Self-awareness is a core part of my own work as a Green leader and in my work with individuals and organizations. I know it can sound like some new-age concept. There’s a lot of science behind the value of self-awareness, and it can make a big difference in how effective you are as a Green Leader.
A recent article by John Hackston in Workforce magazine, “Maybe You’re Aware… Self-Awareness is in Short Supply,” describe the advantages of being self-aware.
Understanding reactions and motivations
Management of self and others
Ability to adapt behavior
Yes, self-awareness seems pretty squishy and as a scientist, I'm uncomfortable with that.
The good news is there are several ways that we can determine how self-aware we are.
The four facets of self-awareness that Hackston identifies are Reflection, Insight, Mindfulness, and Rumination.
These four facets dovetail nicely with the six key skills necessary for leadership effectiveness by middle-level managers, as described by the Center for Creative Leadership in its recent article, The Leadership Skills That Managers in the Middle Need to Advance. Those skills are:
Thinking and acting systemically
Learning agility, and
While Self-Awareness is listed separately here, an argument can be made that it affects the other five skills as well. We’re able to more effectively think and act systematically when we’re self-aware about how our own behaviors as a leader also impact the system around us, for example.
How self-aware are you? Take the quiz that Hackston includes at the article link above. Some of the key ways you can improve your self-awareness, based on the data and in rank order, include training to be a coach, receiving coaching, completing personality assessments, receiving structured feedback from peers, and journaling.