I had a great conversation with Jacqui Frost in Episode 9 of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast and here are my Top Takeaways….
The Self Awareness Concept: Self awareness on the face of it is a simple concept, until you start talking about it and exploring it then you realise its like unpeeling an onion and discovering that there’s another layer to be explored, and another.
Adapt Your Behaviour: self awareness is about noticing things all of the time and being brutally honest with yourself about your behaviour and performance. A behaviour and style that works for you in one situation might not work in another. Keep your antenna on all the time. This is the essence of my third layer of self awareness: regulation. Regulating your behaviour means you are able to apply your self awareness cycle of reflection, recognition and regulation in the moment to adapt your behaviour to influence the responses you get.
Little Leadership: both Jacqui Frost in episode 9 and Sophie Bryan, who you’ll hear in episode 7 of series 2, talk about the leadership behaviours we see in young children. Some children can be observed gathering groups together, advocating for quieter voices and achieving consensus. This definitely supports my research which found that leadership is an innate ability which can be honed and developed through training, not created from scratch.
Do as I do: The idea of modelling behaviour is something we talk about but not everyone has a real grasp of what it truly means. Colleagues and followers pick up on the framework and nuances of our behaviour and implement them in their contexts. If I read my phone in a meeting with you, you’ll think it’s ok to take your phone into a meeting with someone else. I like the old adage ‘do as I say don’t do as I do’ which highlights the irony that no follower will every act on a leaders’ instructions if the leader themselves does the exact opposite.
Delegation: Delegation is a sign of self aware leadership. When leaders know themselves well enough to know what they don’t know and are able to delegate effectively to someone who does, that demonstrates their self awareness. If you model that you know and do everything it de-skills and dis-empowers people around you meaning that you then put yourself in the position of having to have the answers to everything and having to make the decisions about everything.
Take a listen to the whole episode here
It is hoped that this episode will help listeners appreciate that improving self-awareness is not an event, the reading of a book, listening a pod cast or “ doing” a course. It is a journey which requires 100% honesty with yourself.
By noticing who you are and what you do is a good place to start, noticing the good, the bad and the ugly and the impact it has on self but also others.
It is by looking back at our own leadership behaviour we can take learnings into our future as a leader. Your self-awareness needs to be heightened to use all that you notice about yourself and others to have a positive impact.
Are you aware of all that you do and say as a leader? This episode might trigger you to reflect on that more frequently.