Self-Awareness and Growth: The First Power Skill for Leaders in a New Era
To successfully lead companies and inspire people, leaders need to develop new capabilities. A new type of leader is needed to inspire and lead their people – one who engages their whole being as well as their capabilities, blending analytical and energetic human skills.
There are seven Power Skills that help leaders do just this:
- Self-Awareness & Capacity for Growth
- Empathy & Compassion
- Ego-Awareness & Humility
- Transparency & Truth
- Resilience & Emotional Intelligence
- Servant Leadership
Let’s take a closer look at the first one: Self-Awareness & Capacity for Growth. Leaders in a New Era need the ability to honestly evaluate, recognize, and regulate one’s own beliefs, strengths, patterns, and actions as well as their impact on others. With this level of self-awareness and capacity for genuine self-reflection and growth mindset, leaders can take invaluable insights, feedback, and learning in ways that they may not otherwise. Staying closed cuts off essential information that leaders can use to make better decisions.
Some questions and practices to get you started on Self-Awareness:
- Are you open to seeing yourself in new ways?
- Are you able to regulate your emotions and practice emotional intelligence in situations where you want or need to access these capacities within yourself?
- How do you see yourself as an effective leader? What could you improve?
Anytime we learn new things, practicing with intention is a foundation that can ground you in developing the new skills and capabilities you seek. What is the reason you would like to deepen your self-awareness? When you’re ready, here are some Micro-Practices for you to try everyday.
Micro-practices for Self-Awareness
- Presence—connect to your breath, notice it’s flow in and out of your body. What do you notice? How do you feel? Try this before and after each meal. Or tie it to another habit that you do throughout your day.
- Intention—actively hold your intention from above around your reason for deepening your self-awareness. Pause and gently remind yourself of this intention as you step into each new online meeting, work sprint, or family time.
- Self-Regulation—Begin paying attention to any heat, energy shifts that are drastic or sudden, or emotions that hit the highs and lows. Through your breath and intention setting, ask yourself, “What’s really going on right now for me?” Become curious and allow emotion to enter your body, and through continuous connection to your breath, allow your body to take charge of this emotion by slowing down and using your breath to calm you down. How often you notice this and how easily you can do this will propel your growth in regulating your feelings and reactions.
- 5 Sensory Awareness—In addition to your breath, take time to use your five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching to practice your sense of presence and resilience. By connecting to your senses, you can expand your awareness of the world around you. With practice, you can begin to expand your capacity to hold space for beauty, joy, aliveness, and compassion.
- Somatic Awareness Through Dignity, Belonging, Safety—each of us fundamentally needs to feel dignity, belonging and safety in order to thrive. This practice can have profound results and here’s a recorded meditation to get you started in feeling what the first of these—dignity—feels like within your body. Why is this important to leaders today? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Application to Life: Self-awareness is the window to richer relationships. It is the first step towards identifying areas of growth and allows us to make informed choices about what matters to us. It is also a key to allowing us to respond to pressures in our lives rather than react from a more immature or reflexive place without ourselves.
Application at Work: Self-awareness can help leaders gain a more 360 view of what’s really going on around them as well as what’s going on within themselves. Self-awareness can help leaders model deeper access to themselves in ways that can spark and inspire others within the organization. It’s the starting point for change.