If that catches you flat-footed, you may have some work to do. Self-awareness is key to developing stronger communication skills, fostering higher quality relationships, and increasing your effectiveness as a leader.
Self-awareness results from being honest about who you are, your likes and dislikes, what you do well, what you don’t do well. The process is introspective and requires complete transparency – understanding how you think about things, how you engage with others (verbally and non-verbally), and how others react to you.
Knowing yourself is critical – relationships are not unilateral. YouMUST know how your contribution affects the relationship. And if you want to be an effective leader, the responsibility is yours.
Where to start? Try answering these questions:
- During a conversation with a subordinate, how much time do you spend espousing your perspective vs. understanding the employee’s thoughts by engaging him/her with questions?
- Do you actively listen to what the other person is saying?
- Do you interrupt the other person because you can’t wait to get your point across?
- Do you exhibit interest in an employee’s family?
- Are you constantly looking at your phone or laptop while supposedly in conversation with someone?
- What tone of voice do you use when communicating?
- Are your comments condescending?
- Are you open and receptive to feedback from others?
- What kind of body language do you observe in the people with whom you interact:
- Do they maintain eye contact or look off into space as you are talking?
- Do you get blank stares while you are speaking?
- Do they fidget?
- Do others avoid engaging with you?
Developing your level of self-awareness is an ongoing process. Gaining a better understanding of your contribution to subordinate, manager, and peer relationships will show you where to make adjustments to increase your impact as a leader.
NobleVision can help.