Strengthening Our Weaknesses
How many of us “like ourselves”? How many of us have poked around our warts and owned up to the things we hate about ourselves, counter-balanced it out with a list of our strengths and decided that, on the whole, we still like ourselves? In Emotional Intelligence terms, this is termed having “functioning Self-Regard”. Translated, that means knowing our strengths and weaknesses and still liking ourselves anyway.
Part of being an effective Leader (and Manager) is being able to manage ourselves; and part of managing ourselves is to have effective Self Regard since, to know ourselves and still accept ourselves provides a great source of confidence, both in our abilities and our ability to recognise our weaknesses. We then have a choice of either developing those Achilles’ heels or find others with off-setting strengths.
Part of liking ourselves is knowing who we are (identity), what we stand for and what’s really important to us (Values). Knowing the answers to these questions allows us to decide if we like our responses or not. If we don’t like them, we can change them. If we don’t know what they are, we don’t know if our Identity, Beliefs and Values work for us or or unwittingly cause us problems.
Similarly, knowing our weaknesses allows us to assess them and decide if we can live with them or not. If they are undermining success in other parts of our lives, as weaknesses often do, we can actively work at developing them and minimising their impact, possibly even turn them into strengths. At a minimum, we can identify work-arounds to make our lives easier.
Another part of knowing ourselves is recognising our emotions and what triggers them. The faster we can recognise our feelings, the less destruction they cause us. By being able to distinguish between feelings and fact, the better our listening skills, our judgement, our relationships and the less conflict we engage in.
So, where does all this self-knowledge get us as Leaders? It builds self-confidence to behave in a consistent manner, to connect with others, to draw on others’ strengths, to see things as they really are and to benefit from that knowledge, to reduce conflict, to make sound decisions. What have you learnt on your journey of self-awareness?
This post is part of the SugarTone: Sweet Business Blogging Contest.