How Self-Awareness is an Essential Leadership Skill, and 9 Ways to Help You Become More Aware

Merriam-Webster defines self-awareness as “an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality.”

Take a moment to write down a few skills that all great leaders have in common.

This is an icebreaker I like to use when I’m presenting at industry seminars or teaching leadership focused workshops.

Most leaders will list several of the well-known leadership skills. I might even give them kudos for using terms like Emotional Intelligence (EI). But rarely do I see self-awareness listed. Why is that?

It’s because most of us don’t think of self-awareness as a leadership skill, even though it’s one of the most vital leadership skills of all.  

“A true mark of a great leader is their awareness of themselves, others, and their surroundings.” —An excerpt from Exactly Where You Want to Be – A Business Owners Guide to Passion, Profit, and Happiness by Nick Leighton

Self-awareness requires a conscious effort!

This means that self-awareness doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t even come easily!

This skill requires you to invest time in figuring out who you are. Not just who you want to be, or who others think you are, but who you are deep down beneath everything.

Here’s 9-Steps to Self-Awareness:

Half of the journey of becoming more aware is simply recognizing you need to do it. If you’re looking to hone this leadership skill, try these 9 daily task that can help you move towards better awareness.

#1: Write Your Way— Write down one goal, three ways you can sabotage that goal, and three ways you can dodge that sabotage to succeed.

#2: Yawn— I’m not going to dive into a physiological explanation of why yawning helps. Just try it.

#3: Use a Mindfulness Alarm— Whether you use an app or a recurring reminder, taking a one-minute mental break to relax and focus on being mindful will reduce your stress levels and increase your productivity.

#4: Live Your Values— First you need to know your most important value, then you need to ask yourself daily if what you’re doing that day is fulfilling that value. (If you need help identifying your most important value, I provide a one-page strategic plan in my book here, that can help.)

#5: Take Pleasure Breaks— Spend one minute every hour doing something pleasurable.

#6: Trust Your Intuition— Trust it! If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.

#7: List Your Accomplishments— Make it a daily habit. Try taking a moment to also ask your family, friends, or team members what their daily accomplishments were.

#8: Use Fewer Words— Adopt a minimalist approach with your communication. Practice using big ears and a small mouth.

#9: Sleep Better, Think Better— It’s hard to be self-aware when you’re sleep deprived.

Are you ready for your champagne moment?

I’m Nick Leighton and I’ve been coaching business owners and executives for the past 20+ years. I believe that with the right guidance and drive, you can achieve your business and your personal goals!

Get your free business assessment and personal consultation!   

First take my FREE Champagne Moment Business Assessment. Afterwards you will immediately receive my free business guide and you’ll be able to schedule your free consultation with me. I look forward to helping you make this your best year ever!

How To Communicate With People Who Are Different Than You

DISC Communication Styles

People have unique ways to communicate with each other. When you understand people are uniquely different based on their communication styles then you can better relate to your customers, peers and in your personal relationships. The key is to understand yourself first.  We measure communication styles with the DISC assessment.

  • How we express our internal emotions through our external behavior
  • How we prefer to interact (temperament) with the environment and the people around us

DISC represents four different communication styles

D-Dominance - How we solve problems

I-Influence - How we relate to people

S-Steadiness - Our pace and energy level

C-Compliance - How we respond to rules and procedures

Once you understand yourself, you can use the following guide to help you communicate more effectively and efficiently with different people:

Communicating with the High D

  • Don’t ramble on or waste their time.
  • Stay on task.
  • Be clear, specific and to the point.
  • Don’t try to build personal relationships or chitchat.
  • Come prepared with all objectives and requirements in a well-organized manner.
  • Be prepared and organized.
  • Present the facts logically; plan your presentation efficiently.
  • Provide alternatives and choices so they can make their own decisions.
  • If you disagree, focus on the facts, not the High D’s personality.

Communicating with the High I

  • Talk and ask about their ideas and goals.
  • Plan interaction supporting their goals and ideas.
  • Allow time for relating and socializing.
  • Don’t drive to facts, figures and alternatives.
  • Help them get organized and put details in writing.
  • Don’t leave decisions in the air.
  • Provide ideas for implementing action.
  • Provide testimonials from people they see as important or prominent.
  • Offer incentives for their willingness to take risks.

Communicating with the High S

  • Don’t rush headlong into business or the agenda.
  • Show sincere interest in them as people.
  • Draw out their personal goals and objections.
  • Don’t force them to make a quick response.
  • Present your case logically, non-threateningly and in writing.
  • Break the ice with some personal comments.
  • Ask specific questions. (How?)
  • Don’t interrupt as they speak. Listen carefully.
  • Look for hurt feelings if the situation impacts them personally.

Communicating with the High C

  • Approach them in a straightforward, direct way.
  • Recognize they may be uncomfortable speaking too large groups.
  • Ask them if they see the issue the same way as you do.
  • Provide them with information and the time they need to make a decision.
  • Don’t be informal, casual, or personal.
  • Build credibility by looking at each side of the issue.
  • Don’t force a quick decision.
  • Be clear about expectations and deadlines.
  • If you disagree, prove it with data and facts or testimonials from reliable sources.

If you are interested in completing our DiSC assessment or running a company training session in this area, then give us a call or drop us an email.