If you build it, they will come
I’ve always loved this line out of Field of Dreams (1989). From a self-awareness perspective, we spoke last week about what self-awareness (missed it? Read here) is and why it’s important: the alignment of your internal world and your external world, enables you to increase your focus on doing what you’re best at, as well as increase your personal effectiveness to achieve your goals (both personal and professional).
This week, we’re focusing on the ‘how’.
There are so many ways to build your self-awareness, the first step is really having the desire to understand yourself, and what’s driving your behaviours, in greater detail. Once you have that desire, there are a number of options:
- Talk to people you trust and respect – you might start with some really foundational areas, such as what they see as your strengths and development areas? Or, how could you be more effective at your job, your communication, your relationship management etc etc. The main thing here is to be open to the feedback you receive; don’t defend or explain, just listen and accept. Most importantly, thank them for their thoughts!
- Seek out a mentor – either in your organisation, in your industry, or in a career to which you aspire, a mentor relationship is a mutually-beneficial relationship in which both learn from each other. In the context of building self-awareness, it is beneficial to find a mentor who knows you well, and who will be comfortable to provide you with candid feedback. From a mentee’s perspective, you can build your self-awareness through asking for feedback on actions that may be right for you, as well as advice and direction from your mentor regarding topics you wish to discuss;
- Diagnostic Tools – depending in which area you want to build your self-awareness, there are a wonderful range of diagnostic tools to access. Some are free (such as the VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire), and some have a cost associated with them. For us, we love using an array of diagnostic tools, depending on the awareness or development program on which we are focusing with our clients. A couple of our favourites are:
- Team Management Systems – both the Team Management Profile (TMP) and the Opportunities/Obstacles Quotient (QO2) are fantastic tools, enabling you to build awareness of your work preferences and styles (TMP) and understand how you approach new situations, goals, change and risk (QO2);
- Life Styles Inventory (LSI) – by Human Synergistics, the LSI focusing on boosting personal effectiveness, by uncovering your styles of thinking and how others perceive your behaviours. Through increasing our constructive styles of thoughts and behaviours, we are able to be more achievement focused, confident in ourselves and our abilities, focusing on the development and support of others, and seeing the value of strong relationships with colleagues and stakeholders.
- Group Styles Inventory (GSI) – similar to LSI, but for groups/teams, we are able to increase the self-awareness of individuals regarding how their behaviour impacts on others in the team, especially in relation to achieving desired goals and outcomes for the team.
- Access a Coach – A coach will facilitate you opening your own thoughts to find the answers that will work for you; they won’t give you the answers, but ask you the right questions to provoke your thoughts to boost your awareness. We live in a time when there is a myriad of wonderful professional coaches available; if you would like more details accessing one of our experienced coaches, or other specialist coaches we would recommend, contact us at Seed People Consulting.
So, what’s stopping you? It’s never too late to increase your self-awareness, and never too early to start! What’s one thing you will do today to increase your self-awareness?
For more information on how Seed People Consulting can support you in boosting your self-awareness, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 760 751 to experience the Seed People Consulting difference.