Overview: Who is accountable for self-awareness? What is our role in this accountability? What challenges exist for us and others to understand the accountability? What can be done about these challenges?
I read this quote from Kurt Vonnegut today:
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
I have been teaching emotional intelligence for over 20 years and have developed an emotional self-awareness pre-reading and self-study guide which I am happy to share (attached). Ultimately, it is each person's responsibility to develop their own emotional self-awareness, but we should give them tools and also create a culture that supports that effort. I work in a male-dominated, hyper-masculine industry (construction) and the culture is the most difficult part to shift.
Thanks Brent - I wonder how to determine the following:
Which of these do we impact? How are we doing? How can we help each other do better?
1. I have learned to trust the process and not try to "convince" them of anything. Everyone will get what they need at the time out of the process. And that's what I ask them to do: trust the process. If they go through the process, there is almost always a shift.
2. This pre-reading and self-study guide gives them a roadmap to create that shift. Once they start experiencing better self-awareness, it feeds on itself and continues to build. I tell them to wait six months and go back through the guide and they usually see things quite differently. It's an iterative process where self-awareness keeps increasing.
3. They see better stress management, better connections with others (personally and professionally), and better emotional management.
We also tie in nutrition to this protocol as poor nutrition can affect how you manage your emotional states. The other key part of this is accountability. Partners help each other to identify and express emotions. This process also helps to shift culture. It's all about starting the discussion about self-awareness as a tool to improve leadership and performance.
I have heard the phrase perception is reality. How does this play into self-awareness?
At what point can we get lost in worrying about perception that we lose sight of being true to ourselves and start leading and living inauthentically?
Great point! Yes, there is some good research on how we create our own reality. The point is that with good emotional self-awareness and good emotional management and empathy, there is a realization that other folks don't view the world as we do. With this approach, we can have honest discussions about differing views and hopefully find some common ground. Continuing to hone our self-awareness ultimately leads to being comfortable with ourselves and with others despite the differences. This leads to a more authentic and honest approach and more connection.
We use the following to reconcile these varying world views and perceptions on teams:
emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and emotional management
human to human connection (these differences become far less important when this happens)
fun, play and co-creation
Covey said, "We don't see the world as it is, but as we are, or how we are conditioned to see it."
Paul - I find that self-awareness is synonymous with being a lifelong learner. We must constantly be striving to become more self-aware. Recently my company put together a short video where we talk about the importance of self-awareness and ways to grow in this area. We use it to also introduce our proprietary inventory (BEST Assessment). You can view the video here. We will also let you experience the assessment for yourself -- just reach out to me and we'll send you a link.
As Brent states in his post, Emotional Intelligence and self-awareness are each person's responsibility.
While we must be accountable for growing our own self-awareness, leaders should inherently be finding ways to assist their employees in this area. I believe two key things must exist for one's self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence to be in a position to grow/develop -- a person must have 1) the mindset that s/he wants to embrace development and 2) a culture the supports (and allows for) such development.
In my breakout, I'd like to explore with others 1) the ways they have helped introduce the concept of self-awareness to others and 2) how they have held others accountable for improving self-awareness. In addition, I'd like to hear perspectives on the role that mindset and culture play in fostering growth in this area.
Thanks, Wayne. I appreciate your comments!