How to Build Self Awareness

Can you train or coach someone to learn self awareness?

This was under discussion in a group on LinkedIn recently and the context of the question related to leadership and the need for self awareness. The discussion highlighted that continual growth in who we are is absolutely not negotiable if we wish to push higher up the leadership ladder.

Willingness, feedback, 360 degree profiles, coaching, honesty, truthfulness and acceptance of change were all concepts discussed in the group.

Here are some reflections that could be helpful when transformational leadership is required both with ourselves and with our team.

Self awareness is the result of a combination of factors including:

  • Pain and frustration
  • The care factor for other people
  • Fear of loss
  • A search for improvement which, normally has a $ attached to it.

Self awareness is the result of a journey which starts with feedback from others regularly and requires the individual to listen. To gain the individual's attention where they listen is the key. When you see you have their ears, you know you have their heart.

To gain their heart, they first must know without a shadow of a doubt that we care for them. The equation is:

Our ears (listening to them) plus time believing in them, building trust = Rapport (their heart, trust and their ears)

I have observed that there is a strong element of timing surrounding development of self awareness. We are naturally defensive as humans and it's only when we are in enough pain and know we are about to lose something are we presented with an opportunity to toughen up and face the truth about ourselves. I believe it takes the invested time of a few key individuals who have proven that they really care for the individual and then, the person might listen and hear the message. This is the true influence the leadership research refers to, I believe.

About Ingrid Aitken Gattari, Achievers Group

Ingrid Aitken Gattari is the wife of Tony Gattari. She is executive director at Achievers Group. Ingrid has a wealth of experience across a number of industries and has worked in the fields of journalism, public relations, counselling and administration. Ingrid is highly qualified and has a degree in communication (journalism), a diploma in public relations and community services. Ingrid specialises as a trainer, facilitator and coach is the areas of team work, personal development and conflict resolution.

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