Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Effective communication in the workplace

4.1 Self-awareness

To be an effective communicator, you need to be self-aware. Watch organisational psychologist Tasha Eurich explain what our self-awareness is, why it’s important and how we can develop it further in this short video.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 3
Skip transcript: Video 3

Transcript: Video 3

Do we know who we are? That is one of the most important questions we can ask. And our research shows that 95% of people think that we know ourselves, we think we're self-aware, but the real number is closer to 10% to 15%. So what I talk about in my work is, that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's something we should be really cognizant of and really try to improve as much as we can, because most of us have a lot of work to do.
The reason I call self-awareness the metaskill of the 21st century is that everything we need to know how to do in today's world is entirely dependent on our level of self-awareness. So you think about communication or influence or collaboration, all types of skills that we need in the workplace, we can only be as good at each of those as we are self-aware. And so if we work on self-awareness, it has a ripple effect to almost everything in our lives.
So I would give three tips to increase self-awareness. Number one, we have found in our research that people who are self-aware tend to have a really open and curious mindset about themselves. They're less likely to beat themselves up and more likely to say, well what went wrong? What can I learn? So I think that's one piece.
The second thing is to do what I call a daily check, and those are really easy, but it can really lead to a lot of insight. So at the end of every day, ask yourself three questions. Number one, what went well today? Two, what didn't go well? And three, what can I learn to be smarter tomorrow? So that's number two.
Number three is something I call the Dinner of Truth, and since we're talking about leaders and organisations, maybe I'll call it the Power Lunch of Truth. And what you do is you find someone that will tell you the truth that you trust will be honest with you, that you know has your best interests at heart, you take them to a meal, and you ask them, what do I do that's most annoying to you? And then you sit back and bask in the insight, try to not be defensive or to be as non-defensive as possible, and use that as a way to catalyse even more feedback.
End transcript: Video 3
Video 3
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Increasing your self-awareness allows you to communicate more honestly, with greater openness to the feedback you might receive. As a consequence, you will communicate more effectively with those around you.


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 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, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 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 prospectus371