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

1.1 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:

Internal self-awareness

  • 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.

External self-awareness

  • 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?

Allow about 30 minutes

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.

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

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.

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

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.

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Discussion

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.

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