Roberta Moore considers that the concept of self-awareness in coaching practice, which is based on the definition of the EQ-i 2.0, corresponds to: “emotional self-awareness is the ability to recognize your feelings and differentiate between them, knowing why the is feeling and what impact they are having on the people around him”.
In this sense, and according to the definition of self-awareness presented, an effective leader recognizes and is aware of the impact that their feelings and, consequently, their way of acting, have on the people around them. A wise leader wants to be in control of how he expresses his emotions and behavior. Leaders who are emotionally self-aware, empathetic, and able to understand the emotions in others often attract more genuine people with higher levels of authenticity.
On the other hand, leaders who are less emotionally self-conscious end up pushing away those around them, as they tend to be focused on themselves, revealing a one-dimensional perspective. These can convey an image of indifference, perish “cold” and excessively direct in contact with others. On the other hand, they can convey contradictory signals or messages, as their body language is not aligned with their words. The congruence between body language, tone of voice and facial expressions becomes important for successful communication.
Roberta Moore gives an example of a client she worked with, revealing that the client scored low on the Emotional Self-Awareness subscale on an Emotional Intelligence assessment instrument. In addition to the aforementioned subscale, the client presented some behaviors, such as: lack of awareness of the impact of his behavior on his employees, lack of congruence between his true feelings and his non-verbal communication and focus on himself instead of focusing too in others.
The client was advised to record their feelings in a diary at three specific times during the day (8am, 12pm and 5pm). Initially, it was clear that the client did not understand what he was feeling at each moment, so he was advised to choose four feelings (crazy, sad, happy or scared) in order to record what he felt. Later, Roberta Moore asked the client to add a topic to her diary that referred to who had been affected by her mood or her daily actions.
By analyzing and collecting this information, the client began to discover how their feelings affected their behavior and how their behavior affected other people.
So, if you want to start increasing your emotional self-awareness, you can follow the steps that will be described below:
1: Start by asking yourself, “Do I know what I’m feeling right now? If I’m worried or serious but appear friendly to others, will I be able to get my point across?”
2: Create a diary to record your emotions at different times in your day. Being able to understand what causes, for example, worry, irritation or sadness in others helps the leader to avoid overreaction/behavior.
3: Ask your colleagues or friends to describe you. The point of view of others can help you improve personal areas that you have not previously been aware of.
High levels of emotional self-awareness are the essential ingredient for effective and successful leadership. Better self-understanding allows you to increase your motivation (and those around you) and communication. Effective leaders know that, given the ability to understand their emotions, they are also able to understand the emotions in others and make better decisions for their teams.
Original Article: Moving From Self-Awareness To Self-Improvement