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07.30.09

Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness

Without self-awareness leadership becomes just another exercise in ego gratification. Self-awareness allows for self-discipline and control of the ego. Without it the ego runs amok looking after itself and only incidentally in the service of others if the needs of both happen to align.

Self-awareness is the ability to see when an emotion or a perception is influencing your thinking and behavior and, if necessary, do something about it. Gaining control over the state of your mind will pay big dividends in terms of your leadership effectiveness. It is the blind spot of leadership. Being able to step back and see both the positive and negative aspects about yourself, to see how you affect others, and to see how you are behaving in real-time, is critical to your success as a leader.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 offers some good strategies to develop your self-awareness as part of an overall EQ skill development program. Self-awareness is a bigger problem than one might think. The book reports that “only 36 percent of the people tested were able to accurately identify their emotions as they happen. This means that two thirds of us are typically controlled by our emotions and are not yet skilled at spotting them and using them to our benefit.”

A proper and healthy self-awareness facilitates an essential other-awareness that is vital to good leadership. You can not manage the behaviors of others without first getting a handle on your own.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:33 PM
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