Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. Those who maintain self-awareness are seen by others as connected, in-touch and humble. They often demonstrate a confidence on the healthy side of ego and leverage their strengths, but they are also able to recognize when their own behavior is inappropriate or having a negative impact on others. They tend to get more done, take more accountability, and are enjoyable to work with.
1. They take assessments.
There are several good assessments available to measure personality, communication style, business acumen, and emotional intelligence, among other things. All of these help you get to know yourself, your tendencies and instincts, and how other people are perceiving you. This information helps you pick better careers, recognize suitable organizations to work for, and appropriate people to spend time with.
2. They practice mindfulness.
Give yourself opportunities throughout a day to assess your mood. Pay attention in meetings to how you're reacting to others and why. Keep track of when you are at your best and your worst. We find most people have patterns of behavior and by paying a little more attention you will recognize your own. People with presence of mind are able to stay clear headed in high pressure situations and avoid difficult conversations when they know they are not in the right frame of mind.
3. They hire a coach.
Business coaches can give you feedback that no one else will give you. Even when practicing mindfulness, we all have blind spots so a professional coach can recognize behaviors you may not even realize you are doing and if they are ineffective, suggest alternatives. They provide you will valuable insight to see yourself from the point of view of others which can be incredibly valuable information to better influence or motivate coworkers, clients or colleagues.
4. They identify their reactions.
We are all very busy and often we just know something feels good or bad but we rarely stop to analyze what we're feeling and why. Throughout the day pause, and ask yourself, “What specific emotion would use to describe how I am feeling right now?” This habit gives you new language to use when communicating with others, and when people see you as transparent and can track with your thoughts and feelings, you save time from less miscommunication and get better outcomes.
Self-awareness can be achieved by practicing these four actions, which become more natural over time. And just remember when your self-awareness goes up, your EQ does too. And then, you can bet that a lot of other good things are waiting for you.