1.1 Increasing my self-awareness
Ng (2017) offers tips to increase your self-awareness in a recent blog post, adapted here to fit Eurich’s definitions as follows:
- Tell the true story about yourself – shaping who you really are allows you to understand your current motives and the goals you set for your future.
- Write a journal – a long-recognised technique for framing your experience and finding connections.
- Establish inner dialogue with yourself – think regularly about how you feel. Are you happy? Are you under stress?
- Try meditation – focusing on the current moment and making your mind clear – ask yourself what you want to achieve, what obstacles are in your way and how you will overcome them.
- Create a list of your life priorities – and then keep track of progress.
- Talk to a friend you can trust – this can help you to see things you’ve never noticed in yourself.
- Get feedback from the people around you – ask them to tell you what you’re good at and what you’re bad at, and think about what you hear.
- Give a video interview – invite a friend to film you and ask you questions. Take some time to watch it back and analyse what you see. Is there anything you want to change about how you come across?
When collecting feedback from the people around you, don’t ask everyone you know or work with all at once, as that amount of feedback could easily overwhelm you. For example, start by choosing one or two trusted colleagues and ask them for some constructive feedback on a particular aspect of your approach.
Activity 1 How do others see me?
a) Choose a colleague or a friend and ask them for some feedback.
Think carefully about what you want feedback on – is it something specific, such as how you interact with people in a certain situation, or do you want their perspective on your strengths and weaknesses?
Note what they say in the box below.
b) Now think about how you feel about that feedback. Did it surprise you? Did it make you feel defensive? What have you learned about yourself?
Note your responses in the box below.
c) Finally, try to turn your learning into a positive action for change. For example, if they pointed out that you can be overly dominant in team meetings, not letting anyone else speak – perhaps, for the next meeting, you could resolve to really listen to what everyone says and invite others to contribute.
List your proposed actions in the box below.
This activity will probably highlight positives as well as negatives. Embrace and celebrate the positive feedback you receive and refer to it when you are feeling uncertain. Everyone has things that they do well and things they need to work on. Becoming more self-aware allows you to identify what those things are and to remember the positives while doing something about the negatives.
Activity 1 requires an element of self-reflection. In the next section you’ll consider this part of self-awareness in more detail.