(1 minute read)

While technical skills will continue to remain a pre-requisite for career success, emerging and evolving leaders also need to establish and enhance their softer skills. The most sought after of these softer leadership skills is emotional intelligence (EQ). Of the 4-5 key realms of EQ, self-awareness needs to be the focal point for leaders to further develop.

Enhanced self-awareness allows the individual to be in tune with their emotions, state of mind, motives, and desires. 

Recently published research by self-awareness expert and bestselling author, Dr. Tasha Eurich, identified that 95% of people believe they are self-aware, yet only about 15% of people are!

This highlights a clear disconnect between how aware we think we are of our emotions, and the reality. 

We need to understand that there are two types of self-awareness: internal and external.

Internal self-awareness is how we see our own values, thoughts, and emotions.

External self-awareness is how we are seen by others.

Once we understand and accept this reality, we can strive to balance internal and external self-awareness, where your perception of yourself is similar to, or the same as how you are seen by others.

Improving both sides of self-awareness is crucial for individual and leaders as they continue to develop their emotional intelligence. 

Exercises to enhance both types of self-awareness. (via Dr Eurich)

  • To enhance internal self-awareness, move away from asking why. Instead of asking “Why did I say that to a colleague?”, ask “What made me say that to my colleague?” You can’t always rationalize why, but you can explain the what
  • To improve external self-awareness, aim to create an open and safe environment where team members and peers can be honest with you. Encourage critical feedback that ultimately helps you improve.
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