Our perception of ourselves, otherwise known as our ‘self-awareness’, plays a huge role in our productivity in the workplace. When a workforce has emotional intelligence and a strong sense of self-awareness, a company is guaranteed to perform better.
Self-perception refers to the image, or understanding we have about ourselves: our strengths, weaknesses and other traits, as well as how we judge those parts of ourselves. Being familiar with your strengths and weaknesses helps you function better in your role, as part of a team, and improves your mental wellbeing and confidence. This, in turn, is likely to further boost your productivity. It allows you to relate better with colleagues and encourages a healthier workplace environment.
We can break down the key benefits of being self-aware in the workplace…
- Time Management. A strong perception of yourself means a solid understanding of how and when you function at your best. Individuals who know when they are most productive are able to prioritise tasks by ensuring their most productive hours of the day are spent on the tasks that require the most attention and effort. Equally, those who know how they work best (e.g., in silence) can work to ensure their environment is appropriately setup for their efficiency and success.
- Stress. With self-awareness comes recognition of the things that may trigger your stress. Knowing the environments, engagements or restraints that cause you stress will encourage you to manage your work to avoid those things, where possible. Of course, stressful situations are unavoidable at times. Self-awareness means a knowledge of how to deal with them. Knowing your preferred methods of dealing with and coping with stress will help you navigate stressful situations in the most efficient and healthy way possible. Mishandling stressful situations only creates more stress for you and those around you, especially in the workplace.
- Impact on others. An understanding of yourself and your own emotions creates a better understanding of those around you. Being able to recognise your emotions means you are more aware of how they are affecting people you work with. Whilst we have a right to feel out our emotions, being able to limit how much you project them onto others creates a healthier environment for all. Especially as managers.
Self-awareness is not limited to controlling stress, it extends to all emotions such as patience and adaptability. Being able to control and express emotions successfully creates harmonious, strong and empathetic interpersonal relationships.
- Feedback. As mentioned, self-awareness means a strong understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. Confidence in what you can do, and a recognition of things that may not come as naturally to you means you are more open to feedback. Receiving constructive criticism openly is an opportunity to grow your self-awareness even further.
- Confidence. It perhaps goes without saying that knowing your strengths can only boost your confidence. When you understand the things, you’re good at, and learn how to utilise them to create the best outcome (e.g., through time management, environment management and working successfully with others), your confidence will grow. As you work successfully and efficiently, through a deep understanding of your own abilities, you will prove your capabilities to everyone (yourself included!).
Thus, a self-aware individual is productive, efficient, and encourages a healthier work environment for themselves and others. It boosts job satisfaction and job performance.
The need for self-awareness is critical to leaders but extends to those who make presentations, negotiate business deals, give feedback and work in teams. When an entire workforce has good self-awareness and emotional intelligence, the benefits multiply, boosting organisation performance to the best it can be.
How can managers and organisation leaders endeavour to boost self-awareness among employees?
It has always been the responsibility of managers and organisation heads to ensure a safe and productive workplace. This includes the wellbeing of individual employees, their performance, as well as the productivity and efficiency of entire teams or the business as a whole. Strong self-awareness amongst employees encourages and boosts all of these things. So, instilling emotional intelligence within employees is beneficial to everyone.
- Communication channels. Open communication channels are imperative to helping employees gain self-awareness. This means superiors have channels to productively approach individuals with constructive feedback, but employees also have opportunities to take their own concerns to their managers.
This may involve implementing periodic 1-on-1 meetings between managers and employees to create that open channel. Feedback also means commending positive work that deserves recognition. This boosts employee confidence and familiarises them with their strengths – enhancing self-awareness.
- Encourage self-reflection. Employers can encourage employees’ self-reflection to help them gain understanding of themselves. This happens through the above mentioned feedback but can be carried out alone. Encouraging employees to take time from their day to self-reflect may be beneficial.
- Upskilling. By offering opportunities to upskill to your employees, they are encouraged to evaluate their existing skills and consider their future plans in terms of growth and development inside and outside of the workplace. This enhances their self-awareness. Meanwhile, the upskilling itself develops employees in new areas which boosts their confidence, making them more susceptible to recognising strengths and weaknesses. Trainer Bubble’s extensive range of resources offer upskilling opportunities across all subjects.
- Emotional Intelligence Training. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, manage, and regulate your emotions, and understand the emotions of others. Such, self-awareness is key to strong emotional intelligence, and training employees in emotional intelligence will encourage their self-awareness in turn. Check out Trainer Bubble’s Emotional Intelligence E-learning here.
Emotional intelligence and self-awareness may be natural for some people but also are skills than can be learned and developed over time given the right tools. It is important that businesses consider self-awareness as a crucial skill for all employees, whilst it functions differently for leaders than other team members, when utilised by all it can create personal satisfaction as well as organisational success.
For more information, or to discuss the learning needs of your business, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.