Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Exploring career mentoring and coaching

1 What is self-awareness?

Described image
Figure 1 Self-awareness is important

Sutton (2016) broadly defines self-awareness as ‘the extent to which people are consciously aware of their internal states and their interactions or relationships with others’.

One of the primary effects of successful mentoring or coaching is to help you to enhance your self-awareness.

Dr Julia Yates explains in the following video.

Download this video clip.Video player: mentoring_and_coaching_week2_1.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

JULIA YATES
I think self-awareness is absolutely at the heart of coaching. And one of the most important things that coaching and mentoring can do for you is to help increase your self-awareness. Self-awareness is a very difficult thing, and as we go through our lives we gradually develop our self-awareness, and perhaps we change who we are so there are further challenges associated with understanding ourselves there. In terms of career coaching particularly, I think what self-awareness does is it helps mitigate risks. So whenever you make a career decision of any sort, whether it's to change career, to start a new opportunity, or to go for promotion, there's a risk involved. We don't really know how it's going to work out until we try it. And a good understanding of ourselves and what we want, what we value, what we're good at, what we're going to enjoy, can help make sure that we make a choice that is most likely to provide us with the outcomes that we want and the kinds of jobs that satisfy us.
End transcript
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

As Julia infers in the video clip, self-awareness can be difficult to understand and develop. Tasha Eurich’s research (2017) backs this up. She found that ‘while 95% of people think they are self-aware, the real figure is closer to 10–15%’. She says, ‘Not only are our assessments often flawed, we are usually terrible judges of our own performance and abilities – from leadership skills to achievements at school and work.’ She goes on to describe two specific types of insight:

  • Internal self-awareness – an inward understanding of our passions and aspirations, strengths and weaknesses etc.
  • External self-awareness – knowing how others see you and understanding yourself from the outside in.

Retired NBA basketball player, psychologist and author, John Amaechi, has this to say about internal self-awareness, or to use his term – ‘introspection’.

Bitesize coaching with John Amaechi: introspection as the first step to success [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

MC_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus