Sunday, August 1, 2021

More Tips to Increase Self-Awareness

Ask For Feedback

We often forget one of the easiest tools to increase our own self-awareness is to simply ask for feedback from those around us. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy or complicated process and can be done very professionally or casually. The people around us can see our usual actions and behaviors and can give an honest opinion about them. The thought of asking someone to share their opinions and thoughts about us can seem unnerving and even downright scary, but the advice and thoughts can prove invaluable. If possible, let the person know in advance you will want feedback later so they have time to form an impression and gather any tips or hints. 

A random request for feedback (such as right after a meeting) can be acceptable too, but keep in mind that the person may be caught off guard and will not be able to give a good answer right away.  The most important part about asking for feedback is to prepare yourself for what you may hear. Not all feedback is positive. Take the advice and tips that the person offers as tools to help you improve. Don’t turn defensive or angry just because the person delivering the feedback may have said something you don’t particularly want to hear.

Be Open to Change

Humans are designed to be creatures of habit. We often have the mindset of, “we want what we want when we want it,” and if something throws a kink in our routine, we can go a little crazy sometimes. However, being open to change allows us to adapt to new surroundings and situations and helps us grow. Changing our attitude about ourselves and others can help determine how we build our connections. Sometimes, after we receive feedback from our peers, we may need to change how we do things or behave in a group. Perhaps after a meeting we decide we need to change how we plan our presentations. Whatever the reason, it is important to not disregard the importance of your willingness to change and not turn a blind eye to its prospects. Changing how we see ourselves and the people that surround us can have a positive impact on our attitudes and can help build better relationships with our peers.

Tips for accepting change:

• Determine how the change can benefit you
• Don’t assume a need for change is negative
• Recognize that change is a chance for improvement

Reflect on Your Actions

While feedback from other people can be a great tool to use, feedback from ourselves can be just as valuable without being self-deceptive. Being reflective gives us a chance to learn from our past experiences (even our mistakes) and recognize the chance for learning opportunities. By reflecting on our actions, we can see firsthand what actions we took, how they played out, and what kind of effect they had on people. 

Use all of your senses to recreate an experience in your mind and the actions that you took:

• What behaviors did you show? 
• What did you feel at the time? 
• What type of reactions did you receive from other people?

Reflect back on any body language cues you may have used and make note of any cues you may have seen in others:

• What intuitions or gut feelings do you feel from the experience?  
• Do you feel as though you have learned anything new from the experience? 

These steps and process can help you reflect back on your actions and increase not only your self-awareness but your awareness of others.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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