What You Don’t Know About Yourself Can …?

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are”

                                                                                                 –Carl Jung

A common characteristic of successful business leaders is self-awareness. They know their strengths, weaknesses, limitations and impact on others – and how to use that knowledge to achieve positive results. Research suggests that most people believe they are self-aware; but it also reveals that true self-awareness is a rare attribute. If you are interested in cultivating self-awareness, try these three tips:

1. Identify Your Emotional Triggers – Emotional triggers are distinct feelings (anger, fear, sadness, frustration, etc.), stimulated by certain conditions, relationships, events or even words. Such feelings can then cause reactive stress behavior that can hinder the resolution of an issue. In fact, reactive behavior can make a situation worse. If you want your behavior to be responsive (thoughtful, controlled, relevant) versus reactive (impulsive, uneven, misplaced), it’s important to identify your emotional triggers – so make a list! Recognizing your triggers allows you to regulate your behavior and respond most appropriately to a condition, placing you where you need to be – in a leadership position!

2. Check-in (with yourself) – Personal values can drive success, if you let them. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for personal success drivers to get lost along the way when dealing with change, complexity and distractions (stress generators!). To overcome such conditions successful leader’s “check-in” with themselves (their values, principles, ideal behaviors) at least once per day. It can be as simple as reviewing your leadership philosophy (your written set of beliefs and principles that influence how you interpret reality and how you respond to people and events) each morning before you start your day; or, by conducting a self-assessment at the end of every day. Whatever method you choose, checking in regularly keeps your values and aspirations aligned with your decision making and behavior.

3. Ask for Feedback – Or, better yet, ask for advice. Asking for advice, sincerely, demonstrates humility and a willingness to connect with others. Your team and colleagues will appreciate your humility, and will welcome the opportunity to connect with you. When you connect with others, you will also learn more about them as well as yourself – a win-win for a leader!

Self-awareness is about understanding yourself better, so you can align your ideals with your actions. This of course not only helps you achieve your business goals, but also generates personal energy and fulfillment. When you are self-aware … you learn more, and become more!
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