I came to understand self awareness as recognition of our personality, our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes. Our ability to know ourselves inside out gives us media to be proactive, we know our weaknesses which naturally make us reactive but by being able to identify them, we can work on them and incorporate proactiveness in our dealings. Self awareness which is a personal competence is different from the other of its kind called “self regulation” because the latter has to do with self control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability and innovativeness.
Also it differs from the social competences which include empathy and social skill, while empathy is about developing others, being service orientated and cross cultural sensitivity. Social skill cuts across the ability to make influence, conflict management, cooperation and team work. Often times our self awareness can be a pre-requisite for effective communication, building relationships as well as developing empathy for others, thus making “self awareness” the main pillar amongst the components of emotional intelligence.
A person with excellent self awareness can discover that his ability to relate and communicate in the proper way with people in the morning is never the best; this is because he makes rude and derogatory statements without actually weighing it properly in his mind. Fully acknowledging this, he will be proactive by seeking solutions. The solution can either be scheduling the time he really meet people to be at a time he is fully conscious with his brain working efficiently. He can also deal with the root cause of why he pisses people off in the morning.
In improving your self awareness, it is important to note the following, although self awareness can be in-born, it could also be learnt, the process of learning requires time, motivation to change, persistent practice and feed back. This is because no success can be achieved in life without desire and effort. The first skill to learn in developing self awareness is to “recognize and manage your emotion” it is important to be aware of your emotions and how they influence your thoughts and actions.
This is because even if we deny them, we can’t eliminate them, they are still there whether we are aware of them or not. Unfortunately without self awareness we are not able to fully understand our own motivations and needs or to communicate effectively with others. The second skill to learn is “rapidly reducing stress”. When we’re under high levels of stress, rational thinking and decision making go out of the window. Being able to manage stress in the moment is the key to resilience. Self awareness helps us stay focused and in control-no matter what challenges you face.
The third skill to learn is how to use humour to deal with challenges and conflicts, a good sense of humour is an antidote to difficulties. They lighten our burden and help us keep things in perspective. The belief that learning emotional intelligence was learnt in group is false, rather an individual approach with the help of a coach should be employed. Also the neuro-transmitters of the limbic system and not the neocortex should be targeted when learning, finally it should be known that self awareness can not be learnt by mere reading about it without dedicated practical efforts.
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