In episode 4 or series 2 of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast, I had the absolutely delight of speaking to the fabulous Síle Walsh about self awareness, leadership at all levels, coaching, psychology and more. Here’s a Top Takeaways review of our discussion….

Knowing something isn’t knowing everything! When we have limited self awareness and then discover something about ourselves we have the illusion that now we now ‘know ourselves’! Whereas all we have come to know is a little part of ourselves. Being that the self is constantly changing, this need to know ourselves is a constant journey. A red flag is raised when anyone thinks that becoming aware of one of their blindspots means that they now have self knowledge.

Sile Walsh, ELIS Advantage

Coaching is about change and self awareness can be a by-product. You don’t need to have self awareness to come to coaching. What you do need is readiness for change. With a desire to change comes a desire to develop and grow, and to do that effectively, it means starting the journey from a place of self-awareness. We all have blindspots and coaching can bring those areas into the light. Once the light has been shone, it’s then that the work of coaching really starts.

Leading for results is not the same as leading for the people. When organisations reward leaders who don’t support others to thrive, we perpetuate leadership with low relational skills. Some leaders are able to play the game well, simply because they know the rules, not because they support others to thrive.

Shareholders still want to see their profits increase, but for sustainable profits organisations need to accept that how they make their money is becoming increasingly important. It’s no longer just the immediate money that shareholders are interested in. It’s increasingly about how we do things, not just what we do. If you think about this from an infinite game versus finite game, and growth mindset versus fixed mindset perspective, this feels like a sensible approach for organisations to take it they want to be in it for the long haul.

Titled leadership and social leadership – they’re not the same thing and they are visible in different places. Title leadership comes with positional power and is created by organisational structures and generally puts titled leaders at the top of people-teams and organisational functions. Social leadership however, creates leaders everywhere. Social leaders are created through followership. Ideally, what we really want is social leaders in title leadership positions.

The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast

Leaders are just like you and I. They are not smarter or better, they’re just in different places in organisations and social structures. We have this fantasy of leadership where we think that people in senior roles are superheroes which plays into people’s insecurities and feeds imposter syndrome. But sometimes, we also need to keep this fantasy alive, because in times of crisis, if we didn’t think we were being led by a superhero, it would make us feel anxious and pretty scared