Self-awareness occupies a prominent place in today's leadership and organizational approaches. And rightly so! It's directly correlated with both personal and organizational wellbeing.
Self-awareness, one of the five pillars of emotional intelligence, is a critical element of authentic leadership, leading to better performance and wellbeing at work. Self-aware individuals can better identify their strengths as an employee and find their identities in relation to their work, their role in the team, and their future as part of the organization. Research also suggests increased self-awareness is directly related to confidence, increased creativity, and the ability to better manage emotions in high-stress situations and conflicts.
Teams and organizations are essentially individuals grouped in various cohorts. These individuals have behaviors and tendencies which can lead to either positive or negative outcomes. In an organizational setting, self-awareness is the ability to monitor one's emotions, strengths, values, triggers, and motivators for better performance.
Self-awareness helps your people
- Know what makes them tick and why. From here, they can begin making behavioral changes that drive individual and team performance, rather than hurting them.
- Consciously direct their behavior and possibly change it for the better.
- Better understand how others impact your emotions and reactions for better behavioral management.
- Play off each other’s strengths by working in collaboration rather than in competition with each other.
The biggest strength of a self-aware team is their knowledge of how to make the best of not only their individual but also their collective skills.
3 Ways to Cultivate Self-awareness in Your Team
There are many ways to cultivate and increase self-awareness; however, psychometric tests, coaching cultures, and professional coaching are scientifically proven to be the most effective and cost-efficient.
1. Self-awareness Tools (Psychometric Tests)
Psychometric tests are one of the best-known tools to cultivate self-awareness. They are aimed at increasing self-awareness by offering information about various aspects of an individual’s personality. The best part is that there is no right or wrong answer, instead, they are designed to simply tell the respondent where they stand on a particular set of traits. The most common tests include Myers-Briggs, predictive index, and Big Five personality indicator. They help the individual become self-aware by prompting them to choose between forced trade-off situations/questions to give them insight into their personality and character.
Once your team members understand not only their personality but also their team member’s personality they can be more mindful of how their co-worker perceives and interacts with the world. This always proves to be a highly effective team-building activity leading to better performance. When each member of your team knows about their strengths and skills, they are more likely to openly ask for help leading to stronger workplace relationships.
2. Create a Culture of Open Communication
While psychometric tests are great, they can’t tell you what others think of you, and to do that you need to go back to the basics but with a twist – cultivating a culture of open communication beyond just performance appraisal. When done with the right intention, open communication leads to a positive work culture where your team members can learn and grow without any fear of making mistakes. Remember that this goes both ways and while giving feedback is important, it is just as important to receive it with an open heart and mind.
Knowing what others think would allow you to gain an outsider's perspective of your work and performance. This is achieved by giving and receiving honest feedback. Seeing beyond one’s perception of self and incorporating what others perceive into their self-perception helps with personal growth, improves team productivity, and builds confidence.
3. Work with a Professional Coach
While going on a journey of self-discovery with the help of psychometric tests and giving and receiving honest feedback will help, nothing beats working with a coach to improve self-awareness. Working with a coach allows the team to go one step beyond and usually proves to be a transformational process for the individual as well as the team. A qualified coach makes the journey easy and quick and guides the team about how to effectively solve problems, set and work towards achieving short and long-term goals, and work in collaboration to achieve productivity.
A coach also helps the team become aware of their blind spots by working one-on-one with individual members in addition to working with the team. Coaching as a team gives your team not only increased self-awareness but also a competitive advantage.
To conclude, as a team leader, you want your team to succeed, and helping them cultivate self-awareness is one way to do it. Cultivating self-awareness is a practical way to up your team’s game, making you better at problem-solving, collaborating, and creating. Increased self-awareness is an asset for your team and it is worth investing the time and effort to make it happen.
And don't just take our word for it. After 3-4 months of mental health platform, your people will see up to:
- 66% improvement in avoiding burnout
- 42% improvement in ability to build better relationships at work
- 53% improvement in leadership and empowerment skills
- 63% improvement in ability to set SMART goals and values, and
- 40% improvement in overall job satisfaction