Why Self-Awareness at Work Is Your Key to Success

I don’t know about you, but I, for one, have taken this year to do a deep dive into my behavior, personality, psyche, and soul. I replaced margarita and taco nights and Saturday morning brunches with moon calendars and Thursday afternoon coaching sessions. After all, self-awareness is the key to success in life and in business.

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires. Self-awareness is about knowing what you are good at (and what you are not good at!) and owning it. Self-awareness is knowing what you want and understanding your motivation and drive to get that thing that you desire. Self-awareness is about knowing how you like to work and who you want to surround yourself with. In short, self-awareness (and understanding yourself) is a powerful thing!

A lack of self-awareness can be caused by a lack of internal clarity. Often, this is because we simply don’t take the time to stop and check-in with ourselves. Well, that stops now. Take the last two months of this year to get to know yourself and get clear on what you want and need to be successful. 2021 won’t know what to do with you!

A quick note on success: Success is a relative term, so it’s completely personal. Success simply means achieving your desired vision or goal.

Why self-awareness at work is essential

There is no denying that understanding yourself can greatly enhance your effectiveness. It helps you understand how you operate under stress. How you address conflict (or avoid it). It helps you better understand how you communicate and how you may come across to others. It helps clarify how risk tolerant you are, how impatient you can be, how your process information, and much much more.

Assessments that help with self-awareness at work

A great place to start is with some simple assessments. Here are a few of my favorite behavior and personality assessments (with my results in parentheses for those who are curious!):

If the starting point is to understand yourself, it’s so that you can better operate in the world around you, particularly in business and in your strategic partnerships with your leader or Force Multiplier.

How to use personality test results in your work

Behavior and personality assessments are great tools to review together. Figure out where you align and what areas could create conflict in the future. Perhaps your leader is incredibly impatient and likes to charge ahead, while you are more cautious and like to have time to process before taking action. That is really great information to have! You will better understand where your leader is coming from when working on projects, and you can clearly ask for what you need (1 hour or 1 day!) to come back with plan of action. It may also give you a road map for how you need to adjust your communication style or prioritization to better match your leader’s natural style. Because I hate to break it to you, it will be up to you, the Force Multiplier, to adjust to your leader’s behavioral style, not the other way around!

Now, you don’t want to have the exact same strengths as your leader – or else you wouldn’t need each other! But there are some key places you will want to align. And what those are – you will need to determine for yourself and your career. Here’s an example: Adam is a Di personality, which means he’s direct, fast-paced, gregarious, a driver, and an influencer. I’m a DC, which means I also work quickly, I’m direct (and can handle Adam’s direct style), but I also have the organizational, detail-oriented, perfectionistic qualities he lacks. And, if I was not a high D personality, just like Adam, I wouldn’t have lasted 10 years working with Adam (I simply would have been bored!). See why self-awareness is so important?

Sometimes you need to slow down to go faster

Understanding yourself has a major impact on all of your relationships, your communication, and ultimately your career. The hard part, especially for high achievers, is stopping long enough to dig in and do the hard inner work to better understand yourself. But once you do, you are able to operate from a completely different place. A place filled with confidence and clarity, a combination that makes you unstoppable.

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