Do you have someone in your life who dismisses their actions, emotions, or communication style because they say, “Well, I say it like it is because I’m an 8 on the Enneagram.”? Or because they’re an “ENTJ” on the Myers-Briggs or a “DI” on the DISC Profile. While those assessment labels are great tools in the “toolbox” of Self-Awareness, your results do not automatically translate into a greater sense of Self-Awareness. In fact, if assessment results are being used to explain or excuse immature behavior, then they are just that: labels. But if your assessment results are brought to the conversation in order to clarify, acknowledge a shadow side, or share perspective, then they can be a vital part of the journey towards Self-Awareness.
At my very first consulting job, we talked a lot about how great leadership requires a strong sense of Self-Awareness. And for the sake of our clients, we took the time to outline what we meant by Self-Awareness. Based on my personal + professional experience over the years, the model I use to encourage my Coaching + Creative Development clients has morphed and changed a bit since my days at the consulting firm. But here are the 3 steps I recommend on this journey:
3 STEPS OF SELF-AWARENESS:
1. Awareness of Myself:
Self-Awareness starts with self-observation. How well do I know myself? Do I know what I think, feel, and believe, and do I act in a way that is an accurate reflection of how people experience me?
2. Awareness of Others:
Self-Awareness increases with the observation of others. Do I know the people around me and do I understand how they will respond to interactions and conversations?
3. Awareness of How Others Experience Themselves Around Me:
This final stage involves paying attention to how others feel about themselves when they’re around me. Essentially, how do you make other people feel when they are around you? Ask yourself, “Have I ever noticed how I make people feel about themselves around me?” Do you make people feel insecure or confident about their decisions? Do you make them feel empowered or apathetic about their choices? Do I make them feel creative or stifled with their projects? And so on.
*This final stage of Self-Awareness is the hardest stage because it’s not just how people feel around you–it’s how people feel about themselves when they’re around you. Think about that for a few minutes.