Becoming self-aware key to good leadership

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Becoming self-aware key to good leadership Tips on how you can develop self-awareness

 

Warren Buffett is known for carefully articulating the reasons he’s making an investment at the time he makes it. Photograph:   REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Warren Buffett is known for carefully articulating the reasons he’s making an investment at the time he makes it. Photograph: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

 

You can’t be a good leader if you’re not self-aware. So how can we cultivate and develop self-awareness? Here are five suggestions.

1 Meditate Most forms of meditation begin with focusing on, and appreciating the simplicity of, inhaling and exhaling. But these don’t need to be formal or ritualistic – greater clarity can also come from regular moments of pause and reflection.

2 Write down your key plans and priorities One of the best ways to increase self-awareness is to write down what you want to do and track your progress.Warren Buffett, for one, is known for carefully articulating the reasons he’s making an investment at the time he makes it. His journal entries serve as a historical record that helps him assess whether or not future outcomes can be attributable to sound judgment or just plain luck.

3 Take psychometric tests Among the best known of these tests are Myers-Briggs and Predictive Index, but all are aimed as serving as a data point toward greater self-awareness. A common design point with all of these tests is that there are no particular right or wrong answers. Instead, they are designed to compel respondents to consider a set of traits or characteristics that most accurately describe them relative to other people.

4 Ask trusted friends Make your friend or colleague feel safe enough to give you an informal, but direct and honest view.

5 Get regular feedback at work Provided it is done well, constructive, formalised feedback allows us to better see our own strengths and weaknesses. The keys to effective formal feedback are: a) to have a process, and b) have an effective manager of it. The latter either requires really good internal HR people or outside facilitators and consultants. – Copyright Harvard Business Review 2015

 

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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