“Self-awareness is the golden key to making life changing decisions and sticking to them”.
(Dr. Prem Jagyasi)
Dictionary.com defines self-awareness as conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
Sounds simple enough but I like to explore self-awareness more when I conduct teambuilding exercises. Self-awareness is needed within the work environment and impacts how well the team functions. We all bring different things into the work environment daily and need to understand how and what these things are. I routinely ask the following question when I start the teambuilding process:
Who are you?
Take 2 minutes and ask yourself the question Who are you? multiple times. Record each of your responses. My examples to this exercise are:
- Who are you? Black man
- Who are you? Blogger
- Who are you? Leader
- Who are you? Running tourist
- Who are you? Son
- Who are you? Uncle
- Who are you? Mentor
- Who are you? Friend
Now it is your turn—answer the question and record your responses—I will wait! 😊
How many responses did you list to the question?
The answers may surprise people you work with and maybe yourself. There is not a right or wrong way to supply responses to the question. The major point is everything you listed enters the work environment with you daily.
This is an important point as we build teams and help staff members get to know others on the team. I have used this teambuilding exercise multiple times to enhance the work environment and help with team growth.
The point of this process is to allow team members to fully understand what they bring to work. It also shows a new level of self-awareness and how we interact with others. This exercise enhances team awareness and shows everyone they have more in common than they thought.
True leaders can use this data to ensure they treat staff members as individuals and not let their self-awareness impact how they treat others.
Example: I do not have kids–this should not impact how I deal with a parent who needs to leave work early because of a sick child. Some people in leadership positions make decisions based on their worldview only. This is a horrible way to lead a team.
Authentic leaders understand how they are viewed and the impact this has on the team. Self-aware leaders create more self-aware leaders.
So, I ask again—who are you? How does this level of self-awareness impact your daily interactions?
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself”.