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The Importance of Building Self-Awareness in Today’s Business Leader

In today’s global business environments, employees look to C-Level executives to motivate and inspire them towards a positive outcome. However, in order to be effective in this area, it is crucial for a leader to have a strong emotional self-awareness. A successful executive understands that what they bring to their position is not just about business smarts, but rather an entire package that all plays into their strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness allows leaders to identify the gaps in their management skills and uncover the areas in which they are most effective as well as areas that need additional work. These understandings aid them in making discerning decisions, and help them be more effective in motivating employees towards positive outcomes. Learning to be self-aware isn’t always easy, but mastering it can go far to improve leadership skills and create a more nurturing business culture. Here are seven ways executives can work to improve their level of self-awareness.

  • Keep an open mind to other possibilities. Successful leaders are curious. They are open to new ideas and welcome unique thoughts. This openness also makes others feel supported and accepted as a valued team member.

  • Be aware of strengths and weaknesses. Leaders who are self-aware know the areas in which they are strong and those which need some work. Being honest about these strengths and shortcomings puts leaders in a position for improvement and growth.

  • Keen awareness of the business environment. As a leader it is crucial to keep focus. There are a lot of things that vie for a leader’s time. A self-aware executive will understand areas of distraction and steer clear of them so that they can concentrate on what they need to do to move forward.

  • Understanding of limitations and definition of appropriate boundaries. A successful leader knows their place. While it is important to make team members feel comfortable and supported, without a firm stance it is easy to get taken advantage of in these situations. Boundaries help leaders to know when to say “no” and will allow them to operate from a position of respect and integrity.

  • Strong knowledge of hot-buttons. Even the best leaders can become rattled in stressful situations. An emotionally aware leader is able to identify the situations that might cause them to have a strong reaction. It is okay to show emotion, however, it is important to have the ability to fully process these feelings before communicating with others.

  • Connection to gut instincts. People who are successful in business have a strong connection with their intuition. They trust their feelings and are able to make appropriate decisions.

  • Maintain self-discipline. A respected leader demonstrates discipline within their position as well as in their personal life. This level of discipline is tied closely to their integrity and moral character and garners respect from those around them.



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