Three years ago, I took a trip to Ireland and spent 2 full weeks traveling throughout the beautiful countryside in May. It was one of the best trips I have taken. I saw beautiful scenery and wildlife along the way. It helped me to be reflective of my values and how I saw myself (my self-awareness). Thereby, I wanted to ask others what they saw in me as well. Through the next series of blog posts, I will share some of the wonderful sites I saw in Ireland and how they became an influence for me in self-reflection and self-awareness.
How do you view yourself (becoming more self-aware)?
When you are in a leadership role, it’s important to that you are seen positively by many people around you, and sometimes beyond those you may know. How you view yourself (your self-awareness), AND how others see you are a crucial part of creating an image or brand of who you are in this world. It can determine your career path and the all-important relationships you build along the way.
Doesn’t the picture of this seagull give you the impression that he knows who he is and is posing for this shot? He’s showing his character proudly, isn’t he? He is portraying boldness and confidence; getting close to the camera to show the best image of who he is. How do you present yourself? What is your own inner view of yourself? This then transfers to how you show up on the outside. Frequently, the feeling inside is less confident than what we show to the outside world. That works for a while (fake it till you make it), but eventually you need to feel that same confidence on the inside to be authentic to the outside world. How do you do that??
How do you become more self-aware? Below are 3 steps to begin that process – you will create more self-awareness, and thereby show it with confidence to the outside world.
1. Who are you?– Start by painting a picture of who YOU currently think you are by starting with your physical demeanor, dress, hairstyle, and shoes. Then think about your actions, how do you interact with others, what do you view as your portrayed leadership style. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the positive leadership behaviors you can incorporate into your own style of being? This creates your leadership character. Finally think about the relationships you have with others, who are your 1st tier friends, 2nd tier friends, etc. (what makes them unique?).
2. Ask for Feedback – Ask for feedback from others whose opinion you trust and value to give you an honest assessment of what they see in your leadership style. Don’t pick people that will tell you what you want to hear. Be diverse in the people you choose. Ensure you see them as influencers in the organization and a trusted advisor who will be honest with you.
3. Open Mind to Learn – Be sure you are in the right mindset to learn about yourself. Do you have a growth mindset to ask yourself, “What can I learn from these steps?” If you find roadblocks that keep you from moving forward, your operating from a closed or “fixed” mindset, and it will derail your opportunity to grow and become more self-aware. Don’t be afraid if you hear some negativity in the feedback. Ask yourself, how can I change this perception?
4. Take Small Steps – The most important is to take some small actions from the evaluation you conducted on yourself and feedback you received from others. Review how you feel about these changes periodically to see if they feel comfortable for you as you develop as a leader. Do others see the shift in your behavior too? Continue to ask your trusted advisors to offer updated feedback on how they see you developing leadership characteristics.
As a result of taking these few steps to create self-awareness and shift your thoughts and behaviors, you will reflect authentic and positive leadership characteristics. This will develop opportunities for your career, as well as the happiness of who you are becoming. Do you feel as confident as this seagull to step up to the camera and show your character?