6 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills Through Self-Awareness
People who are self-aware are able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This allows them to continually work to improve their behaviors and become better leaders. Leaders are people whom we look up to and strive to emulate. By ignoring your weaknesses, you guarantee that you will struggle with them for the rest of your life. That’s where self-awareness and leadership development come into play.
Are You Self-Aware?
Be honest with yourself. Do you set a good example for your team? Would you want to work for someone like you? Do you set a bar for your colleagues? If the answer is no to any of these questions, you should ask yourself why. If you can’t come up with an answer immediately, you are not self-aware.
Self-awareness affects the functionality of the brain. To be self-aware, you must actively think about your every action. This can be difficult at first but it is important to solving problems that negatively impact your leadership skills.
1. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
Use this exercise to practice self-awareness. As you go throughout your day, actively think about what you are doing. Ask yourself if you are performing a task correctly or if you need to improve. Mentally log, or better yet, write down the skills you need to improve upon as well as your strengths. At the end of your day, sit down and take an inventory of these items.
You should have two lists; strengths and weaknesses. Take a good look at your strengths. Your goal with your strengths is to maintain them. Your weaknesses are leadership behaviors to improve upon.
2. Admit to Your Weaknesses
First, it is important to admit to yourself that you need help with the items on your list of weaknesses. Once you know you need improvement, work on setting short-term and long-term goals that will help turn your weaknesses into strengths.
3. Set Short-term Goals
Your list of short-term goals should include any items that you can fix immediately or within the coming days or weeks. For example, if you don’t acknowledge the contributions of individual team members, saying “Thank you!” or “Great job!” will help you acknowledge team members immediately and will improve your team’s morale.
It’s not enough to simply change the behavior for one day. It needs to become second nature to you; A habit. Don’t check anything off your list of weaknesses until it is something you do naturally without thinking about it. You must be consistent before moving on.
4. Set Long-term Goals
Long-term goals are goals that will take a significant amount of time to improve upon. Expect to spend several months to years to complete these. There may also be several short-term goals that you have to accomplish before you tackle a long-term goal. Just focus on keeping your momentum.
An example of a long-term goal might be your ability to solve problems. This skill is more complex than taking a moment to say thank you. Solving problems takes improving several smaller skills in order to complete your goal. It also involves changing how your brain functions.
Set smaller, short-term goals within your larger goals. You could, for instance, try using a solving puzzle or game in order to improve your cognitive skills. Games and puzzles help you develop a strategy. Developing a strategy is an exercise that becomes easier with practice and will help you achieve your long-term goal.
5. Ask Others for Advice
If you are stuck or have no idea what you can do to improve a skill, ask for feedback and advice. If you have a role model in the workplace, ask he or she how they handle a problem you struggle with. More often than not, he or she will be more than willing to help you figure out a way you can fix the problem.
Don’t be afraid to ask your team members for their feedback as well. They may see weaknesses that you were not able to see on your own. Ask them for their suggestions. Once they realize that improving your leadership skills is beneficial to their success, they will provide you with constructive criticism to help you improve those unknown weaknesses.
6. Reassess Your Progress
Self-awareness is a skill that a person must work on actively every day. Doing so ensures that while you are improving your weaknesses, your strengths remain strong. Every week, sit down to assess your goals from the previous week, add new goals, and check off those that you have achieved.
Self-awareness is a worthwhile investment in your time that will hone your leadership skills. In no time, you will find that self-awareness helps you to excel in the workplace and will open up a world of opportunities.
Author Bio: Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. As a freelancer, she understands the importance of productivity at work. Connect with Riya on twitter, @sanderriya.