A group of executives talking about self awareness while taking notes.
How To

How to Improve Self-Awareness

The Highrise Team
November 12, 2021

When you look in a mirror, who do you see? Do you see a person whom you fully understand?

Many of us would answer in the affirmative, but evidence suggests otherwise.

A study done by self-awareness researcher and expert Dr. Tasha Eurich revealed that only 10-15% of people are fully self-aware!

Becoming self-aware opens many doors, as you more often than not acquire knowledge about your strengths and weaknesses. With this knowledge, you can lean on your abilities and work to reinforce areas of weaknesses.  

Enrolling for executive coaching, mentoring, or leadership coaching will assist you in better understanding your internal locus control that is vital in workplace leadership and other areas of life.

What precisely is Self-Awareness?

The precise definition of self-awareness varies according to various contexts; nevertheless, here are some definitions to help you grasp this elusive concept: 

Dr. Alain Morin, a researcher at the Mount Royal Universtity’s Department of Psychology, describes self-awareness as the capacity of becoming the object of one's attention. In this state, one actively identifies, processes, and stores information about the self.

Dr. Tasha Eurich, a leading organizational psychologist, is a keen supporter of the concept of self-awareness. She espouses the advantages of self-awareness in the following way: “When we can see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and creative, make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. All of which are important to effective leadership.”

Types of Self Awareness

Dr. Eurich has separated Self Awareness into two categories:

  • Internal Self-Awareness: this is how well we understand our inner self and how it fits our environment and its impact on others. 
  • External Self-Awareness: understanding how others view us. 

Why does Self-Awareness matter?

By better understanding ourselves, we are primed for optimum performance as a leader, team-members or outside work as we improve in the following ways:

  • Set achievable goals: we understand where our strengths and weaknesses lie and are better at setting realistic expectations. E.g., you might be good at strategy formulation but poor at execution. This will assist you in identifying people to execute your ideas.
  • Anticipate our reaction: understanding your trigger points makes you avoid situations that can lead to misunderstanding.
  • Identify skills to learn: If your introspection reveals that you lack a vital skill such as public speaking and your job entails this, you’ll be able to address this gap before you need it.·        
  • Make better decisions: We often make the best choices when we know where our limits lie. This enables us to avoid making emotional decisions that often lead to regrets.
  • Boost Self-confidence: By understanding who you are, it becomes easy to be self-confident. As a result, you will be decisive, not fear articulating your position, and be assertive when a situation demands.
  • Boost Mental Health: Self-awareness is a crucial aspect of mental health. As you shine a light on yourself, you get to understand which thoughts and situations are comfortable and trigger you. For example, you will learn that it is okay not to be okay, avoid problems, or prepare for unsettling situations.
  • Boost our leadership skills: Self-aware leaders are better leaders. This is because they understand where their strength and vulnerability lie. This way, they can enhance their skills and seek help where they have a challenge.
Two managers high-fiving while smiling at each other.

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Practical ways to Improve Self-Awareness

Lets talk about the practical ways to improve self-awareness. Here is the list of ways you can improve your self awareness:

Start Journaling

Journaling has been identified as one of the most powerful ways of realizing self-awareness. Recording your thoughts, emotions, and routine makes it easy to identify patterns in your life. For those not used to journaling, getting started can be challenging, or sustaining this helpful practice can prove difficult. To get started, you need not record every aspect of your life but narrow down on areas of your life that you want to record. For example,

  • What are your feelings when speaking with work colleagues? 
  • How do you react when you are making a presentation?
  • What are your positive and negative feelings daily?
  • At what times of the day do you have peak performance?
  • How did I handle the meeting today?

Journaling need not follow any rules since you are writing for an audience of one. There is no best time to journal, provided that it does not become obsessive and interferes with your regular daily routine.

Take a Psychometric test

A psychometric test such as the Predictive index and Myers-Briggs will enable you to understand your ability and personality. It’s not advisable to take these tests as an empirical truth, however the results offer a window to understand further where your strengths and opportunities may exist.

Request for Feedback

We all have blind spots that we are oblivious of and evident to others. Requesting Feedback from people you trust assists in unlocking this part of our life that enables us to understand ourselves better. Make a point to ask for direct feedback and cover both the negative and positive aspects of your personality.

Perform regular self-reflection

Self-reflection is a crucial ingredient of self-awareness. By regularly (preferably daily) reflecting on who you are as a person, you get to review whether you are getting to understand yourself better, making strides, or living with more intentionality, etc. Self-reflection should cover your feelings, emotions, thoughts, and your actions.

Work with an Executive coach

There is always more to learn with the guidance of a certified executive coach. This will assist in unlocking your core strengths through a structured approach and assist you in understanding your limits. This is because they bring clarity, accountability, focus, and continuous support.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Let’s go further and try one of the most comprehensive coaching experience with us.

How Highrise can Help

At Highrise, we believe that self-awareness is an integral step towards becoming a better person in the workplace and other facets of life. We also believe that executive coaching will help you become more self-aware. Get in touch today for a tailor made coaching.