Taking on the mantle of a leader involves much more than stepping into the role and expecting others to follow you by virtue of your position. To achieve true success as one, it is necessary to master certain responsibilities. In addition to being an effective decision-maker, you also have to be a good manager of resources while fostering meaningful working relationships with the members assigned to your team and your colleagues. That being said, few people are ready to embody these obligations right from the get-go.
Fortunately, there are a few things that can help prepare any leader for the many challenges that he or she will face in the workplace. Indeed, whether they are new to the role or have had some experience in the position, it’s more than possible to learn how to handle stressful situations professionally. Knowing how to accurately and continuously assess yourself and your capabilities as a leader can be incredibly advantageous, especially if you use it in conjunction with other leadership tips and guidance from an expert development coach. Here’s how self-assessing and becoming a more self-aware leader can benefit you:
It Can Help You Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
“Know thyself” is an age-old maxim that has been attributed to many a wise person. It has also had a variety of meanings attributed to it in literature, though it is popularly understood to mean “know your own measure.”
To know yourself means to have a deep understanding of your own personality traits and skills, as well as your virtues and vices. It means being aware of your dreams and ambitions, your thought patterns, and how you conduct yourself in a way that helps you view your own life with unbiased clarity. Self-assessments can reveal all of these things about you, to you.
Leaders should continuously self-assess or self-evaluate their behaviour and performance not only to determine where their strengths lie, but also to identify weak spots and areas for improvement. In a way, self-assessments can also show leaders how far they are from achieving their goals. Finally, self-assessments are a great way for leaders to find guidance on how to improve themselves, both from a personal and professional standpoint.
It Can Enable You to Become a More Introspective Leader
Introspection refers to the process of learning about one’s ongoing or previous mental processes or states. Put simply, it is looking inwards to examine your own thoughts and feelings; to consider who you are, what you deem important, and what drives you forward. Introspection and self-reflection help to build self-knowledge and self-awareness, both of which are qualities that are vital for successful leadership.
Unfortunately, most of us tend to employ introspection and self-criticism only when faced with difficulties or challenging choices. That’s understandable—after all, it’s hard to be objective when filling the role of both the observer and the observed. Fighting against our biases and natural defence mechanisms isn’t something that comes naturally to us as humans. We all tend to steer clear of negative feedback that could come our way and we are also subject to our own biases. Fortunately, introspection is also a skill that can be practised, honed, and developed through self-assessment. A good way to productively practice introspection is to ask yourself strategic questions, such as what emotions you’re feeling during certain situations and what you could have done better.
It Can Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to identify and manage their own emotions, as well as identify and influence the emotions of others. It is a key leadership skill that can allow you to drive the way others feel in the right direction, which is crucial to getting things done. In addition to helping the people that you work with feel ‘seen’, validated, and emotionally supported, emotional intelligence can also allow leaders to adapt to changing circumstances in the workplace. The same applies to any changes in their own roles or those of their team members.
Self-assessment can help you develop your self-awareness, which is one of the key elements of emotional intelligence. When you are more sensitive to your own actions, feelings, and biases, you can become a more understanding, empathetic, and trustworthy leader that others will be glad to follow.
Honest and sincere self-evaluation, when combined with leadership tips for managers from a knowledgeable development coach, can be an advantage to you professionally. You can begin cultivating your self-awareness today by using self-assessment for leadership tools such as personality type indicators, strength and weakness tests, blind spot assessment surveys, and more. Another way to effectively assess yourself is by journaling your mistakes. By doing so, you can use your writings to keep tabs on your behaviour. Finally, you can reinforce your self-assessment by soliciting feedback from those who work with you the closest. This will provide you with a holistic, 360-degree view of your capabilities and shortcomings.