Confidence. Commitment. Passion. Integrity. All of these are characteristics of an admirable leader. But there is one trait that may overshadow them all: self-awareness. Self-aware leaders have the ability to monitor their own emotions and reactions. Leaders that are highly attuned to their behaviors (and how others perceive those behaviors) can make a positive impact in their organization by setting the tone for maturity, moderation, and civility that others will aim to replicate.
We promote self-awareness at Birkman—it's critical for everyone's personal development, not just leaders. However, self-awareness is difficult to practice, especially when under stress.
There are three elements to self-awareness:
- Knowing your own behavior—good and bad
- Leveraging your good behavior
- Curbing the bad behavior
It seems simple, but even those of us immersed in a company culture that emphasizes the importance of self-awareness can struggle. Ultimately, in those moments when you're frustrated in the workplace, it's hard to step back, take a deep breath, and assess how you can best handle a situation.