include descriptions of good and bad ways that you handled situations.
Discuss the following:
Emotional intelligence refers to an assortment of non-cognitive skills, capabilities, and competencies that influence a person’s ability to cope with environmental demands and pressures. People who understand their own emotions and are good at reading others’ emotions are found to have emotional intelligence and may be more effective in their jobs as managers. In a survey of critical skills for the workforce in 2020, social intelligence ranked second on a list of the most critical skills. By the same token, employees who have strong technical skills but are weak on emotional intelligence will find it increasingly difficult to find and hold a job.
Discuss the following questions
Talk About It 1: Why do you think the ability to get along with others is so critical?
Talk About It 2: How can you develop this ability?
It’s Cyber Monday. What are you going to do? If you’re like many other Americans, you’re going to shop on the Internet, even if you’re at work. A recent survey found that of those workers who are caught shopping instead of working only a few are reprimanded.
18-11. Other than the obvious, what problems do you see here, especially as it relates to control?
18-12. How would you handle this? How could organizations make sure they’re addressing work controls ethically?
18-13. Discuss contemporary issues in control
I’m a Leader: Now What?
You have been promoted to a supervisory position. Or you’ve been asked to head up a temporary taskforce. Or your team asks you to lead them on a new project. What now? Sometime during your work career, you’re likely to be asked to step up and take a leadership position. As a leader, you’ll want a team that’s motivated, committed, engaged, and ready to give their best. Here are some suggestions to help you successfully make that transition to being an effective leader:
- Assess the leadership situation by looking at these three variables:
- Assess the individual capabilities of your group members.
- Assess the willingness and motivation of your group members.
- Determine how much power you have to reward or punish group members.
- Build trust. Trust is so critically important. People tend to not follow those they don’t trust.
- Be consistent. Set clear priorities and follow them consistently and daily.
- Engage your team members. Leaders are successful when they have the buy-in and commitment of their people.
- Don’t distance yourself from those you’re leading. Being arrogant or distant can disengage your team members.
- Be adaptable. Leading others isn’t a one-size fits-all scenario.
Assignment: Complete case Application 1: Growing Leaders