Successful leaders are self aware of just how important it is to manage their own strengths and weakness. We find Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves’ toolkit-in-a-book a useful guide for how to use emotional intelligence to build and maintain relationships and strengthen leadership skills. Emotional Intelligence

Once you understand your reactions, feelings and why you have them, you are better able to manage yourself. The skill of self-management is a prerequisite for managing others effectively. Self-awareness is not about therapy or digging into the dark places of your psyche, rather it is about recognizing your own motivators and those situations (and people) that push your buttons.

What does self-awareness – knowing yourself – actually look like in the workplace?

Carol, an operations supervisor, is highly self aware   She doesn’t like to be told what to do, and resents it when others second-guess her decisions.  When management sends a directive or alters a decision she has made with her team, she is careful not to bad mouth them or yell at her own manager.  She is aware of her tendency to easily react and take things personally, and she constantly reminds herself to stay in check.  When she does this, she is more likely be receptive, ask questions and seeks to understand the rationale behind the decision, rather than just push back.

On the other hand, Jeff, a sales representative, has low self-awareness.  He frequently barges in on others’ conversations without regard for what others are doing or saying.  When something comes to mind, he interrupts and jumps in, even if it isn’t the appropriate time or place to bring up his issue.  He is unaware that others are annoyed or frustrated by his lack of civility and tact. It is little wonder that Jeff faces significant hurdles in leading his team.

Action Strategy: Be aware of the behaviors that get in the way of your success and negatively impact others. As you manage your own tendencies, you will find that relationships with others improve and you will be able to lead more effectively.